PLATINUM2024

Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks

Activating the power of our parks

aka County Park Friends   |   Santa Cruz, CA   |  www.countyparkfriends.org

Mission

Our Mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the use of ​Santa Cruz County parks and open spaces for recreational activities, arts and cultural activities to benefit ​all generations in our diverse community.

Ruling year info

1989

Executive Director

Ms. Mariah Roberts

Parks and Programs Specialist

Ms. Aniko Millan

Main address

870 17th Ave. STE 2

Santa Cruz, CA 95062 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Supporters and Helpers of Parks, Arts, Recreation

EIN

77-0209249

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (N12)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

​Access to green spaces is a social determinant of health, but there are clear barriers to equity that must be addressed for our community to thrive. Through that lens, Friends invests in People and Places, centering community voice for the co-design of programs, projects and policies as the foundation for change.​ Whether co-design of a program or fiscal sponsorship of a park capital project, we are here to help YOU activate the power of our parks.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Invest in PEOPLE

We target our efforts where community priorities meet gaps in public funding to deliver targeted park improvements and programs as the foundation for change.
1. Access Grants, featuring Learn To Swim. Our 16-lessons series, designed for low income youth who are not yet water safe.
2. ParkRx Santa Cruz County leverages trusted medical providers to identify youth and adults who will benefit most from getting Active outdoors. Partners are Salud Para La Gente, Santa Cruz Community
Health, City of Watsonville and County Parks.
3. Young Outdoor Leaders nurtures the leaders of tomorrow.
4. Roving Rangers brings expertiential nature programs and leadership opportunities to schools.
5. BIPOC Bonfires is a healing, community-building series designed & led by BIPOC team members, featuring leaders from partner orgs, camping adventures, creek walks and more.

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
People of Latin American descent
Families
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people

For parks with existing, but unfunded, master plans, we offer support for fundraising and campaigns. For parks with outdated/no master plan, we work with community and co-design what should be prioritized for the spaces they love.

2024 - Raising $1 Million to build Treasure Cove Universally Accessible Playground at Jade St Park
2024 - Leading outreach and community input for new Pajaro Valley park design and development
2020-2023 Raised more than $1 Million & improved Seacliff Village, Hidden Beach Playground, Willowbrook Memorial and Floral Park Playground.
2020 Opened LEOs Haven Inclusive Playground at Chanticleer Park.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, Preteens, People of Latin American descent, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Invest in PEOPLE

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As part of our youth programming, we offer experiences primarily for Pajaro Vally and Live Oak youth.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People of African descent, People of Latin American descent, Families, Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities

Related Program

Invest in PEOPLE

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These include our Family Days at Pinto Lake and outings through our Young Outdoor Leaders program.

Number of grassroots organizations supported

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Family relationships, Social and economic status, People with disabilities

Related Program

Invest in PEOPLE

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Recognizing existing expertise, we partner and invest in grassroots orgs who have trusted positions within communities of interest. All our programs includes co-design and co-definition of success.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Chronically ill people, Multiracial people, People of African descent, People of Latin American descent

Related Program

Invest in PEOPLE

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our aim is to build financial equity INTO our program design, allowing participant free access to needed health and wellness resources.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

​Access to green spaces is a social determinant of health, but there are clear barriers to equity that must be addressed for our community to thrive. Through that lens, Friends invests in People and Places, centering community voice for the co-design of programs, projects and policies as the foundation for change.​ Whether co-design of a program or fiscal sponsorship of a park capital project, we are here to help YOU activate the power of our parks.

Parks and outdoor spaces support our physical and mental health and quality of life. However, basic park upgrades are underfunded and need community support. We support community-driven campaigns to raise funds and invest for accessibility and joy.

Time is nature can improve mental & physical health. However, not everyone has access to those benefits. We support and pilot programs designed with community to broaden representative participation in our parks.

County Park Friends invests in People and Places, with community-led co-design of program and policy as the foundation for change. Our strategic goals draw from a Countywide Strategic planning process that involved thousands of our community members and was adopted in late 2018. In partnership with our public Parks Department partner, we aligned and designed strategies to be complementary and provide a collective impact. County Parks maintains 49 parks and beaches covering 2000 acres of beautiful Santa Cruz County. 14 of these parks have existing community designed master plans, but not one has been fully built due to lack of funds. Many have not yet benefitted from the community input process leading to a master plan.

Invest in People: We accomplish this through: 1. Staff who represent professional parks expertise, a diversity of racial identity and physical ability. 2. Community Mobilization Leadership program to build trust, capacity and shared expertise. 3. Community co-design process for improved programs, training and policies. 4. Park Prescription framework to link health outcomes directly to parks resources. 5. Outdoor Career Pathways development to invite the leaders of tomorrow.

Invest in Places: We accomplish this through: ​1. Fiscal sponsorship of park Improvement campaigns, 2. Supporting Park Adoptions 3. Fiscal sponsorship of aligned emerging non-profits and projects 4. ​Improvement Project support and management.

Our organization is designed to be the a nimble, active, creative non-profit partner our Parks system needs to thrive. With a strong foundation of community support and input, we provide the complementary role needed to connect people with their parks and places.

Our leadership team brings a wealth of experience from land use, education and healthcare to assess and target barriers, then collaborate to design solutions for impact and growth. We approach each barrier with an eagerness to learn and an eye on affecting systemic change.

We have a strong working partnership with our Parks department, based in the public's defined priorities and clear roles. We have established working relationships with community, philanthropic, and service organizations.

Our Board and Advisors bring a wealth of expertise and community representation that informs all of our work and ground us in the communities we serve.

2024
Invest in People:
ParkRx Santa Cruz County expansion, Young Outdoor Leader program hires paid interns, Pajaro Valley new park outreach and engagement launch, PVUSD Parks to School partnership expansion, BIPOC at the Beach program expansion
Invest in Places:
Opening of Willowbrook Memorial, Groundbreaking for Floral Park, Fundraising for Treasure Cove Universally Accessible Playground, Outreach launch to set foundation for PV new Park campaign.

2023
Invest in People:
Developing ParkRx Santa Cruz County, launching Young Outdoor Leaders, Expanding services to Pajaro Valley Students and families.
Invest in Places:
Completing Floral and Willowbrook campaigns, launching "Expanding Access to Park Acreage in Pajaro Valley," and the "Jade St Park Universally Accessible Playground" Campaigns.

2022
Invest in People:
Squarely focused on operationalizing our community-led expertise to launch ParkRx Santa Cruz County and expanding the pool of Community Mobilization Leaders trained to deliver programs.
Invest in Places:
Key focus is streamlining our services to meet broad demand for more capital campaigns.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Teresa Corwin

Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks

Term: 2024 - 2021

Lesley Harris

Law office of Lesley Harris Esq

Lilia Chagolla

Alliance for Health Central Coast

Francisco Estrada

LAFCO

Sheila Peck

(Ret) Env Educator

Kim Namba

County Parks (Ret) Dept Director

David Guerrero

PVUSD Educator

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/21/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/21/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.