State Parks Staff Outreach

Staff Survey

In July 2013, the Parks Forward Initiative conducted a survey of Parks staff to better understand the issues most important to them, as well as their opinions and ideas regarding the future of their department.

The survey was prepared by a team of Initiative and State Parks staff in conjunction with Business Research Lab, an independent consultant. The anonymous survey included both open-ended and closed questions, organized into four categories – Overall Views, Visitor Experience, Budgeting and Finances, and Personnel. Key findings are found in the reports below.

Staff Focus Groups

First Series of Focus Groups
In September of 2013, the Initiative held seven focus groups with State Parks rank and file, supervisors, and managers throughout the state.  The focus groups allowed for deeper discussion on issues and concerns identified in the survey.

The focus groups were facilitated by professional consultants from Kearns & West, an independent collaboration and strategic communications firm.   Summary findings from the seven focus group sessions are found below.

Second Series of Focus Groups
The Parks Forward Initiative held a second series of staff focus groups in May - June 2014. The intent of these focus groups was to better engage staff with the Parks Forward process and solicit feedback on the April 23, 2014 Staff Working Draft. This feedback is helping to inform the next iteration of the Parks Forward Commission’s plan, along with input from the public (including through the May/June 2014 public workshops), Park partners, and other stakeholders. Though it is not the intent of the Commission to incorporate and address every comment made, this feedback is critical to creating an actionable plan for a sustainable parks system. We greatly appreciate the time and energy Department staff devoted to these sessions, as well as their other contributions to the Parks Forward process.

The first three focus groups, held in Long Beach, Oakland and Sacramento, included both rank and file and supervisory staff. The fourth group, held at State Parks’ new McClellan facility, included senior managers from headquarters and field districts. 

The focus groups were again facilitated by professional consultants from Kearns & West. Combined summary findings from the four sessions are found below.

Third Series of Focus Groups
The Initiative's third "series" of focus groups was made up of a single day's meeting held in August 2014. The purpose of this meeting was to solicit senior staff's feedback on the Commission's July 30 Draft Plan.  The six hour meeting was again facilitated by Kearns & West, an independent, professional facilitation firm.  Their summary of the day is found below.