Advocates for the

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

The Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is a non-profit volunteer organization that supports the maintenance and improvement of the park. The Advocates engage in a number of activities which support this goal.

Our Mission

help the park continue to flourish

The Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is a non-profit volunteer organization founded by local community members to support the park. The Advocates are a strong partner with the California State Parks in driving, financing, and implementing capital improvements and special projects.


Trailwork Days in the Park

Join us! Every 3rd Sunday of the month the Advocates meet in the park for trailwork days. Meet at the main entrance kiosk desk at 9:30 am for refreshments and trailwork kickoff.

As the state budget cutbacks have severely hampered the ability of the CA State Parks to upgrade and maintain the park, it is necessary for the active park users to pitch in and help. Through the Advocates, park users, with donations of time and/or money, can help maintain trails, build capital improvement projects (such as building an outhouse or decking a new bridge), sponsor special events (such as a presentation on the history of the park), and work to address the needs of various user groups.

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Give with AmazonSmile

Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to the Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park at no cost to you.

When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks.

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2020 Santa Cruz County "Be the Difference Award" Winner!

The "Be the Difference Award" recognizes the Top 50 people, groups, and businesses who do the most to transform Santa Cruz County through volunteerism. This year, the Advocates have been recognized for their support of the Nisene Marks State Park.


Students: Come Get Community Service Hours in Nature!

Come get community service hours in nature! 3-4 hours once a month during Advocates Trail Work days. Sunday 9/18/16 9:30am at Kiosk. Every 3rd Sunday of the month. Students: if you are under 18 your parent must sign a waiver. They can do this at drop off, or if you drive yourself, download it from the “volunteer” page and have your parent sign it prior to coming.

Interactive Park Map


Animals in the Park

When you think about animals in Nisene Marks, forest owls might not come up to mind right away. Bobcats, mountain lions, raccoons and such get all the glory. But we cannot forget our avian friends. Owls have been quite active lately since it is mating time for them. It always seems like such a treat to see an owl for we know them to be mainly nocturnal (like most species we have), very cryptic, and illusive. Nisene Marks has several owls to see and the best timing is early morning just after sunrise and at dusk before sunset. I have seen three different species here: the Great Horned owl, Western Screech owl, and the adorable Norther Saw Whet owl (my favorite bird).

While strolling around the forest don't forget to look up and around in the trees for a silhouette of an owl. Keep your eyes and ears open for hoots or screeching sounds. It will be a rare treat, one you will not forget. Barn owls and Great Horned owls can be seen in the dirt lot near the entrance to Nisene Marks near sunset and dusk so take the time to look. Also have a hoot and don't pollute while you venture into the forest. Enjoy the birds!

- Melanie Dominguez, Board Director

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The Advocates chosen as Aptos Nonprofit of the Year!

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