From the Native Sons of the Golden West inception in 1875 when it was formed as a living memorial to sons of early Californians, the Native Sons have a long association with what later came to be known as California State Parks. Its earliest projects in 1890 were the purchase of the property and restoration of Sutter’s Fort and the purchase of the land for the Marshall Monument that was dedicated by the Native Sons in Coloma to commemorate the Discovery of Gold. From that time forward the Native Sons have had a hand in many other California State Parks, such as:
- Custom House – Monterey
- Vallejo Adobe – Petaluma
- Bale Grist Mill – St Helena
- San Fernando Mission – San Fernando
- Fort Tejon – Lebec
- Mission San Diego de Alcala – San Diego
- Sloat Monument – Monterey
- Donner Monument and Park – Truckee
- Town of Shasta – Shasta
- Sonoma Mission – Sonoma
- China Camp Shrimp Boat – San Rafael
The Native Sons have been involved in many other areas as well. The California Historic Landmarks League formed in 1902 with several groups which included the Native Sons. The original group included Native Sons as members. One of the descendant organization is the California Historic Resources Commission which now has a Native Sons member on it again. Lee Adams of Downieville Parlor #92 and a member of the Historical Preservation Foundation (HPF) joined the commission in 2017.
A recent collaboration with the California State Office of Historical Preservation accounted for 11 registered landmark plaques to be installed to replace ones that had removed or defaced.
Currently the Historical Preservation Foundation is reestablishing the Native Sons brand and involvement with California State Parks with a diverse list of projects throughout the system of state parks which include parks as well as support groups and functions. In addition to the afore mentioned California Historical Landmarks, the HPF in the last several years has provided support to cooperating associations, provided signage to various parks, and provided labor for park projects. The HPF was a prime sponsor of the California Sesquicentennial in 2000 which spring boarded the Foundation on to the map.