Santa Cruz County Parks Department - Strategic Plan

The Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
YOU to participate in shaping the future of YOUR county!  


  We heard what you had to say!
Thanks for being involved so far!

The County Parks Strategic Plan Community Meetings and online survey were a big step for the department: they helped us hear from people throughout the county about the things most important to them about what we do and what we provide. Based on this input, staff has begun drafting the elements of the Strategic Plan.

During April, May, and June,
community involvement in the
Strategic Plan generated:

  • Over 700 survey responses
  • Input from over 190 people who attended the community meetings
  • Interest from more than 900 people who signed up on the strategic plan email list


County Parks Strategic Plan Needs Statement

Based on what we have heard from you, we have organized public comments into five strategic focus areas:

  1. Quality of Park Experience
  2. Variety of Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation
  3. Stewardship and Protection of Open Space and Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources
  4. Accessibility of Parks and Programs
  5. Engagement of the Local Community

To learn more, please see the Community Needs Summary Table. For more detail, see the County Parks Strategic Plan Needs Statement.

Our Draft Vision Statement

This following draft vision has been developed with staff, the public and the Strategic Plan Working Group.  The vision is intended to convey the desired end state of the work that we do:

A healthy and vibrant county where everyone is able to be active, explore, learn, play and connect, and where our diverse natural and cultural resources are celebrated and protected for generations to come.

Our Draft Values

Based on your input, and input from staff, the following values represent the core motivators and guides for the Parks Department:

  • Equity: Serving diverse communities throughout the County
  • Responsibility: Serving the community today, tomorrow, and into the future
  • Stewardship: Sustaining natural systems and conserving resources throughout the parks system for future generations
  • Well-Being: Creating a happier and healthier Santa Cruz County and improving quality of life

Upcoming Parks Commission Meeting

You're invited! Staff will be presenting an update on the County Parks Strategic Plan to the County Parks and Recreation Commission on August 7.  The meeting is at 7PM at the community room at the Simpkins Family Swim Center.  For more information see the Parks Commission website

What's Next?

Stay tuned for a draft strategic plan in the fall, and related community meetings.

You may sign up to receive Strategic Plan updates by clicking HERE.

To see a quick overview of the County Parks system, please see the Park Finder - an interactive County Parks map.


Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
General Information (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Phone: (831) 454-7901 •