Buttermilk Bend Trail in South Yuba River State Park last spring. Photo © Andrew Aldrich
State Parks Need Your Help This Season
Blooming wildflowers, rushing streams and lush greenery are just some of the highlights that draw visitors to state parks during the spring. But an increase in visitors also means that parks are going to need all the help they can get from supporters like you, and the California State Parks Foundation is offering plenty of ways to get involved!
You can join us for our statewide Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup in April, volunteer at one of the new parks our Park Champions will be working at year round, sign a powerful petition to demand that public lands are protected by the new Secretary of State, and stay on top of the latest legislation that impacts the parks you love.
Your time, donations and support have already been making great things happen at parks. We look forward to working together to make it a productive season for these natural and cultural treasures.
Volunteers helping make park improvements at San Bruno Mountain Park during our 2011 Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup.
Join Us for Earth Day 2017 at a State Park Near You
After a winter of record rainfall across the state, California's state parks are ready for some love. Spring flowers are primed to show their colorful side in a season that is sure to be extraordinary. Spring also brings Earth Day, and there are 46 state parks hosting Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup events to help revive our much-loved parks and get them ready for summer visitors.
Volunteer and Make a Difference
In the span of a few short hours, the work of dozens of individuals can transform sites in disrepair to beautiful havens for recreation. This year, now more than ever, parks truly need you. Join us on Saturday, April 22 as we host our 19th annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup presented by PG&E at 46 beloved state parks.
Since 1998, the Earth Day program has provided underfunded state parks with much-needed grant funding and the volunteer muscle needed to complete long overdue maintenance and improvement projects. During that time, sponsors like PG&E and Oracle ―a 19-year partner! ―have made substantial contributions and engaged their employees in support of parks in their communities. This year, PG&E's $200,000 grant will support 10 locations in Northern and Central California, benefiting our local environment for generations to come.
At CSPF, we really think every day is Earth Day. And with your support, we do critically important work at state parks across California all year round. State park funding has been cut many times over the past two decades, and that means many important repair and restoration projects have been left undone. Making a donation today will help take care of urgent park projects — on Earth day, and all year round!
Special thanks to our participating members, and partners The Nature Conservancy, Intel and Microsoft, for supporting this vital program.
Please visit calparks.org/earthday for a complete list of project sites statewide and to register your participation.
CSPF would like to thank the following media partners for their valued support:
El Dorado Broadcasters
Entercom Sacramento and San Diego
"Back to the Trees" at Redwood National and State Park © Vincent James
Take Action to Demand Protection of Public Land
On March 1, Ryan Zinke was approved as Secretary of the Interior and now has oversight of 20% of the nation's land, including our national parks. We must make sure that Congress understands the overwhelming support that Americans have for their public lands and that the Secretary of Interior is held accountable for their management and protection.
National parks are extremely important to the conservation landscape of California. Our state has 28 national parks and 145 National Historic Landmarks, attracting over 38 million visitors each year. California's state parks have a strong connection to the National Park System. One example of this connection is the agencies' joint management of Redwood National and State Parks located in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, where the National Park Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation work together to manage and protect these irreplaceable natural resources that include ancient redwood trees.
Please sign our petition today and join CSPF and fellow Californians in urging your Congressional representative to hold the Secretary of the Interior accountable for protecting and preserving public land!
Winning artwork will be shared online and hung in the Capitol Building in Sacramento.
Youth Artists Inspired by California State Parks
Last fall, we asked youth ages 4 -18 to participate in our second Annual Youth Art Contest by creating artwork inspired by the theme "Discovering State Parks.' Nearly 400 young artists participated, three times as many participants as last year, and winners in each of the five age categories were announced earlier this month.
We were awestruck by the talent and creativity that we saw in the art that was shared with us. A variety of mediums was used to illustrate what was learned and experienced during visits to California's state parks. The artistic message conveyed by this year's participants reinforces our belief that all youth throughout California should have opportunities to visit and enjoy state parks and to be inspired by California's diverse history, natural resources and recreational opportunities.
If you haven't already, we encourage you take a moment to view their artwork on our website so that you too are inspired to discover state parks!
Mono Lake Sunset © Susan Taylor
Three More Reasons to Volunteer at State Parks
Our Park Champions are gearing up for another season of getting their hands dirty improving, restoring and protecting California state parks. This spring, we are having our very first workdays at three new locations! Volunteers will be able to take in incredible ocean views while helping with coastal restoration at Ford Ord Dunes State Park in Monterey County, enjoy a guided walk after replacing interpretive panels at Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve in Mono County, or help prepare a campground at Castle Crags State Park in Shasta County — our furthest north project yet.
Spend the day outdoors giving back to the state parks you love by registering for a workday and bring your friends! Many sites also welcome kids or teens that have received permission from their legal guardian. There are opportunities to get involved all over the state, including:
- Improving and restoring habitats at Border Field State Park (San Diego), Salt Point State Park (Sonoma), Half Moon Bay State Beach (San Mateo) or Rio de Los Angeles State Park (Los Angeles)
- Repairing historic adobe floors and fencing at La Pursima Mission State Historic Park (Santa Barbara)
- Assisting with landscaping and painting at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (San Francisco)
- Helping prepare campgrounds at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (Santa Cruz) or Palomar Mountain State Park (San Diego)
And that's just in the next few weeks! Visit our website to see a map and descriptions of upcoming Park Champions projects near you, and check out the Flickr page to be inspired by the photos of volunteers' recent accomplishments.
Torrey Pines State Beach © Flickr user carpingdiem
Park Bonds Offer Chance for New Funding
New funding to improve and preserve state, regional, and local parks continues to be a possibility as two statewide park bond measures are advancing in the California State Legislature.
Assembly Bill (AB) 18 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Senate Bill (SB) 5 by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) both propose statewide bond measures for voters to approve in 2018. Earlier this week SB 5 was passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Water with all seven committee Democrats voting yes and committee Republicans voting no. AB 18 is expected to be voted on by the Assembly as early as Monday.
SB 5 and AB 18 will eventually be merged into one bond bill. Once passed by both the Senate and Assembly, the bond measure will have to be signed by the Governor to pave the way for voters to ultimately give final approval of the funding in 2018.
It's been 15 years since voters approved Prop 40, the last legislatively crafted park bond, and there is an urgent need for state investment in parks. CSPF has actively been supporting both bond proposals, each proposing more than $3 billion for parks, coastal protection and climate change purposes.
Access to safe and well-maintained parks at the state, regional and local levels improve the quality of life for all Californians, and CSPF is committed to making sure that the final bond measure will achieve that goal. Stay tuned for more information on these bond proposals as they move forward at the state capitol!
"Wonder" © Stacey Harp
February's Photo of the Month
Congratulations to Stacey Harp, whose photo from Castle Rock State Park is February's photo of the month!
"Some of my mom-friends and I had arranged a weekend camping trip for the 4 of us and 11 kids to go to Portola Redwoods State Park, but the reservations were cancelled due to the drought,' Stacey shared, "We couldn't find another local campsite on short notice, so one of my friends offered to host a campout in her backyard that weekend. The kids had a grand time and we followed that with a hike at Castle Rock the next day. When it comes to hiking, there's nothing quite so fun for kids as scrambling around on rocks, so this was a perfect choice. I caught this shot of my daughter investigating the rock formations at the park while the other kids ran around. It really conveyed her sense of wonder at the spot that she'd found. This was easily the best camping trip we never took!"
You could be our next winner! Join our My California State Parks Flickr group to become part of a community of photographers and park lovers sharing their images. Once a month, a winner is selected to win a prize thanks to our sponsor, Lowepro!