A new web-based app called CaliParks aims to help California residents make the most of the state’s greenspaces.

The “park-finder” app is the first to cover every one of the state’s 11,826 parks. It helps inform users of what area parks have to offer, their locations and various features.

Users can refine searches by specific criteria and see social media content generated at each individual park. The app is still evolving, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation plans to work with the development team over the next year to refine its features.

“This is a wonderful new tool that will help connect Californians with their parks in a new and exciting way,” Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird said in a statement. “California has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to technology, and CaliParks keeps up that tradition.”

Jon Christensen, a partner at Stamen Design, the company that developed the app, told local paper The Montgomery Herald one of the app’s goals is to open parks up to all California residents. Blacks and Latinos visit parks in disproportionately low numbers. Christensen says he hopes social media will help overcome the notion that people of color do not visit parks.

“By harvesting [social media content] and showing that [people of color do enjoy parks], it’s an invitation to all Californians. These public spaces are yours as well,” he told the paper.

The app was launched with the support of California’s Parks Forward Commission, which formalized its recommendations to modernize the state’s parks and called for a new source of dedicated funding earlier this month, according to the paper.

To see the app in action, visit www.caliparks.org.


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