Big Sur coastline at Andrew Molera State Park. ©Lindsey Doering
From the President
The past couple of weeks have been marked by great highs for state parks and also, unfortunately, lows. State parks and protected lands throughout Big Sur have been terribly impacted by wildfire. The Soberanes fire is still only 50 percent contained, and its tragic damage will be with us for many years. Our thoughts are with all the first responders up and down the state of California who are giving everything to keep us safe.
As the Legislature rushes to complete its session on August 31, we are working to support Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s efforts to get a parks bond on the ballot this fall. To that end, I joined many other organizations and individuals last week at a hearing on AB 2444 hosted by Assemblymembers Garcia and Levine. The bill has many hurdles to overcome in the next few weeks, but it is long overdue. (The last significant infusion of funds to state and local parks, Prop 84, was passed by voters in 2006.) Many thanks to all of our members who have written letters and emails to bolster support for the measure, which you can read more about below. You can also learn more about one of several state park initiatives near and dear to CSPF’s heart for which the 2016-17 state budget signed by Governor Brown provides funding.
Finally, on another happy note for CSPF, the Park and Recreation Commission recently voted to rename Annadel State Park in honor of Henry Trione, a founding father of CSPF who passed away last year. Although his generosity touched many state parks, perhaps his true love was the now-named Trione Annadel State Park. With the help of a consortium he put together, he acquired the land for the park, which was created in 1971 and was one of CSPF’s first projects. When the park was threatened with closure in 2012, Mr. Trione stepped up once again and donated more funds to keep it open.
During his tenure as Chair of the Board of CSPF, Mr. Trione helped acquire land, save historic sites and build interpretive centers throughout the state. He was involved with the creation of the Fort Ross State Historic Park visitor center and Stagecoach Hill Azalea Nature Trail at Humboldt Lagoons State Park, as well as the restoration of Old Bale Grist Mill, Ehrmann Mansion, Jack London’s cottage, and Colorado House at Old Town San Diego, to name but a few projects. In 2008 he received the award of Honorary State Park Ranger from the State Parks Rangers Association.
Mr. Trione was, despite all these accomplishments, a humble man. To his friends and acquaintances, he was generous of spirit and funny, funny, funny. Those of us who knew him miss him terribly, and for those who never knew him, his legacy shows how much can be achieved through civic-minded generosity. And that is a good lesson for us all.
I hope that you enjoy the rest of the summer in a state park near you. Thank you for your support!
Hydraulic mining cliffs at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. ©Sodai Gomi via Flickr
State Budget Paves Way for Solar Energy at Malakoff Diggins
After a four-year effort, CSPF and state park supporters throughout California are celebrating that the new state budget includes the necessary funding to install a cost-effective, clean solar energy system at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park.
This project is critical to the future of Malakoff Diggins SHP because this remote state park does not have access to conventional electricity, and currently relies on an expensive diesel generator to power the lighting and security systems that protect an estimated 100,000 historical artifacts.
CSPF has been supporting efforts to bring solar to Malakoff Diggins since 2012. Learn more about this project — and this important park — on our blog
Camp Cove campers at Crystal Cove State Park, Courtesy Crystal Cove Alliance
CSPF Grant Gives Youth a Fun-and-Learning-Filled Week at Camp Cove
A recent CSPF Park Enrichment Grant, made possible by generous supporters and members like you, is helping connect underserved and at-risk students with the outdoors through the Camp Cove program at Crystal Cove State Park.
During the last week of July, more than 100 kids ages 6-17 from Santa Ana enjoyed five fun-and-learning-filled days in the sun at Crystal Cove State Park as they took part in Camp Cove. Although the participants live just 12 miles from the ocean, some had never been to the coast before, and most had never been on the water.
The CSPF grant helped support this innovative program organized by Crystal Cove Alliance in collaboration with Crystal Cove State Park lifeguard and interpretive staff and the Santa Ana Police Athletics and Activities League (SAPAAL).
“It is so important to create opportunities for underserved youth to connect with their local parks. The city of Santa Ana is only a short distance from Crystal Cove, but there are so many obstacles preventing kids from spending a day here. Camp Cove gives them a meaningful connection with an amazing state park that is practically in their own backyard,” said Sara Ludovise, Director of Education for Crystal Cove Alliance.
Before camp even began, the campers explored the park’s unique ecosystems on shore and at sea as they took part in two boat programs with Crystal Cove Alliance in the Marine Conservation Area and then spent an afternoon videoconferencing with the park’s Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) Interpreter. “Being on the boat was so much fun!” said 11-year-old Zeilyn. “I had seen dolphins in aquariums, but this was my first time seeing dolphins and their calves in their natural habitat. It was awesome!”
During the week, campers also learned about beach safety with the Crystal Cove lifeguards as they enjoyed the waves and played games on the beach, and park interpreters led them on a hike through the park’s 2400-acre backcountry area. The youth also got to take part in ongoing scientific research and explore the Historic District’s long tradition of plein-air art with Crystal Cove Alliance’s education staff.
