When are parks closing?

One of the problems with the plan to close state parks is that it is a different process for each of the 70 parks on the list. That means the date that each one will close is different. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find out when each one will close. That’s frustrating, isn’t it?!

So we’ve slowly started the process of tracking the status of the 70 parks. No full closures have happened yet (though McGrath and Henry W. Coe both narrowly avoided it at the last minute). However, service reductions and partial closures keep getting worse and they are impacting parks on the closure list. Here are a couple examples of service reduction information that is available on the state’s official website:

Until further notice these parks will contain areas where services are reduced or eliminated due to the fiscal crisis.

  • Samuel P. Taylor State Park
    Beginning Sept. 5, 2011, family campsites will operate on a first-come, first-served basis ONLY until further notice. All group campsites at Devil’s Gulch and Madrone and Irving Group Picnic will be closed completely until further notice.

    This camping scene at Russian Gulch State Park is no longer. Photo © Carolyne Cathey.

  • Russian Gulch State Park
    Day use will remain open during the winter, but Russian Gulch campground is now closed until further notice.
  • Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
    Trash removal reduction; “Pack it in, Pack it out” signs posted. Closure of flush restrooms at Visitor Center; portable toilet installed at Visitor Center. Park office closed; heat set to 55 degrees to protect artifacts and exhibits.
  • Brannan Island State Recreation Area
    Closed Tuesdays through Thursdays. Camping unavailable on Monday through Thursday nights. Day Use open Friday through Monday. Visitor Center is now closed.

These are just a few examples. There will be more to report on, and we will be sure to do that. But you are all out visiting parks every day. What are you seeing and hearing out in the parks? What’s being posted in your local state park, regardless if it is on the list or not? Please post your own report in the comments. (If you have a photo to share, please post it to our Facebook page.)

It's Magnificent.

While on the one hand we are doing this sad information gathering, on the other we are finding ways to celebrate the 70 parks and tell their stories before it’s too late. That is why we created this new website, The Magnificent 70. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, you should! There are gorgeous photos from all 70 parks, and as you scroll through the photos, you can also read unique stories about each park.

Here’s to keeping our eyes and ears on the parks.

Folks Making Art for Parks

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.”
― Ansel Adams

California state parks serve as inspiration to artists, photographers, painters, and all those folks who try to capture the magic in some form so they can take a little piece of the parks home with them.  Perhaps we cannot experience our favorite park every day, but we can glance upon a photo in our home and conjure up those memories to pass the time until our next adventure.

One group, Folk4Parks.org, is capturing the magic of state parks in much the same way. Folk4Parks is a net-roots organization and fellow advocate and voice for parks. They have announced that they are commissioning a new, collectable state park poster series to commemorate the state park system. The artwork in the series is inspired by the Art Nouveau period of the early 20th century, a reminder of a time in California history when our parks grew and prospered. All posters are 12″ x 17″ aqueous-color prints on premium recycled paper.

Last week, Folk4Parks introduced the first poster in their series: Annadel State Park.

The first of Folk4Parks' new CA state park poster collector series

“We felt Annadel was a great place to start,” said Christopher Grant Ward of Folk4Parks. “Sonoma County is especially hard hit by the closure list, and we wanted to provide an opportunity to support the Parks Alliance of Sonoma County.”

Folk4Parks hopes that these posters will help raise money for other non-profit organizations across the state.

“For any CA State Park organization that wants to participate, this could be a great way to draw attention to their local state park, raise money and offer their members a beautiful, collectable thank you gift for supporting their local park,” said Christopher. “Interested organizations can contact Folk4Parks at takeaction@folk4parks.org to get involved.”

In the coming weeks, Folk4Parks will be offering more posters from parks across the state. We encourage you to collect them all. Start with Annadel!