June 03, 2022
The Central California State Parks Association is the non-profit partner of the California State Parks in San Luis Obispo county. The support interpretation, education and volunteer efforts within the parks.
Completed in 2019, our map of the California Central Coast was created in partnership with the Central California State Parks Association. We were excited to be able to interview Kristin Howland, the executive director for the organization. Read more below!
XM: Please provide us with a brief history and mission of your organization.
Kristin Howland: The Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA), in partnership with California State Parks in San Luis Obispo County, supports interpretation, education and volunteer efforts while promoting public awareness and stewardship of our natural resources and cultural heritage. Our organization is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are one of 85 similar cooperating associations across the state who work in partnership with the state parks.
XM: Please provide us with a brief personal history of your role with your organization.
Kristin Howland: I came to CCSPA in 2018 as the executive director. I have over 26 years of experience in interpretation, natural resources recreation, preservation, conservation, outdoor education, management, and leadership. Prior to CCSPA, I was the Director of Education with the Catalina Island Conservancy and was a Park Ranger with San Luis Obispo County Parks for over 13 years. In addition, I spent three summers patrolling the Emigrant Wilderness in Stanislaus National Forest and worked as a campground manager in Sequoia National Park. Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, I enjoy camping, hiking, biking, gardening, and celebrating the Central Coast with my two young daughters and husband.
XM: How did you first discover and/or hear about Xplorer Maps? How has the relationship grown?
Kristin Howland: When I think about some of the items I am drawn to while shopping, I find myself in awe and appreciation of antique maps and globes. So of course, when I saw the artwork of Xplorer Maps at a trade show in Las Vegas, I knew this was a company I truly wanted to work with. Not only was it a USA family run business, but Greg and Chris put so much thought into their products, sustainability, and quality. We are thrilled to be able to offer our Central Coast State Park community a beautiful hand drawn map that highlights the wonderful parks and wildlife found along our spectacular coastline.
XM: What makes the Xplorer Maps line unique and successful for your organization? What stands out?
Kristin Howland: When it comes to providing visitors a meaningful memento, there is not another product quite like Xplorer Maps. CCSPA supports such a wide range of parks, animals, and culture. By having a product that incapsulates it all such as an Xplorer map, we can truly promote our organization and parks in the best way possible.
XM: Please briefly share any feedback you get from your visitors/customers pertaining to the Xplorer Maps brand.
Kristin Howland: Our visitors of all ages are excited by these hand drawn maps. Our visitors like to take the time to look at each detail. The love to reflect on what they have seen, while also getting excited for what else they can explore here on the California central coast.
XM: Please briefly comment on the Customer Service you receive from Xplorer Maps
Kristin Howland: Xplorer maps has always provided the utmost respect and highest level of professionalism. Here at CCSPA, we all have to wear many hats and in the midst of chaotic days. It means so much to have vendors that are passionate about both what they do and what we do. We also greatly appreciate knowing when new products are dropped and the fast shipping!
XM: Anything else you think folks might find interesting about Xplorer Maps:
Kristin Howland: My personal favorite thing about Xplorer maps is reading up and seeing all the work they have done. I love looking at maps for different areas, as it inspires as all to forage out into new places!
CASH: Under our collaborative Partnership Agreement, Xplorer Maps also donates a percentage of all Central California Coast State Parks map sales in perpetuity. This year’s donation was in the amount of $537.53!
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