California's Public Libraries Are Lending Out Free State Park Passes

The program aims to increase accessibility to outdoor spaces for communities of color.


California is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the country, from the majesty of Yosemite to the mystifying beauty of Joshua Tree and everything in between.

All told, California is home to over 270 state parks and nine national parks. That’s more than any other state. With 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river fronts, and 4,500 miles of trails, there’s plenty to see and do in the Golden State.

Despite the widespread availability of these outdoor spots, accessibility is an entirely different story, particularly for people of color. According to the Center of American Progress, people of color are three times more likely to live in a “nature deprived” area than their white counterparts.

That sullen statistic is a major motivating force behind California’s Outdoor Access for All Initiative. The initiative was created to encourage Californians from all walks of life to explore the outdoors through the creation of its California State Library Park Pass program.

The pass provides free entry for one passenger vehicle, with nine people or less, or, if motorcycles are more your style, then you can also go that route. I wouldn’t try to squeeze nine people on one, though.

To grab a pass, you’ll need to visit your local library. From there, you just have to choose how many days you would like to take the pass for a spin and then check it out, just like you would a book. So if you don’t yet have a library card, you’ll have to grab one. While you’re at it, you might as well grab a book to read for the journey ahead.

The pass isn’t valid for per-person entry fees, museum tickets, boat use, camping reservations, or special events. But hey, it’ll at least save you from spending $35.

It appears as though the initiative has proven itself to be a success. Over 5,000 Park Passes were distributed to each state’s 1,180 library branches in April, and 63% of Park Pass users to date identify as Black, Indigenous or non-white, according to the California State Library.

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Jeremy Porr is a News Writer at Thrillist. Follow Jeremy on Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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