Are You Nature-Deprived? Five ways to reap the mental and physical benefits of the great outdoors.

girl under 5-years-old was throwing regular weekend temper tantrums, and her parents complained to Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity Health Care in the District of Columbia. When he probed about the family’s routine, he learned they were spending the majority of their weekends inside. The fits didn’t happen at school, where the girl had recess.
So instead of labeling the child with a behavioral problem or shrugging and saying, “She’ll grow out of it,” he wrote a prescription advising the family to spend a couple hours each weekend day at a nearby park.

California State Parks Offers Specialized License Plate

California State Parks recently unveiled its specialized license plate, “ParksPLATE.” The plate, whose design was selected from a statewide artwork contest based on creativity, inspiration, reproducibility and other factors, features California’s official tree — the California redwood — and was designed by Wyn Ericson of Napa.

Editorial: A good fix for McGrath Beach campground

We’re still quite a ways from being able to book a weekend at McGrath State Beach campground, the hidden gem for locals looking for a great escape to the shore.
But we’re a lot closer to making that experience available again….

Free passes ‘sell out’ at 49 California state parks during unprecedented #OptOutside campaign

While economists predicted a strong Black Friday shopping day, it’s likely the malls were a little less crowded in California, thanks to the unprecedented move by a San Francisco nonprofit agency dedicated to saving redwood trees.
The Save the Redwoods League offered for the first time free passes to 49 state parks in California. By Friday, all the parks had run out of the freebies, after 5,100 people downloaded the passes since Nov. 18, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Benito.

Friends still helping Palomar Mountain State Park

Three years ago, Palomar Mountain State Park – where generations of campers and hikers have gone to get a taste of the Sierras right here in San Diego County – was threatened with closure do to the budget crunch in Sacramento.
Things looked bleak for the park — one of 70 in the state that officials said were operating in the red— until a group of people came together to help out. They had nothing more in common than fond memories of time spent atop the mountain.

Jack London State Historic Park plans big year to mark 100 years since author’s death

Jack London State Historic Park is gearing up for a yearlong celebration in 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the famous author’s death.“We think it might be a watershed year for us,” said Tjiska Van Wyk, executive director of Jack London Park Partners. London’s passions for the outdoors, writing and entertaining are reflected in the activities planned throughout the year.

Key land purchase connects two state parks

A nonprofit conservation group has purchased the final piece of property in its decades-long effort to preserve a huge expanse of back country near the Laguna Mountains.
The 1,130-acre parcel, part of the Lucky 5 Ranch, was acquired by the Anza-Borrego Foundation as part of the group’s and the state park system’s long-held dream to connect the Laguna Mountains, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

Photo Credit: Della Huff