About Us

Mission, Vision & Values


Since 1979, the Santa Cruz County Parks Department has managed a diverse parks system including neighborhood and regional parks, coastal access points, trails, and cultural and recreational programs for all ages throughout the unincorporated county.

Our Mission

The County of Santa Cruz Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services mission is to provide safe, well-designed and maintained parks, and a wide variety of recreational and cultural opportunities for our diverse community.

Our Vision

We envision 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 values directly support our vision and help prioritize and define our objectives.
The three pinnacle values of County Parks: well-being, stewardship and equity, represent the core motivations that drive our work.


Creating a happier and healthier Santa Cruz County and improving quality of life by promoting physical activity, safe and welcoming public spaces, positive community interactions, and relief from everyday stress.


Sustaining natural systems and conserving resources throughout the parks system for future generations, including education and learning opportunities, and chances for people to appreciate and connect with the natural world.


Equity involves serving those in the county with the most need, making the parks inclusive, welcoming and accessible to all.

County Parks Strategic Plan 2018-2027

In 2018, the department released the County Parks Strategic Plan.
As part of the Strategic Plan development process, County Parks gathered community input, re-affirmed the Mission statement, developed a Vision statement, and defined County Parks’ core Values in order to remain responsive to the changing needs of our community. Ultimately, the plan will serve as the basis for future department work plans and as a road map for the department.

Contact Us


(831) 454-7901

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except holidays

Our physical office is open, but staff availability is limited.