Coastside State Parks Association (CSPA) is a private, nonprofit, charitable corporation whose purpose is to raise funds to promote educational and interpretive programs in California State Parks and Beaches along the Pacific coast of San Mateo County. CSPA operates under the Cooperating Association program within State Parks.
CSPA’s Mission: “to inspire public appreciation and stewardship of the natural resources and cultural heritage of the San Mateo Coast, in partnership with California State Parks.”
CSPA provides funding for programs and projects that enrich visitors’ experiences, that protect natural resources, and that augment the state’s budget. Examples are funding for volunteer docent programs, interpretive exhibits and signs, youth programs, habitat restoration, and facilities improvements, particularly for accessibility. For a more complete description, see the menu section under What We Do.
CSPA raises funds for parks through four principal channels: (1) contributions from individuals and corporations, (2) fund-raising events, (3) grants, and (4) sales in park stores and of firewood in campgrounds. Contributions are fully tax-deductible when no goods or services are provided in exchange. Most of the costs of tickets to fund-raising events are also deductible.
Significantly, money raised by CSPA, including net revenue from the stores, are returned to local state parks, not to a general fund in Sacramento.
CSPA was founded in 1990, under the name San Mateo Coast Natural History Association (SMCNHA), as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which it remains. CSPA’s name was legally changed in 2013.