Pedestrian bridge to Santa Monica State Beach. Photo by La Citta Vita via Flickr
How Do You Get to Parks?
What prevents many Californians from using their state parks? Studies have shown that the number one culprit is time. None of us have enough of it. Adding to the problem is that many state parks are far from most population centers, which means extra travel time, especially if you don't have a car.
That is one reason we are excited to see the new Los Angeles State Historic Park (LASHP) so close to completion! It is located right in the heart of Los Angeles and accessible by mass transit. It will be a wonderful new addition to California’s family of state parks.
For state parks outside of urban areas, expanded transportation links are a possible solution. Yet the transportation nut is a hard one to crack. Even in the Bay Area where mass transit is plentiful, it is not so easy to get to state parks. We need to start considering all the potential tools to make our state parks more accessible. What if there were a ride sharing program available for folks headed to a park, or a Zipcar, shuttle or bike-share available at the closest transit stop to make the last mile to the park easier? What if public and private transit agencies worked together to make traveling to a state park without a personal car possible? Right now these problems are left to be solved, or not, regionally. However, with a statewide system of parks and many other protected lands all over the state, we need a statewide policy solution.
There is a lot of work to be done, but we are starting to see progress in this direction. Recently a new video on just this topic made us laugh out loud with delight. Los Angeles Supervisor Sheila Kuehl made a video, "To the Beach and Back," about the extension of the Expo line to the beach in Santa Monica that is both inspired and funny. (Supervisor Kuehl spent 14 years in the State Legislature and is a huge parks supporter. In 2003 she won the CSPF Legacy Award.)
Removing transportation barriers is just one example of the work that must be pursued to increase access to state parks. There are many other barriers that also need to be tackled through broad visioning and strategy. CSPF is energized by the challenge that the Parks Forward Commission put before us, and the parks community broadly, to do just that. If you have ideas that you think would help remove barriers, we want to hear them.
In the meantime, I hope your travels to state parks this summer are smooth and joyous.
Thanks for your support of CSPF!
Park visitors enjoy Wilder Ranch State Park. Photo by Charles Tu
Tell Your Legislator You Support Park Funding
Thank you to over 1,200 park supporters throughout California who have responded in the past 24 hours to help us urge legislators to vote YES on Assembly Bill 2444 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) — the California Parks, Water, Climate, and Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2016.
AB 2444 will give voters the opportunity to approve funding in November that will rehabilitate our aging park system infrastructure, protect our critical natural resources and improve public access to protected lands.
It has been 14 years since voters approved Prop 40, the last legislatively crafted park bond — it is time to reinvest in California’s state park infrastructure.
It's not too late to join us and other park supporters by sending a message of support on this bill to your legislator. Use our action center to quickly and easily send your message, which will be immediately faxed to your representative in the Capitol.
Yes, I want to support state parks and AB 2444.
The legislature will vote on the bill Monday, June 13, so send your message today!
AB 2444 is one of many bills CSPF has been advocating for during this legislative session. Find out more about legislation impacting California’s state parks here.
Governor Brown Declares June "Great Outdoors Month"
We were pleased to see Governor Brown's recent proclamation declaring June 2016 Great Outdoors Month in California.
“I invite all Californians to experience some small piece of the varied and magnificent land of California,” said Governor Brown. “I would also ask that you donate to organizations that preserve our environment and volunteer as citizen stewards to protect campgrounds and hiking trails.”
CSPF applauds this proclamation and encourages our members to celebrate Great Outdoors Month by visiting state parks.
A Park Champion volunteer works at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Photo by Philip Otto
17 Volunteer Opportunities This Month
Get the most out of summer by spending time outside and improving parks with Park Champions! Last month volunteers celebrated National Trails Day by repairing trails and building a retaining wall and fencing. This month, Park Champions has 17 projects that need volunteers, including our first Tahoe area workday at Ed Z’Berg Sugar Pine Point State Park.
Many projects offer free camping, including: Mount Diablo State Park (Contra Costa County), Palomar Mountain State Park (San Diego County), and Salt Point State Park (Sonoma County). Help us maintain popular trails, restore plant and animal habitat, prevent wildfires, remove trash, or repair a horse corral.
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.
Pre-buy your state park license plate today.
Support Parks with a ParksPLATE
Now you can support state parks in a new way with the ParksPLATE specialized license plate. Proceeds from sales of the plate will go towards preservation and restoration projects throughout California state parks.
When you pre-purchase the ParksPLATE, you will be among the first to receive the plate to display on your vehicle. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you will be supporting important preservation and restoration projects.
The ParksPLATE will be $50 (or $98 for a personalized plate).
Find more information or order your official ParksPLATE today.
Garrapata State Park by Steve Zmak
Photo of the Month
Congratulations to photo contestant Steve Zmak for winning the Photo of the Month for May 2016!
His image, “Sliver of a Sunset II,” from Garrapata State Park captures the lovely colors of an ocean sunset with soft movement in the water.
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.
Agate Beach in Patrick's Point is great for beachcombing. Photo by Kirk Edblom via Flickr
Weekend Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa
An enchanting coastal woodland sounds like a description out of a fairy tale, until you visit Patrick’s Point State Park, where turquoise tide pools gurgle beneath bluff-top redwoods in a touch of real-life magic. Soak it in on a two-mile (one-way) coastal stroll from the craggy tide pools of Palmer’s Point to sandy Agate Beach, taking time to explore six steep quarter-mile spur trails leading to promontories with sweeping shoreline vistas. Begin at Palmer’s Point parking lot, where ancient sea stacks pierce the horizon.
Get details at Weekend Sherpa.
Share your thoughts on the work CSPF is doing on GreatNonprofits. Photo of Garrapata State Park by Kathy Yates
Share Your Thoughts
If you love our work then tell the world! Stories about us from people like you will help us make an even bigger impact in our community. GreatNonprofits – the #1 source of nonprofit stories and feedback – is honoring highly regarded nonprofits with their 2016 Top-Rated List. Won’t you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us? All content will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It’s easy and only takes three minutes. Go here to get started.