As Tony Barboza of the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week, “the stewards of campgrounds, beaches, monuments, redwood forests and nature preserves and across California are finding out closing a park is easier said than done.”
But despite the complications, folks across the state are proactively mobilizing to keep the state parks nearest and dearest to them open and protected. Here are some highlights of solutions forming across California:
Henry W. Coe
Success story! Last Friday, state parks officials reached an agreement with nonprofit group Coe Park Preservation Fund to keep Henry W. Coe State Park open for at least three more years. The nonprofit will provide $300,000 a year for the next three years to pay for half the operating costs of the park.
Santa Cruz Mission
The nonprofit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is working to ensure the state doesn’t close Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, the oldest building in Santa Cruz. The group is looking to start a community fundraiser this fall to keep the mission open.
Folks are working to form a “Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park” association, which will be a non-profit charitable organization intended to support the Park financially for its day in, day out programs and general enhancement. If you’d like to be part of the new Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park, visit palomarsp.org/friends.
CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein is meeting tonight with an influential group in Benicia to explore solutions to keep Benicia Capitol State Historic Park and Benicia State Recreation Area open. The public meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Dona Benicia Room at the Benicia Public Library, 150 East L St.
And, of course, more nonprofits will be able to get involved in these kinds of solutions once AB 42 is signed into law! Amazing groups like Mendocino Area Parks Association, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, Friends of Pio Pico, and Save McGrath State Beach are doing great things up and down the state already, so AB 42 will hopefully be a great catalyst for their work.
Even so, saving these parks won’t be an easy task. Hear what California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman and CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein have to say about the nuts and bolts of closing a state park on yesterday’s KPCC Air Talk.
This list of heroes is by no means exhaustive! Who is mobilizing in your community to help state parks? What is your organization doing? Voice your solutions here.