Yosemite Slough at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
From the President
The official start of summer (June 21) is nearly here, and up and down the state residents and visitors alike are heading off to spend time with family and friends in our wonderful state parks. Sadly, however, they are not visiting Refugio and El Capitán state beaches. On May 19 a badly corroded pipeline ruptured, sending more than 100,000 gallons of oil into the water and onto the shoreline north of Santa Barbara. Those two beaches will be closed to the public until June 25. DPR, the California Fish and Wildlife Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard, among other agencies, have been working around the clock to restore the coastline with organized clean-up operations. California’s Attorney General and a team of attorneys have visited the site and initiated an investigation into the responsible parties. At the top of the list for review is Plains All American Pipeline, the company that owns that pipeline.
Despite this tragedy, there is good news elsewhere in the state, including newly-nesting birds! I never thought I would be so excited about nesting birds, but there is a nesting pair of American Avocet using the island at Yosemite Slough in Candlestick State Recreation Area. Now I know many of you bird lovers are wondering why I’m so worked up about some fairly common Bay Area birds. But the excitement is that this nesting island in Yosemite Slough didn’t exist a few years ago. We built it! So it is totally cool that any type of birds that don’t have gull or pigeon as part of their name are finding a place to nest and lay eggs. They will hang around at least until those eggs hatch, 25 days or so. Who knows, maybe California Clapper Rail will be next?
And lest you think we have been doing nothing but feathering our nest, it has been a busy month for CSPF. June brought the third of the three big CSPF spring events, our Golden Poppy Awards Gala. Congratulations to our Golden Poppy Awards winners this year: Caroline Beteta, the extraordinary CEO of Visit California for her support of state parks; and The Lucile and David Packard Foundation and the Partnership for Children and Youth for their groundbreaking work in summer learning. It was a treat to put them in the spotlight they deserve. You will find a report on the Golden Poppy Awards dinner elsewhere in this newsletter.
I hope that you are all enjoying your (almost) summer in a state park. Thanks for all your support, as always. We are very grateful to have you with us.
Golden Poppy award winners from L to R: Jennifer Peck, Justina Acevedo-Cross, Caroline Beteta
Thank You for Attending Our Golden Poppy Gala!
On June 6, we hosted our 9th Golden Poppy Awards Gala presented by PG&E and Toyota. The celebration on Treasure Island was a fabulous success with nearly 300 guests joining together to raise significant funds to help CSPF protect California's greatest treasures--our state parks!
We were pleased to present Golden Poppy Awards to our worthy honorees: Caroline Beteta for Visit California, Justina Acevedo-Cross for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Jennifer Peck for Partnership for Children and Youth. Each honoree showed extraordinary leadership in ensuring that state parks remain healthy accessible for all. Their efforts directly benefit local communities throughout the state and the millions of Californians and other visitors who rely on state parks each year for recreation, adventure, education, and inspiration.
See photos from the event on our Facebook page.
Thank you to all those who joined us for an evening supporting our state parks and to our generous sponsors:
PG&E | Toyota | Don and Diane Cooley | Connie and Robert Lurie | Martin Resorts | Sandy and Heloise Power | Michael and Nancy Alvarez | Anchor Brewing Company | Balyasny Asset Management L.P. | The Better World Group, Inc. | Capital Group | Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey | Edison International | Facebook | Elizabeth Goldstein and Stephen Rees | Ironestone Vineyard | Kenneth and Virginia Chang Kiraly | The Nieman and Emmett Families | OneHope Wine | Paul Hastings, LLC | Jesse and Mindy Rogers | Roger and Delsie Schrimp and Damrell Nelson Schrimp Pallios Pacher & Silva | SF Event Venues | Southern California Gas Company | Swinerton Management and Consulting | The Walt Disney Company | Jewelry by Gauthier
Funding for youth outdoor education and recreation programs moves forward in the budget process.
Following our successful Park Advocacy Day last month, CSPF has continued to be active in Sacramento on legislation affecting state parks. We’re pleased to announce that a key budget action was recently passed that supports one of the key bills we lobbied.
Just last week, the Legislature’s Budget Conference Committee took action to allocate $10 million for youth outdoor education and recreation programs, consistent with the provisions of Assembly Bill 988. AB 988 by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) creates a new program to provide grants to nonprofits and public agencies that offer environmental education and recreation programs.
CSPF is a strong supporter of AB 988, and many park organizations and advocates lobbied in support of the bill on our recent Park Advocacy Day. That’s great news! This should be in the budget proposal that is being negotiated between the governor and Senate and Assembly leadership.
Next steps? The Legislature will vote on a final budget package by Monday, June 15 and will then send the budget to the governor for his signature. Help us urge Governor Brown to keep the funding in the budget and support youth outdoor education and recreation funding by tweeting the governor (@JerryBrownGov).
Need an idea about what to write?
“CA kids need outdoor places to play, learn, grow. @JerryBrownGov please keep $10M in outdoor education & recreation funding in the #CaBudget”
We’ll keep you posted on what happens with the budget – and keep those tweets coming!
