Designing Our Future



  • Designing a new, more modern organizational structure
  • Organizational structure opportunities
  • Engagement process
  • Operational transition plan report


Today is an important day for the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) – we begin the engagement process to design a new, more modern structure for our department.

One of the initiatives of the Transformation Team was to review the department’s organizational structure and identify opportunities to eliminate duplicative services, realign divisions and programs to better support field operations, consolidate some field districts, flatten field management structures and establish career paths to leadership for a broad range of professional backgrounds. The review has been completed and State Parks will now work with staff and stakeholders as it develops a new organizational model for the department, which will also include how field districts are organized.

Opportunities from the new organizational structure will include:

  • Align organization structure to best reflect the mission and service of the department.
  • Develop a customer service ethic that prioritizes collaboration within the department and solidifies serving the public as our primary purpose.
  • Operate as one unified state park system to provide an array of recreational services across the system and support all 280 parks, including nine state vehicle recreational areas, while preserving allocation of all special funds.
  • Establish a headquarters organization model that best supports the delivery of programs and services.
  • Realign divisions, programs and district boundaries to better support field operations and enhance services to community stakeholders.
  • Minimize duplicative services and empower decision making at the appropriate levels for effective service delivery.
  • Develop stronger connections with existing and new partners that are aligned with the department’s mission to serve the public and their resources.
  • Bolster resource stewardship that is responsive to climate change, sensitive to species management and protective of our dynamic history.
  • Place increased emphasis on revenue generation and grant distribution implementation consistent with State Park’s expanded focus on relevancy.
  • Foster continual innovation after the transformation process is complete.
  • Centralize function-specific expertise to facilitate knowledge sharing and use of best practices to better serve the public (e.g. facilities management, grants, planning).
  • Dedicate advocacy support for recreation constituency groups representing on- and off-road cyclists, boaters, off-highway vehicles, equestrians and others, including emerging recreation activities.
  • Focus on strengthening engagement of under-represented groups; developing recreation programming that builds lasting relationships with the community, partners and volunteers; and building a recruitment program focused on workforce diversification.
  • Identify career paths and enable pathways to leadership for staff with relevant backgrounds and experiences both from within and outside the department.
  • Open positions to candidates from broader and more diverse backgrounds so that the most qualified candidates are able to compete and the workforce at the department more closely represents the diverse demographics of the state.

In the upcoming months, the department will engage staff and stakeholders to discuss the new organizational structure and gather important input.

This process is also expected to yield additional ideas on how a new organizational structure would improve the delivery of services. The feedback during this process will inform the development of a new organizational structure.

The resulting structure will be detailed in an operational transition plan report, which is a standard report developed by state departments to outline how it will move from the current organization structure to a new model.

The new organizational structure will be in compliance with all laws, rules, policies and established best practices. The department will work closely with other state agencies, including CalHR, as it develops the organizational structure and a plan to transition to a new structure. The new structure may result in shifts in how personnel will be organized, however no staff will be laid off through this process.

Communication and the management of the changes as the department transitions to a new model will be of key focus. Today we are sharing with you a document outlining the following information:

  • Need for Organizational Structure Assessment
  • New Organization Builds on Recent Fiscal Improvements
  • Organizational Structure Assessment Approach
  • Organizational Structure Opportunities
  • Next Steps

We invite you to read this document and share with us your ideas via e-mail at If you wish to share your ideas anonymously, you can do so via the Transformation Team’s public website.

Thank you to the Transformation Team, in particular the Operations Committee of the Team, who worked tirelessly to think through opportunities for our organization. This process benefits greatly by the work completed by the committee.

We look forward to hearing from you.


  • Stay abreast of the Transformation Team’s progress on their website.
  • The Transformation Team is interested to know your ideas, thoughts and comments. Let us know what you think.
  • Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook and stay updated on #TransformationTuesdays!


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