From the President
It’s never a bad time to go visit California’s first state park, Yosemite. It was a special pleasure to be there on Monday, June 30 to participate in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s signing of a bill to grant Yosemite to California. The land was set aside explicitly to protect natural resources for the enjoyment of the public. With the stroke of Lincoln’s pen, 39,000 acres of Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove became the nation’s first protected lands.
But the ideas that Lincoln’s land grant sparked are perhaps as important as the protection of the awe-inspiring landscapes of Yosemite. The concept of a state park was born with the stroke of that pen, as was the concept of national parks.
The gestation of the California state parks system was to go on for a long time after that. Andrew Hill would start the fight for the protection of the great redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1899. It would be many decades before the other “first state park,” Big Basin Redwood State Park, would be established in 1902. Big Basin is still a state park. Yosemite would become a national park in 1906. (Yellowstone is the first national park, established in 1872.)
The California state parks system was birthed in 1927. One of our partners, Save the Redwoods League, successfully advocated for the creation of such a system. One year later the voters passed the first parks bond and Fredrick Law Olmsted Jr. completed the survey of California that defined the back bone of parks we know today.
Since then, the California state parks system has been growing, expanding and changing. Including the addition of whole new types of parks from historic parks, to beaches and off-highway recreation parks to urban parks; evolution has been the theme for state parks.
The challenges of the last decade are profound. Those challenges are now in the hands of the Parks Forward Commission as they recommend a path ahead for the California state parks system. However, those challenges, no matter their gravity, are no match for the sheer variety and splendor of the system.
The strength of this parks system is in the tens of millions of people it serves every year and the extraordinary natural and cultural resources it protects. It is good to take a victory lap every once in a while. And a 150th anniversary is a great reason to stop and appreciate what we as Californians have inherited and now must steward for those that come after us.
Without the dedicated men and women of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the tenacious advocates the system has always had at its side, the incredible organizations that have made the health, expansion and protection of this system their bread and butter, and the funders who have always been willing to step-up and help, this set of parks could not have been imagined 150 years ago. So with our heartfelt thanks, happy anniversary to Yosemite and the California state parks system!
Elizabeth Goldstein, President
Photo ©Adonis Villanueva
CSPF continues to monitor bills and track the state parks budget in this legislative session.
On June 20, Governor Brown signed the $156.3-billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15. It includes $40 million in funding for DPR to address the deferred maintenance backlog and includes an additional $14 million authority in the State Park Recreation Fund (SPRF) for operations.
The following are our latest action bill updates:
AB 2150 (Rendon): This bill, which would require DPR to identify and develop a priority list of deferred state parks maintenance projects, was passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 25 with a vote of 8-0. It is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee and is set for hearing on August 4.
ACR 96 (Olsen) : This resolution, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the state park system, passed the Assembly Floor on June 30 and is now in the Senate Rules Committee. We would like to thank everyone who participated in our Action Alert last week by sending a message to their legislator urging support of this resolution.
Volunteer in a State Park this Summer
Building, hiking, camping, oh my! Park Champions has a packed summer calendar full of unique volunteer projects and weekend camping getaways. Take the aerial tram to the top of Mount San Jacinto (Riverside) and help rebuild trails, take a road trip to MacKerricher (Mendocino) and help repair the boardwalk, have a beach day at Half Moon Bay (San Mateo) and restore plant and animal habitat, discover Palomar Mountain (San Diego) and learn how to preserve a historic apple orchard, or participate in restoration efforts and learn about future developments at Candlestick Point (San Francisco), China Camp (Marin), or Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Los Angeles), plus much more!
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.
CSPF Gives Awards to Young Artists at the State Fair
On Saturday, July 12, the “California State Parks Foundation Donor Award” will be presented to four young artists at the California Youth Art 2014 Competition at the California State Fair. Each award recipient will be recognized for their outstanding depictions of California’s natural environment and will receive a CSPF Membership.
If you go to the California State Fair this year, be sure to visit the California Youth Art 2014 Competition exhibit hall to view the winning submissions, along with other outstanding art entries created by youth ages 5-18 from throughout California.
The California State Fair will also feature an exhibit in celebration of the 150th anniversary of California’s state parks hosted by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
The California State Fair runs from July 11-27 at CAL Expo in Sacramento.
Read our August Enews to see photos and read interviews with our 2014 award recipients.
CSPF Honored with Award
CSPF was honored to receive two awards in the past two months recognizing our work in the travel and outdoor areas.
First, CSPF was awarded the 2014 California Travel Association Tourism Stewardship of the Year award from the California Travel Association. The award was presented on June 24 at the 32nd Annual California Travel Summit Awards Dinner at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Second, CSPF was awarded the National Recreation Resource Leadership award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Planners to recognize lasting national impact on the outdoor recreation profession. The award was presented in May at the 2014 National Outdoor Recreation Conference held in San Francisco.
Thank you to both organizations for the honor of these awards!
Don’t Forget this before Your Next Camping Trip
Heading to a state park for vacation this summer? Just before we set out on vacation is often a time when we think about the need to update or create our wills and other estate planning documents. Click here to learn more.
Photo of the Month
Photo ©Julianne Bradford
Congratulations to photo contestant Julianne Bradford for winning the Photo of the Month for June! You can almost feel the setting sunrays on your skin while looking at Julianne’s photo, “Path to Cardiff,” from Cardiff State Beach.
To participate in our contest, simply complete your free registration on MyParkPhotos.com and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to Join Partner Contests.
Take the Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge!
It’s summer, you live in California ... as if you need more inspiration to get outside: Here comes the 2014 Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge! This summer complete any 3 stories from Weekend Sherpa and get an all-new free T-shirt (specially designed and made by Marine Layer), a drawstring backpack, and a limited-edition Adventure Challenge sticker. Plus, one randomly selected person will win a Grand Prize trip for two to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico—courtesy of Alaska Airlines!
Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.