E-News November 2014

From the President

It certainly feels like fall in California. With Halloween, Daylight Savings and Election Day behind us, we now have crisp weather, changing seasons and Thanksgiving to look forward to. It is a wonderful time of year to reflect on what we are thankful for, and our wonderful state parks system always tops my list.

This year is a particularly important one for CSPF to reflect on, as our organization celebrates our 45th anniversary this fall. Our reach and impact over the past 45 years has been deep, from land acquisitions in the early years to our latest capital projects at Pigeon Point, Candlestick and LA State Historic Park. In addition, we have developed several programs with big goals and important impacts, like our Park Champions volunteer program and our Technical Assistance Center.

I think the aspect of our work that makes me the proudest is that we have steered through the rough sea of the most recent difficult period for state parks with a sense of purpose, flexibility, and willingness to assess and fulfill needs. Like many organizations in the state parks community, we have had to do things we have never done before and we have succeeded in doing them well.

But of course, we couldn’t do any of it without the ongoing support from our members. It is your support and dedication for protecting our beloved state parks that I am most thankful for this year.

Thank you for your support, and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Elizabeth Goldstein, President

Great Place Photo Challenge Winners

First Place: Amy George
Plumas-Eureka State Park
Second Place: Clark Kranz
Torrey Pines State Beach
Third Place: Shailesh Vyas
Mount Diablo State Park

Whether it’s a photo of a beautiful sunset, a candid photo of a family enjoying a day at the beach, or a selfie taken after a challenging hike, a photograph taken at a state park can inspire others to experience for themselves why California’s State Parks are Great Places. That’s why at the end of the summer, CSPF asked our members and Facebook fans to participate in the End Your Summer in a Great Place Photo Challenge. During the Photo Challenge, participants uploaded their favorite state park photos to our Facebook page, helping to create a wonderful photo gallery.

Each week during the Photo Challenge, a randomly selected photographer was awarded a prize package from CSPF’s online store, and at the conclusion of the End Your Summer in a Great Place Photo Challenge, we awarded first, second and third place prizes to the photographers whose photos had received the most votes on Facebook.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the End Your Summer in a Great Places Photo Challenge! View a gallery of images from the End Your Summer in a Great Place Photo Challenge on our blog.

Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants!

Volunteer in a State Park

Park Champions volunteers have really gone above and beyond getting their hands dirty to help our state parks thrive. In the past year, 1,881 volunteers have donated 7,633 hours at 140 workdays across California. From painting fences to rebuilding trails, volunteers have truly improved the beauty and preservation of our state parks.

Not yet a Park Champion? There’s still time to join the action and help state parks this year. We need your help re-painting park structures at Colonel Allensworth, landscaping and planting at Candlestick Point, clearing popular hiking trails at China Camp, and restoring plant and animal habitat at Half Moon Bay, Rio de Los Angeles, Carpinteria, and Silver Strand.

Workdays at Colonel Allensworth and China Camp include free camping opportunities, and other perks! 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.

Five Reasons to be Thankful for State Parks

Image: Natural Bridges State Beach by Jeff Spence

  1. They are great places to see Redwoods. Try a guided Redwood Loop Walk to learn more about these giants at Big Basin Redwoods every Saturday and Sunday.
  2. State parks appreciate our veterans. So much so that veterans and active military personnel can visit state parks for free on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11.
  3. You can see some of California’s best creatures in state parks. The fall is great for spotting Monarch butterflies at Natural Bridges.
  4. They are great places to enjoy sunrises, sunsets, and full moons. Try a full moon hike on November 8 in Crystal Cove State Park to experience the moon in a whole new light.
  5. They are a great place to walk off that big Thanksgiving dinner. Bring your family to a state park and enjoy some time outside together over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Because the best way to show your gratitude for state parks is to visit them!

Attend a Parks Commission Meeting

You’re invited to attend the California State Park and Recreation Commission Meeting at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 14, 2014 in the Garcia Auditorium of the Caltrans District 11 building, 4050 Taylor Street, San Diego.

The Forum will be part of the State Park and Recreation Commission meetings and will include recommendations related to the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park General Plan and Environmental Report.

CSPF will present Understanding the Nonprofit Sector Supporting State Parks. Other presentations will include the San Diego Foundation, Addressing the Critical Needs of Park Accessibility and Relevancy in San Diego County; Facility Maintenance, Update on the continued implementation of facility maintenance; and General Plan Initiative, Update from State Parks’ staff on the development and approval process.

Additionally, a briefing on the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park general plan will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 12 p.m. The public is also invited to join the California State Parks’ personnel and Commission members in the briefing. The briefing will begin at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park visitor center located adjacent to the San Diego County Office of Education’s Cuyamaca Outdoor School at 12561 Highway 79, in Descanso. Participants must provide self-transportation.

Don’t worry if you don’t live near San Diego: the commission meeting will be live-streamed at www.Cal-Span.org.

For more information call 916-653-0524 or email P&RCommission@parks.ca.gov.

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to photo contestant Jeff Spence for winning the Photo of the Month for October!

His image, “Out of the Fog,” captures a beautifully regal elk in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

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

Falling for Monterey

How about Monterey County for a rejuvenating weekend getaway? Duck out of town to bask in a beautiful setting for adventure, romance, and fun. Home to Big Sur, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Pebble Beach, it’s consistently named one of the most beautiful coastal settings in the world. Check out the Top 10 Day Hikes to do in Monterey County, featuring trails in Julia Pfeiffer Burns, Point Lobos, Andrew Molera and others.

BONUS BIG SUR: California’s dramatic coastline meets California's best wines at the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival (November 6 to 9). It's a weekend full of food, wine, and special events from Hiking with Stemware to a Pinot Walkabout at Post Ranch Inn. Enjoy the Grand Public Tasting at beautiful Pfeiffer State Park.

Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.

California State Parks Foundation

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