CA State Parks to celebrate Biodiversity Day with events

Crystal Cove State Park. Photo: Dan Stiel

By SDCN Editor

Sacramento, CA–California State Parks will celebrate Biodiversity Day in September at more than 40 parks statewide, officials said.

The state parks will be hosting more than 60 special events and engaging activities from September 2 to 10. The public is invited to a friendly bioblitz competition to see who can record the highest number of species of plants and animals in California’s State Park System. Humboldt Redwoods State Park currently holds the record of 380 species identified in 2022.

This year marks the fifth annual celebration of California Biodiversity Day since it was first established in 2018. Since then, several executive orders and other actions by Governor Gavin Newsom – such as the Pathways to 30×30 strategy, the state’s initiative to conserve 30 percent of lands and coastal waters by 2030 – have built on the foundation to understand and protect unique and precious natural resources.

In 2023, the public can choose from a variety of activities like “Perk Up in the Park” where visitors can enjoy a hot beverage and learn about Mount Tamalpais State Park’s unique biodiversity or appreciate birds with an environmental scientist at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, or they can go on self-guided bioblitzes. Using the free iNaturalist app, participants can use their smartphones to record the different species of animals, insects, plants, fungi, and more thriving within the parks. The photographs and locations of species captured during the bioblitzes in iNaturalist will help monitor the presence and range of species and contribute to an overall understanding of California’s extraordinary biodiversity.

Salton Sea State Recreation Area has many species in this biodiversity desert. The public can download the iNaturalist app, take a picture, and share their findings.

Sue-meg State Park has a tidepool bioblitz from 8 to 10 a.m. on September 2. The public can join interpreters to explore the tidepools at Agate Beach and learn about the plants and animals that live there. Attendees will meet at the beach’s trailhead at 8 a.m. to hike down to the tidepools with the interpreters or meet them at the tidepools anytime from 8 to 10 a.m. The hike to Agate Beach is approximately half a mile downhill.

Crystal Cove State Park will offer an easy one-mile hike on September 7 at 9 a.m. at Moro Canyon. Hikers can explore the park’s beautiful backcountry while identifying and documenting animal and plant species using the iNaturalist app. Ages 8 and up are welcome. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring water, and dress in layers. No registration is necessary. Participants can meet at the Berns Amphitheater in the lower Moro Day Use Area.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area will present a biodiversity-themed Junior Ranger program on September 9, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Nimbus Flat and Black Miners Bar Day Use Areas. The event may include a scavenger hunt and an introduction to iNaturalist. For more details, visit the iNaturalist app.

Past events in celebration of California Biodiversity Day have included a wide range of activities that help the public observe, understand, appreciate, and protect the amazing diversity of life in California’s State Park System. Some favorite activities have included guided nature hikes, birding walks, tide pool tours, nighttime forays, creek sampling, and virtual events. 

The public can find a full list of events at and additional events at California Natural Resources Agency’s Biodiversity Day website.

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