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For Immediate Release

YES! Parks innovative nature program awarded nearly $300K

Sonoma County, CA | March 06, 2024

A $297,320 grant will fund Sonoma County Regional Parks’ YES! (Youth Exploring Sonoma) Parks program through January 2026.

The competitive grant is part of the California Natural Resource Agency’s Youth Community Access program, called the Outdoors for All Initiative. It supports programs that offer youth access to natural or cultural resources. It’s funded by Prop 64, the marijuana tax that passed in 2016.

Outdoors for All, in part, establishes spaces for people and nature to thrive in a welcoming and inclusive culture; builds equitable career paths for outdoor recreation, natural resources and restoration professions; and aligns funding partnerships among federal, state and non-governmental entities.

“We’re proud and delighted to receive this grant,” said Guadalupe Navarro, community engagement manager for Sonoma County Regional Parks. “Our YES! Parks program was created with equity in mind. We recruit low-income, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth (ages 13-18) to take part in this program, which introduces them to nature.”

The program, started in 2017 as YES! Coast, has expanded to include the Russian River and area mountains, YES! River and YES! Mountain, respectively. The three segments include several field trips that introduce youth to hiking, cycling, paddling and camping.

The grant will support four sessions of YES! Mountain and YES! River, which will reach 120 local teens. It will also allow the team to recruit two youth leaders per session, alumni from past YES! programs, to help develop plans for field days and the campout, help manage supplies and lead activities during field trips.

“The programs offer bilingual orientations and end with a celebration that celebrates the youths’ stewardship, leadership, and accomplishments over the course of the program,” said Alexis Puerto Holmes, YES! River program manager for Regional Parks. “We recruit participants in Rohnert Park, Cotati, Central Santa Rosa, Roseland, Forestville, Guerneville and Monte Rio. These are communities identified by the 2021 Portrait of Sonoma County as being underserved.”

Navarro added, “The grant enhances the YES! Parks programs and keeps them viable for years to come. We’re fortunate to be able to introduce even more Sonoma County youth to our vibrant natural resources.”




Sonoma County Regional Parks provides essential opportunities for people to connect with nature. We contribute to the vibrancy and well-being of our community by expanding access to recreation experiences, serving as responsible stewards of cultural and natural resources, and ensuring that our parks are clean, safe and welcoming. Learn more at

The California Natural Resources Agency’s mission is to restore, protect and manage the state's natural, historical and cultural resources. Ensuring equitable access to outdoor spaces and activities for all Californians, the Youth Community Access is a grant program funded by the Proposition 64 marijuana tax to support outreach programs. Learn more at

Outdoors for All is expanding parks and outdoor spaces in communities that need them most, supporting programs to connect people who lack access, fostering a sense of belonging for all Californians in the outdoors, and much more. In 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom made a historic $1 billion-plus investment to expand access to parks and open space, creating a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve outdoor access for all Californians. Working in partnership with the legislature and local leaders and communities across the state, these investments ensure more Californians can experience the benefits that nature provides. Learn more at


Media Contact:
Tina Luster
Marketing Specialist
Sonoma County Regional Parks
(707) 565-3803