Tomales Bay ©Miwok via Flickr
Grant Spotlight: Excellence in Safeguarding Natural Resources
In February 2014, we awarded a Park Enrichment Grant to the California Department of Parks and Recreation for Pacific Eelgrass Zostera research at Tomales Bay State Park. The year-long project that ensued successfully captured scientific data and educated volunteers and the general public about the importance of preserving the biological diversity of Tomales Bay State Park.
Pacific Eelgrass Zostera is critical to the natural environment as indicators of the health of an eco-system. With the grant funding, volunteers used underwater cameras over the course of a year to capture the Flora (plants) and Fauna (invertebrates) of the Pacific Eelgrass Zostera marina beds at the park. Photos were then uploaded, with observations recorded. All the findings were codified into a final report, with the results shared with park visitors and scientific community. A total of 7 volunteer kayakers taking 10 trips during the year, providing 762 photographic images.
Go Solar, Support Our State Parks, and Save!
CSPF has partnered with Sungevity to help you go solar while also raising funds for CSPF! If you go solar through CSPF’s referral link below, Sungevity will give you a $750 discount and also donate $750 to CSPF.
Sungevity makes the process simple: their solar experts will remotely design a system for your residence and give you the information you need to weigh your solar options. If you move forward, Sungevity manages every aspect of installation. Finally, enjoy peace of mind that your system will perform as guaranteed and monitor your solar production with Sungevity’s mobile app anywhere, anytime.
Learn more and request a free solar iQuote now!
It's a win-win-win situation: a win for you, a win for CSPF, and a win for our environment! Start the process of getting clean, green, solar energy for your home today!
SUBWAY® Restaurants Share with State Parks
SUBWAY® restaurants in San Francisco and Sacramento are joining forces with CSPF to help support state parks this summer with their “You Share. We Share.” Campaign.
From April 15 to August 31, 2015, more than 850 local SUBWAY® restaurants will participate in the “You Share. We Share.” campaign to help CSPF. The campaign encourages the community to get out and share their weekends with SUBWAY® restaurants, and SUBWAY® restaurants will share right back by donating a percentage of weekend sales, up to $100,000, directly to CSPF.
The San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento regions are home to over 80 state parks that not only serve local residents with rich opportunities for exercise, recreation, and education but also provide jobs for community members and generate significant economic activity for local businesses that serve park visitors. Each year, over 18 million visitors of all ages visit these parks to improve their health, wellbeing, and knowledge.
Through the “You Share. We Share.” campaign, we can positively impact millions of people today and for years to come by promoting healthy and active lifestyles, protecting the environment, and supporting CSPF programs that benefit state parks and their visitors. We have exciting plans for the future of our state parks and are grateful to SUBWAY® restaurants for helping us achieve our vision.
Volunteer in State Parks
Pull out your work gloves, make new friends, and help California State Parks stay in tip-top shape. There are so many ways to get outside and help state parks this summer. We are excited to offer our first Park Champions workdays at Folsom Lake SRA this June! Many projects include boating or camping opportunities.
Help your local Park Champions teams repaint the hand rails at the top of Mount Diablo (Contra Costa), remove invasive water hyacinth while paddling in canoes at Folsom Lake (Sacramento/Placer), restore a historic orchard at Jack London (Sonoma), repair a historic split-rail fence at Palomar Mountain (San Diego), weed invasive plants to restore habitat at Candlestick Point (San Francisco), Half Moon Bay (San Mateo), and Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Los Angeles), or restore popular hiking, biking, and equestrian trails at China Camp (Marin), Mount San Jacinto (Riverside), and Salt Point (Sonoma).
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 sponsorships from PG&E, Edison International, Capital Group, Southern California Gas Company, and McAfee.
See a show in Jack London State Historic Park
See Broadway Under the Stars
Experience the magic of Broadway while looking out at a hillside covered in vine and redwood, from the ruins of a 19th century winery at Jack London State Historic Park. Plus, $5 of each ticket purchase goes to Jack London State Historic Park.
Upcoming performances include:
June 19 – July 3
Oh What a Night! – Standards and showstoppers playfully updated for the best of Broadway on a single stage.
July 17 – 18
Fantastical Family Night – An extraordinary summer tradition featuring Broadway, Disney and everything in between.
August 7 – 23
Rhythm of Life – A celebratory musical adventure with electrifying dance, intricate harmonies and musical medleys from across the ages.
Learn more and get your tickets here.
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area ©Steph Gabler
Photo of the Month
Congratulations to photo contestant Steph Gabler for winning the Photo of the Month for May!
Her image, “High School Handmade Boat Regatta,” from Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, captures an annual event in which students try to sail boats they have crafted. About half sank, but all the kids had a great time.
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!
Weekend Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa
Ready to tackle the tallest mountain in Marin? Mountain bikers who want to put their fitness to the test without too much technical stuff can retrace the "Crookedest Railroad in the World" on Mount Tam, today known as Old Railroad Grade Trail.
Take the 2015 Adventure Challenge
Hike, bike, kayak, picnic, camp … how do you adventure? It's time for the 4th annual Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge! Do any three adventures from Weekend Sherpa and get an all-new T-shirt specially made by The North Face. Plus get a limited-edition tote bag and be entered to win the Grand Prize: two round-trip tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies from California!
Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.