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Every picture tells a story.
Artistically tell your story about Wilder Ranch State Park during a family-friendly art event at the park. Every Picture Tells a Story will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 9.

Come paint, color, sketch or photograph the nature, farm animals and historic buildings at Wilder Ranch. Local artists will be stationed at various points of interest throughout the cultural preserve to offer demonstrations, teach techniques and provide advice to participants.

Basic art supplies will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own art materials. The event is free; donations are accepted. Parking is $10 and supports the park.

And artists and art-lovers, mark your calendars for Plein Air Art in Action, a First Friday Art & Music event at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park on Friday, Aug. 7.

Become a Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Volunteer.  
Friends is building its volunteer base. We have a new Meetup.com page to connect with us and will hold a drop-in information session for prospective volunteers at Pono Hawaiian Grill in downtown Santa Cruz. 

The casual event will be a time to learn more about Friends and meet other volunteers.  Friends volunteers work behind the scenes to host dozens of activities from outdoor movies to plein air art days. Our premiere event is the Mole and Mariachi Festival in the fall. People with skills of all types make up our group which is a rewarding community unto itself. 

The volunteer gathering will be 5:30-7 p.m., Friday, May 15 at Pono, 120 Union St., Santa Cruz. Also, please sign up to volunteer through our Meetup group!

Celebrate Mother's Day at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.  
Honor the spirited women who lived in, worked in and fought for the Basin throughout its history during a special Mother's Day walk and history lesson at the Park. The event is 1 p.m. on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 10. 

Living history rennactments bring you back in time to meet pioneer homemaker Alice Maddock; Josephine McCrackin, the "Savior of the Redwoods;" and Harriet "Petey" Weaver, the first female ranger in the park. Interpreter Susan Blake portrays these inspiring  women during a half-mile, 2-hour guided walk that is wheelchair and stroller accessible. 

Meet at Park Headquarters for this free event. Day use parking is $10 and supports the park. Call 831-338-8883 for more.

Find a unique gift for Mom at one of our ParkStores.
Pick out a beautiful, nature-themed gift for Mom this Mother's Day from one of our five ParkStores. We have new jewelry, like these delicate dragonfly necklaces, as well as scarves, shirts, books and more. The gift of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks membership is another thoughtful way to honor Mom this year.

ParkStores are located at Wilder Ranch State Park, Natural Bridges State Beach, Seacliff State Beach, Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park and New Brighton State Beach, as well as online

First Friday Fun! 
Thanks to everyone who came out for our first Summer Series event of 2015, First Friday Music & Art featuring FastionTEENS Santa Cruz at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park on May 1. 

The event featured an inspiring showcase of creativity and design that highlighted entrepreneurial spirit and promoted an outdoor lifestyle. Food What?! served refreshments and DJ Fresh of Sonido Trancazo provided the music. 

See a gallery of photos on Facebook. 

This was the first of seven free Summer Series events that will be held at the Mission this summer. Plan to join us for the next event: First Friday Art & Music featuring PIVOT Fashion, 5-8 p.m., Friday, June 3.
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