Julia O’Kane was born and raised in Oakland, California. As a child, she spent her summers along the river between Tracy and Manteca at a cabin her father purchased for the family’s outdoor enjoyment. Those summers spent in the outdoors made an impact on Julia, motivating her to help other children have the same experiences outside.

After graduation from CSU, Chico with a teaching credential and Master’s Degree, Julia began teaching in the Madera Unified School District. When she moved into the curriculum department, she became involved with the River Parkway Trust and helped establish our first Outdoor Science curriculum and field trip program for elementary schools in the Fresno/Madera area.

In 1990, Julia completed a doctorate at USC and became Superintendent of Madera Unified in 1998. Following her retirement from Madera Unified, Julia joined the River Parkway Trust’s Board of Directors.

Julia has been key to the Trust’s efforts to expand and update our outdoor education programs to best meet the needs of the local student population. In 2014, she was integral to launching a pilot of the Madera Unified 6 th Grade Program for four schools. This year, the Trust will provide three experiences for every sixth-grade student in the district thanks to her leadership.

Julia feels an obligation to ensure that the natural resources found along the San Joaquin River are protected. “We have to be good stewards of the resources that we have during our lifetime so they are there for generations to follow, and being involved in the parkway effort is a way we can do that,” she says.

This is where you come in. In honor of Giving Tuesday, Julia O’Kane has issued a challenge to all River Parkway Trust supporters. She will match all Giving Tuesday donations up to $2,000. Every dollar raised will support outdoor education programs that give local children the chance to explore and enjoy the San Joaquin River.  

Will you join Julia and make a donation right away? It’s easy. Click the donate button below to make your contribution securely online.

Thank you for your support.