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.

The Season of Giving

’Tis the season! Chanukah starts Tuesday and Christmas and New Year’s are just around the corner. Lights are twinkling, trees are decorated, candles are glowing. Have you caught the holiday bug yet? We at CSPF have, especially with all the generosity we have seen swirling around this year.


First, some amazing folks across the state have been working tirelessly and collaboratively to give state parks back to their fellow Californians.

  • The Coe Park Preservation Fund stepped up this week to fund Henry Coe State Park from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.
  • The Bodie Foundation will keep Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve open to the public for at least a year.
  • The National Parks Service (NPS) teamed up with State Parks to keep Tomales Bay, Samuel P. Taylor and Del Norte Coast Redwoods state parks open through 2012.
  • A crucial $250,000 federal grant was awarded and should allow McGrath State Beach Park to remain open.
  • Plenty more groups are working hard to save additional state parks, and we can’t wait to hear of new announcements of saved parks!

As if that isn’t enough, hundreds of generous people are flocking to the Kickstarter site of our friends at Heath Hen Films to help them fund their upcoming documentary, The First 70. You’ve heard us talk about them before, and we are still rooting for them as they finish up this important film. In fact, with the giving spirit all around us, CSPF today contributed to Heath Hen’s Kickstarter site, and we encourage you all to do the same! They have 16 days left to fundraise, and we want to see them succeed.

The spirit of giving is quite contagious as it turns out. Hope you catch it. Happy Holidays!

Bonus: What’s a gift without an overly elaborate wrapping job?

Cast a Vote, Save a Park

Here is an easy way to help save one state park: McGrath State Beach. It is one of the 70 state parks slated for closure — in fact, this park is expected to close September 6! This is tragic, but let’s see if together we can change the tides.

Right now McGrath State Beach is in the running to receive a $100K prize from Coca-Cola in the” America’s Favorite Park” contest. It’s currently in sixth place (not bad, but we can do better). Show your support for McGrath by casting your vote today; nay, right now. You have unlimited votes so while you’re there you can vote for your other favorites state parks, too.

Cast your vote: http://www.livepositively.com/#/americasparks/leaderboard

Help your favorite state park win up to $100,000!