“Camp Cove this year has been incredible,” said Officer Kenney Aguilar, who directs the SAPAAL program. “These kids not only get to have fun on the beach, but are able to experience the history of Crystal Cove’s Historic District and learn about all the science and research Crystal Cove Alliance does at the state park.”
In July, volunteers helped restore a native plant garden at Emerald Bay State Park.
Our Parks Need You!
A tremendous thank you to Park Champions volunteers for rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty to support state parks. In the past year, more than 1,400 volunteers completed over 10,000 work hours and 180 projects to improve park facilities and protect habitat and wildlife. Our volunteer teams would love to have your help at an upcoming project this August!
Be a Park Champion and repair a deck at MacKerricher State Park (Mendocino), build a fence at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (San Diego), clear the trails at Palomar Mountain State Park (San Diego), or remove invasive plants and reestablish habitat at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Los Angeles), Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (San Francisco), Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (Sacramento), Half Moon Bay State Beach (San Mateo), Malibu Lagoon State Beach (Los Angeles) or Rio de Los Angeles (Los Angeles).
Visit our map to see locations and descriptions of upcoming Park Champions projects near you, and our Flickr page for examples of Park Champions in action. We hope to see you at a workday soon.
CSPF rallies the voices of thousands of park supporters to protect state parks such as Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. ©Cliff LaPlant
Your Voice in Sacramento for Parks
With just weeks left in the current 2015-16 legislative session, CSPF continues to advocate at the state capitol in support of several important pieces of legislation.
CSPF believes that access to state parks and the outdoors provides an important source of inspiration and reflection for veterans and for all Californians.
We support Assembly Bill (AB) 1972 by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), which clarifies that veterans who are disabled as a result of their military service — whether in wartime or not — should be eligible to receive the lifetime Distinguished Veteran Pass offered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The Distinguished Veteran Pass is currently available to veterans who are California residents and who have an overall/combined rating of 50 percent or greater service-connected disability, were held as prisoners of war, or are recipients of the Medal of Honor. The lifetime pass allows the pass holder free day use, camping, and boat access to state parks in California.
California’s state parks and facilities, as well as assets within state parks, are public trust resources and shouldn't be trademarked, patented or copyrighted for private purposes.
We support AB 2249 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), which prohibits a state park concessionaire from bidding on state park contracts if the concessionaire uses its contract as a basis to assert trademark rights to the names of a state park venue.
Recent legal disputes between the National Park Service and former Yosemite National Park concessionaire Delaware North have brought to light the unfortunate possibility that private interests have secured trademark or copyright claims to public park facility names. Amendments made early on to AB 2249 ensure that concessionaires who hold trademarks or copyrights that predate their concession contracts are not affected by this bill. Although the concession and operating contracts currently entered into by DPR already prohibit such copyrighting or trademarking, we believe it would be valuable to codify this practice to ensure it continues.
California must reinvest in our state park system.
We support AB 2444 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), which, if approved, would place the California Parks, Water, Climate, and Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2016 on the ballot for approval by California voters. The proposed bond would provide funds for:
- Creation and expansion of safe neighborhood parks
- State park restoration, local park restoration and rehabilitation on per capita basis, trails and waterfront greenways, and rural parks and recreation competitive grants
- River parkways, regional conservancies, and climate adaptation and resiliency projects
With a deferred state parks maintenance backlog estimated at over $1 billion, CSPF strongly advocates for reinvestment in our state’s natural infrastructure, including the state park system.
Learn more about CSPF’s legislative agenda.
Tahoe State Recreation Area. ©Steph Gabler
Photo of the Month
Congratulations to photo contestant Steph Gabler for winning the Photo of the Month for July 2016 for her image “Swallowtail.”
"As a photographer,” says Gabler, “I find my visits to California state parks are always full of beautiful and exciting things to capture with my camera."
You could be the next Photo of the Month winner! To compete, simply complete your free registration on MyParkPhotos.com and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to “Join Partner Contests.” Thank you to our contest sponsor Lowepro!
MacKerricher State Park offers miles of rugged shoreline and fantastic camping. ©Ken Sweezey
Weekend Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa
Parks We Love: MacKerricher State Park
Headlands, wetlands, lakefront and tide pools: MacKerricher State Park in Mendocino County is home to nine miles of diverse coastline and a seaside gem for spending the night, Surfwood Campground.
Get details at Weekend Sherpa.
Tahoe State Recreation Area. ©Steph Gabler
Why We’d Love to Hear About Your Legacy Gift Now
Have you already included CSPF in your estate plan and not informed us? Every so often we receive a surprise bequest by will or trust from a supporter who has passed on, and whose generous decision we didn’t know about in advance. While we’re very grateful, we would love to celebrate while you are still among us if you have planned a legacy gift.
No gift is too small or large. And of course, you have the option of remaining anonymous to our supporters. Learn more here.