Current Status of Park Closures

Over the last few weeks the parks community has been successful in giving some parks on the closure list temporary reprieve. As the LA Times reported yesterday, there are a few parks on the closure list that have found reprieve from one source or another, be it private donors, foundations or nonprofits. Read the full story here.

By our own accounts, the following are parks that we at CSPF understand have received temporary reprieves from the July 1 closure.

  1. Castle Rock State Park: The Sempervirens Fund will donate funds to keep this park open for one year.
  2. Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area: This park is currently being operated by the City of Colusa.
  3. Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park: The National Park Service is currently operating portions of the state park under a yearly agreement.
  4. Henry Coe State Park: This park is being kept open for three years under a donor agreement facilitated by the Coe Park Preservation Fund.
  5. Jug Handle State Natural Reserve: CSPF and Olmsted Park Fund recently announced a donor agreement which will keep the park open for one year.
  6. Los Encinos State Historic Park: A private donor will help keep this park open for one year.
  7. McGrath State Beach: Funding was secured to fix the sewage line in the park. Once the repairs are completed, this park should come off of the closure list altogether.
  8. Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: The Bodie Foundation has signed a concession contract which will allow it to collect fees at the park, which will be used to keep the park open.
  9. Petaluma Adobe State Park: The Sonoma/Petaluma State Historic Parks Association has entered into a donor agreement to keep the park open through June 2013.
  10. Plumas-Eureka: Plumas-Eureka State Park Association has entered into a donor agreement to help cover operational costs and keep this park open for the next two years.
  11. Samuel P Taylor: The National Park Service is using a new $2.00 fee at Muir Woods to cover the basic operation of both this park and Tomales Bay State Park until June 30, 2013.
  12. Santa Susana SHP: CSPF has signed a donor agreement that will give this park a reprieve from closure for one year.
  13. South Yuba River State Park: A Revenue Generation Parking Plan has been proposed and agreed to by DPR that is expected to provide revenue critical to keeping the park open.
  14. Tomales Bay: The National Park Service is using a new $2.00 fee at Muir Woods to cover the basic operation of both this park and Samuel P Taylor State Park until June 30, 2013

Excitingly, CSPF was able to help out with a couple of the reprieves.  In case you missed it:

  • Jug Handle State Nature Reserve — On Friday, March 16, we announced in conjunction with the Olmsted Park Fund (OPF) an agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to give Jug Handle State Natural Reserve a reprieve from closure for one year. Together we will provide a combined $19,000 to the state to allow the park to be kept open with minimal services, but accessible to the public.  Read more.
  • Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park — On Thursday, March 22, we made a donation to the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to give Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park a reprieve from closure for one year. We will provide $21,000 to the state to allow the park to be kept open to the public, albeit with minimal staff and services. Read more.

As you can see, with a few exceptions, these are all temporary reprieves. While it is important for us all to celebrate these reprieves, we must not lose sight of the fact that California’s 279 state parks need long-term funding solutions to ensure that they stay open and protected- and permanently saved from closure.

Is your local park in discussions to find a reprieve? Let us know in the comments.

Volunteer for Earth Day with David Chokachi

Chokachi for Earth Day

CSPF and our friend David Chokachi invite you to help state parks this Earth Day by volunteering with us in a park near you.

This year is our 15th Annual Earth Day Restoration & Cleanup on Saturday April 14, 2012. We have volunteer projects planned at state parks all across the state. In a time of budget cuts and staff shortfalls, Earth Day provides an opportunity to get involved in your local community, while helping state parks with long overdue maintenance and improvement projects.

You can register online at calparks.org/earthday or by phone at 1-888-98-PARKS. Come join in the tradition and help preserve California’s state parks.

But don’t take our word for it. David will tell you!

Paint the Parks

In this difficult time for state parks, it is good to know that there is no shortage of creative people willing to use their talents to help state parks in any way they can.

One such creative mind is Karin H. Leonard, founder of PaintTheParks.com.  Karin recently launched this art website in order to raise funds and awareness for California state parks, and National parklands worldwide.  Karin’s personal quest is to paint many parks, and to donate from the sale of those paintings to the respective park foundations.

“I am inviting artists from California and all around the world to participate in this journey,” said Karin. “The quest to paint the parks grew out of my passion for painting, and lifelong love of nature – and with that the intense desire to protect and preserve these precious places all over the earth. Several California artists have already come forward to join the quest, and I am sure many will follow.”

Participating artists contribute to preservation of nature reserves, as they donate a minimum of 10% from the sale of their parks paintings to State and National Park Associations.

“Our credo is ‘Paint, Participate, Preserve’,” said Karin.

If this is inspiring to you, take a look at the site or get in touch with Karin.

About PaintTheParks.com

The purpose of PaintTheParks.com is to spark a fire in the heart of artists, art lovers and nature enthusiasts all over the world to paint, cherish and preserve our precious park lands everywhere. PaintTheParks.com  provides complimentary links to artists’ websites with their parks paintings worldwide. Participating artists contribute to preserve our wild sanctuaries, as we donate a minimum of 10% from the sale of our parks paintings to State and National Park Associations. When you purchase from participating artists worldwide, you own beautiful original art… AND you contribute to conserving the earth’s most pristine preserves.

Whether you are an artist, an art collector or nature lover, be part of a growing movement to protect nature reserves worldwide!  Through painting, purchasing and donating, you protect precious nature reserves for future generations.  Join our quest to paint parks and preserves all over the world!

Send a Message to the Capitol

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We’re only a few days away from Park Advocacy Day, and we are very excited. On March 20, 200 park advocates will walk the halls of the state Capitol and lobby for state parks as part of CSPF’s 10th Annual Park Advocacy Day.

Even if you can’t join us in Sacramento in person, we still want to bring your voice with us, and we’ve come up with a cool way to do it. If you share a story or photo with us on our website about why you’re defending state parks, we will deliver it to the Capitol for you on Park Advocacy Day.

Share your photo and story.

With budget cuts and park closures looming, it is imperative that lawmakers realize what’s at stake. As part of our Defend What’s Yours campaign, we want to you to tell your elected officials why you’re defending state parks. We want to bring your voice with us on March 20, and we can do that if you take moment to share a photo and/or story about why you want to help defend our state parks.

Now, more than ever, we all need to help defend and Save Our State Parks. Please take action today. Your fellow park advocates will help deliver your message as part of Park Advocacy Day, so your legislators will hear from you.

Act quickly, the upload options will close on Tuesday, March 13.

Park Partner Workshops Wrap Up

Today was the last of the Partnership Guidance Workshops that California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) scheduled back in early February. The workshops were meant to present a “How To” explanation and pathway for all parties interested in forming partnerships for operating a state park.

Some CSPF folks were able to attend the workshops and they seemed to be very helpful and informative. DPR has really created a careful road map for what it is looking for in its new park partners. In addition, DPR has organized the inevitable complexities of operating parks into a clear, manageable form.

If you are working on a partnership proposal for DPR, and haven’t been able to get to a workshop, take a look at the workbook and the FAQs available on DPR’s website.

Did you or someone from your organization attend a workshop? What did you think?