The Pine Ridge Association (PRA) was formed in 1975 to assist park staff in providing interpretive and educational programs to the public. It is a contracted cooperating Association with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and is chartered by the IRS as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. The PRA's programs include wildflower walks, evening programs, special backcountry hikes, and our very well received program for 1st through 6th grades. Called "Coe Connections", the program is an introduction to the concept of the ecological connections among all the parts of our environment; from the fallen dead tree that is home to myriad insects and larger animals alike; to the standing trees that provide storage for the acorn woodpecker.
The association has 425 members with approximately 125 active volunteers who staff the Visitor Center; teach in school programs;
take visitors on guided walks during wildflower season; provide interpretive programs; and sponsor special events. Each year approximately 20,000 volunteer hours are donated to the park — the equivalent of ten full time park employees. To put this in perspective, Coe Park has a staff of two rangers and a supervising ranger.
The Pine Ridge Association does not receive any state funds. It supports its programs through memberships, donations, interpretive sales and special events.
The PRA publishes a newsletter — The Ponderosa — that is available to members online or in printed form. The PRA also supports the publication of books and pamphlets written by PRA members, which are for sale in the visitor center at Coe Park.
In addition to the PRA books and pamphlets that are available at the Coe Park visitor center, other interpretive publications and maps, a range of T-shirts, and outdoor activity-related are available.
In 2004 the PRA received the "Association of the Year" award from the Monterey District of California State Parks, and the award for the best association map from the League of Park Associations.