The Many Voices of California State Parks

© Philip Lee Miller, Garrapata State Park

It’s a difficult and confusing time to be a Californian who loves state parks. As you all surely know by now, the state of California made such severe budget cuts this year that we are now being forced — for the first time in our history — to close some of our state parks. Not just a couple, either. 70 of our 278 parks! And what does that even mean? Are we supposed to just turn our backs on all those beaches, vistas, museums and landmarks?

We at California State Parks Foundation think not. You don’t just walk away from something like this. As advocates and supporters of state parks, we are very concerned about what park closures really mean. Who will protect the natural, cultural and historical resources of all of the parks on the closure list? What about the 150 state parks that are suffering under partial closures, seasonal closures and service reductions?

We can confidently say we are working hard as an organization to find answers. But we can’t do it alone. We know this crisis calls for the mobilization of ALL those Californians who care about state parks. And that is why this blog has come about.

CalPark Voices will serve as a megaphone for all the various voices with something to say about state parks. There are a lot of creative and dedicated people who are doing amazing things worth talking about. This blog will also be a place where we can give a voice to our state parks.

So please check back regularly as we share park stories, recommend advocacy action, report on park closure news, and curate the many voices that have something to say about state parks.

Speaking of, we’d love to hear from you anytime with comments, suggestions and stories of your own! Let those voices be heard.

2 thoughts on “The Many Voices of California State Parks

  1. My wife and I have been going to the nude beach at San Onofre for many years. It was the perfect place for a nude beach. Small, semi-remote, semi-private, semi-decent surf, it was our home away from home. I practically grew up there, having spent 3/4 of my life enjoying the nude beach / nude surfing lifestyle that San Onofre provided. We met some of our best friends there, and the “regulars” there were like a family.
    Things have changed now, of course, since the nudity ban. Our entire lifestyle was stolen away from us. The long standing tradition of skinny dipping at San Onofre, that so many Southern Californians loved and cherished is no longer allowed. That makes us sad, and angry at the same time. Skinny dipping has been a part of human culture for as far back as history is recorded. And San Onofre was voted California’s #1 favorite nude beach in a 2008 Los Angeles Times poll. So, why the sudden change of State Park policy?
    Clothing-Optional recreation is hugely popular in California, and it was San Onofre’s second largest draw, next to only surfing. It was also home base for generations of nude beach lovers, who’s recreational wants & needs have been trampled on.
    Why am I writing all of this to you, you ask?
    Simple. San Onofre is a State Park. Clothing-optional recreation such as surfing, volleyball, and even sunning, are valid, well accepted forms of public recreation. The small nude beach area of San Onofre was THE most perfect place in all of southern California for nude recreation to exist. It was also the LAST place in all of Ventura, L.A., and Orange Counties.
    The state of California has budget problems, therefore the state parks have budget problems. The nudity ban at San Onofre is causing further budget harm, by chasing away thousands of regular and potential nude beach visitors. Haulover Beach in Florida has made their nude beach legal, causing their park and local economy revenue to go through the roof. It’s a front page success story. California should do the same thing. Advertising wouldn’t even be required, naturists would spread the word like wildfire. San Onofre could be the biggest overnight success story in California’s State Park budget crunch history.
    Hoping the common sense in my message reaches the right decision makers.

    • I fully agree with surf bum nate. We have visited San Onofre since the day it opened as a State park. It is truly wonderful place and the nude beach made it even more so. With the threat of closing parks due to funding it makes no sense to prohibit nude recreation when it is a proven fact that the naturist community pumps millions into economies that embrace this culture. I submit that if the entire San Onofre State Park was clothing optional the State would produce revenue to keep several parks open.

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