From the President
I was in Los Angeles the past few days on CSPF business, working with the people involved with the very exciting development of Los Angeles State Historic Park. The park is currently under construction, and when it is done next summer it will open with 34 acres of park, trees, native plants, and many recreation opportunities.
The development of Los Angeles State Historic Park is exciting because every year, more than 70 million people visit parks of all sizes in LA County. Millions of children and youth use park facilities for after-school, weekend, and summer programs, and millions of seniors attend programs at nearby senior centers. This development serves these communities by building a park where they live, creating more accessibility and opportunities to use open spaces.
This park building effort is also important and exciting because of its new approach to interpretation, seeking to express the many historic themes of the site but also engage visitors in telling stories of the parks present and future history.
In addition to Los Angeles State Historic Park, the parks community in LA is abuzz about the upcoming November vote on Proposition P, the safe neighborhood parks measure.
While city, state and federal funding for parks and recreation has been decreasing during the past 20 years, LA County voters approved the Safe Neighborhood Parks tax measure in 1992, which generates about $54 million a year for neighborhood and regional parks and recreation. The tax measure is set to expire in June 2015, and that $54 million a year will no longer be available for neighborhood and regional parks. However, Proposition P is designed to replace it.
Should Proposition P be approved, it would continue funding $54 million a year through an annual $23 per parcel special tax for 30 years. Every property in the County would pay that tax. Proposition P will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot. It requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. Some state parks would be eligible to apply for grants under Prop P as well.
Prop P is extremely important for Los Angeles County, just as it is important to care for and ensure long-term financial sustainability California’s state parks. You can find more information about Prop P here.
I hope you can support parks this fall both on the ballot as well as by visiting and volunteering in parks near you.
Thanks for all you do!
Elizabeth Goldstein, President
Volunteer in a State Park
We need volunteers like you to help with our Park Champions volunteer projects in state parks this fall. Join a small team of volunteers to build a shed and deck at Mount Diablo, reduce fire hazards at Jack London, restore plant and animal habitat at Candlestick Point, or prep for the annual Harvest Festival at Fort Ross. We need your help to make these projects a success.
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.
This week saw Governor Brown furiously penning signatures and vetoes on the last of the bills from the 2013-2014 legislative session. Unfortunately, he vetoed all three state park-related bills that had been sent to him: Assembly Bill (AB) 2150 (Rendon), Senate Bill (SB) 170 (Wolk), and Senate Bill 633 (Pavley).
For AB 2150 and SB 633, he pointed to the ongoing work of the Parks Forward Commission and indicated he would rather wait for their final report, due later this fall, than implement the specific policy changes called for in the bills. While we, too, anticipate the upcoming report of the Parks Forward Commission, CSPF supported both AB 2150 and SB 633 because they call for necessary changes that will generate improvements now our state parks and make them more relevant to current and future visitors. Many of the policies in both bills have, indeed, been either specifically called for, or their goals referenced, in the two drafts already published by the Commission. While we continue to work with the Parks Forward Commission on their overall report, we will also be consulting with Assemblymember Rendon and Senator Pavley this fall to determine their next steps on the issues their bills attempted to address.
SB 170, which sought to allow the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park to sell grain produced by its historic mill. Governor Brown’s veto sided with concerned raised by the California Department of Public Health regarding the milling process conducted out at the park. In his veto, however, the governor directed the Department of Public Health and the Department of Parks and Recreation to coordinate and develop best practices for the mill that would satisfy both Department’s concerns.
Last Chance to Submit to Great Places Challenge
This is the last week to submit your photos to our “End Your Summer in A Great Place” Photo Challenge.
As a participant in the photo challenge, you will be entered to win one of our randomly selected weekly prize packages (featuring fun prizes from our online store). At the end of the Photo Challenge, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awarded for the photos with the most online votes!
The “End Your Summer in A Great Place” Photo Challenge is part of our ongoing effort to celebrate the 150th anniversary of state parks by reflecting on the many reasons why California’s State Parks are Great Places. Over the past 8 months, we’ve been working to spread the word about the many reasons State Parks are Great Places. We’ve showcased stories and photos submitted by park supporters at the State Capitol during Park Advocacy Day and in Yosemite Valley during the Yosemite Grant Act 150th Anniversary event on June 30.
Visit our Facebook page and upload your state park photos today!
Online Store Spotlight
CSPF’s first published book is now available in our online store. “Trail Posts: A Literary Exploration of California’s State Parks” is a collection of writings by authors like Isabel Allende, Joan Didion, Jack London, John Steinbeck, and Mark Twain, as well as writers you will be glad to meet for the first time.
Trail Posts includes writings by Isabel Allende, Joan Didion, Jack London, John Steinbeck, and Mark Twain, as well as writers you will be glad to meet for the first time.
Get a copy of "Trail Posts" in our online store.
Photo of the Month
Congratulations to photo contestant Steve Nett for winning the Photo of the Month for September!
His image, “California Gold,” from Annadel State Park is a perfect capture of fall hiking in northern California. See a larger version of Steve's photo here.
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
Santa Cruz Bikes and Brews
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in Santa Cruz has been home to Ohlone Native Americans, redwood loggers, and 1989's massive 6.9 earthquake. Take a grand tour of this beautiful swath of semi-wilderness on an 8.5-mile (one-way) mountain bike ride.
Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.