Much of the land within the parks has been degraded to one degree or another by many decades of human activity. To fulfill its restoration mission, State Parks works to heal disturbed areas and ecological relationships and to return the land to its original biological diversity and ecosystem function.
Several projects illustrate some of the restoration work carried out by State Parks staff with the support of many dedicated volunteers:
- At Half Moon Bay State Beach former farmlands and dunes that were once covered by non-native invasive plants are being cleared of weeds and replanted to create a natural habitat that can support native wildlife.
- At Pigeon Point Light Station SHP the land around the historic lighthouse is a being cleared of invasive plants, particularly non-native ice plant, and replanted with native plants that might have grown there before the lighthouse was built.
- Restoration at Burleigh H. Murray Ranch SP has focused on maintaining an historic orchard. After clearing weeds that once covered the orchard, the 100-year-old trees have been pruned and a schedule of ongoing maintenance established.
- Restoration projects are supported by a Native Plant Nursery at Half Moon Bay State Beach where volunteers raise plants from locally collected seeds so that they can be planted in parks along the coast after weeds have been removed.
- Park volunteers, along with local students, have also established native plant demonstration gardens at Half Moon Bay State Beach and Año Nuevo to help visitors to learn about the native plants that grow in the parks.