Governor Brown released his 2016-17 budget proposal today. Photo by Alex Proimos via Flickr
Governor Brown Releases 2016-17 Budget Proposal
It’s a New Year, which means it is time to starting thinking about new budgets.
In a news conference earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown proposed a $170 billion California State Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17. The budget includes $589 million ($117.5 million General Fund) for the Department of Parks and Recreation, an amount similar to what was allocated last year.
We are pleased to see that the budget proposal continues an investment into aging state park infrastructure and the ever-growing deferred maintenance backlog in our parks currently estimated at over $1 billion. Specifically, Governor Brown has proposed authorizing $60 million to go towards deferred maintenance projects in state parks.
This is a good continuation of the slow but steady reinvestment in our state parks by addressing deferred maintenance needs. We at CSPF know it is vital to improving the user experience at our state parks by making them safe and accessible, which is something we have been advocating for over the past 10 years.
We look forward to working with policymakers as the budget process progresses over the coming months. We will be discussing budget issues as part of Park Advocacy Day, which you can read more about below.
As always, we will continue to monitor and keep you informed of the development of this year’s budget.
2015 Year in Review
Happy New Year! We at CSPF are excited to dig into new work and new goals for 2016. As we transition, we are also reflecting on some of the best accomplishments from 2015. With your dedication and support, we:
Helped Pass Park Legislation
CSPF was active on 3 pro-park bills that were signed by Governor Brown in 2015, and will do several things including increase overnight accommodations, support partnerships between DPR and nonprofits, and continue the prevailing wage exemption for volunteers. More info.
Supported Park Partners
Through our Technical Assistance Center, we continued our work of providing free expert assistance and resources to park partners, including communications planning, organizational development, board development, fundraising, and more so they can better support our parks. More info. Photo by Cyndy Shafer
Provided 39 Grants to Benefit Parks
In 2015, we awarded 39 unique grants to parks and park partners to fund things like environmental educational programs and school field trips, park improvements and restoration projects, facility upgrades, and more. More info.
Got Volunteers Into Parks
Our volunteers did amazing work in 2015. On Earth Day in April, 1,673 volunteers worked at parks throughout the state, planting native plants, collecting trash, installing fences, restoring trails, and more. And throughout the year, 1,137 Park Champions volunteers worked 2,184 shifts at 160 training days and workdays in 32 parks across the state. More info.
Brought Birds Back to Candlestick
We saw the impact of our ongoing work restoring the wetlands at Yosemite Slough in Candlestick Point State Recreation Area this year when the first American avocets returned to the area and nested on the bird island we created. We hope to see many more birds return in the coming months! More info. Photo by Teri Lenfest
Thank you for all you helped us accomplish in 2015. Here’s to a new year!
2015 Photo of the Year by Mike Ryan
Announcing the 2015 State Park Photo of the Year
A big congratulations to Mike Ryan for winning the 2015 Photo of the Year! His photo, "Natural Collection," from Bean Hollow State Beach is equal parts art and Zen. It is a close up of the pebbles collected naturally on tafoni rock after high tide. They were untouched by humans for this shot!
Mike’s victory means the start of a new 2016 photo contest is underway! Now is the perfect time to join our free photo contest. You may be the next winner of great prizes like a Lowepro camera bag and a CSPF membership. To participate in CSPF’s contest, simply complete your free registration on MyParkPhotos.com and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to Join Partner Contests.
We look forward to seeing your photos!
Join us for our annual lobby day for state parks.
Registration Now Open for Park Advocacy Day
Registration is now open for our 14th Annual Park Advocacy Day, taking place on Tuesday, May 3 in Sacramento.
During Park Advocacy Day, CSPF brings together park supporters from throughout California to spend a full day at the State Capitol learning about state park issues, meeting with legislators and lobbying them on policy and budget issues impacting state parks.
Participating in Park Advocacy Day is a wonderful way for park supporters (like you!) to speak up for state parks and influence the decisions of policymakers in regards to the future of state parks. The positive impacts of this day are felt year-round in the advocacy efforts of CSPF. We hope you will consider being part of this special event and sharing your love of state parks with decision makers at the State Capitol!
Find more information and register today. (Please note that due to space and team size limitations, registration for Park Advocacy Day will be open until February 26, or until maximum event and/or team capacity is reached.)
Mono Lake photo by Linda Ruiz
Park Partners Study Osprey Nesting at Mono Lake with Help from CSPF Grant
In 2014, CSPF awarded a grant to park partners to study the unique nesting habits of osprey at Mono Lake, which is part of ongoing effort to collect data and valuable research about the birds.
As a little background, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, is over 1 million years old. It is well known for its strange and eerie tufa formations—the calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by the interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water—that grow out of the lake. The lake’s unique ecosystem is a result of local streams washing into the lake, mixing with the freshwater, and evaporating to leave behind high levels of salt and minerals, forming the tufa towers.
The Bodie Foundation and Friends of Mono Lake Reserve, which support Mono Lake, have been working to collect data and valuable information about the osprey birds there, because it is an atypical place for these birds to be successfully nesting.
The grant funding was used to purchase and develop a monitoring program using satellite transmitters on adult osprey to track their nesting success, local movement, and population dispersal. The collected data supported their understanding of why the osprey are nesting at Mono Lake, as well as develop best management practices and provide educational materials for the local conservation community and park visitors.
“The data collected with this project helps fill a critical gap. Now that we know where one of the osprey forage we can start making informed management decisions to help conserve and protect the foraging needs of the Mono Lake osprey,” said Lisa Fields, environmental scientist for the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
The team leading the study of osprey at Mono Lake will continue to use their findings to protect the birds going forward.
This grant was made possible by the generous support of Anchor Brewing Company. Thank you Anchor Brewing Company for supporting California’s state parks and making this grant possible!
New Year’s Resolution: Volunteer
Were your New Year’s resolutions to spend more time outside, get more exercise, make new friends, and discover new state parks? Volunteer with Park Champions and make your resolutions a reality. This January we need help restoring habitat at Rio de Los Angeles (Los Angeles) and Half Moon Bay (San Mateo), improving the Campfire Center at Picacho (Imperial), and repairing popular hiking trails at Gaviota (Santa Barbara), Silverwood Lake (Riverside), Topanga (Los Angeles), Point Dume (Los Angeles), and China Camp (Marin). We would love to see you there!
Visit our website to see a map of upcoming projects at parks near you and our Flickr page for examples of Park Champions in action.
The Park Champions program is made possible in part by generous sponsorship from Edison International, Capital Group, Southern California Gas Company, and Intel Security.
Trinidad State Beach by Bachir Badaoui
Photo of the Month
Congratulations to photo contestant Bachir Badaoui for winning the Photo of the Month for December 2015!
His image, “Trinidad Secluded Cove,” is a beautiful, dreamy scene of Trinidad State Beach.
You could be the next Photo of the Month winner! To compete in CSPF’s contest, 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!
Point Dume State Beach by Amos Zhang
Weekend Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa
We all know the sun rises in the east, so West Coasters are deprived of ocean sunrises, right? Not exactly. This time of year, from Point Dume State Beach's vantage in Malibu, the sun comes up smack dab over the Pacific. Get up before the sun does and go watch the sky and ocean's transformation from grey to pink. From Point Dume's parking lot, it's a short walk on the Nature Preserve's sandy trails to a fenced-off bluffside lookout point with benches. While waves crash below and dolphins play, the sun makes a grand entrance over ripples of periwinkle-pink ocean.
Get details at Weekend Sherpa.