E-News September 2014

From the President

I woke up at my usual time the other day to unusual darkness. As I headed down the hill from my house to my transit station, the traffic was sitting bumper to bumper waiting to drop children off at the local elementary school. For me, those are the key signs that fall is upon us.

Perhaps my eastern-bred self is showing, but fall used to mean a cold snap in the air and leaves changing. And I confess that no matter how passionate I am about my home in the Bay Area, there is something that makes me long for the cooler, more fall-like climes of the mountains. Luckily, California has it all. It is not such a trip to find what I am looking and longing for; Lake Tahoe or Gold Country is just a short trip away. This weekend, I am headed up to Mendocino County to see friends and visit some great state parks.

Hopefully your fall longings will inspire you to participate in CPSF’s Great Places Campaign! We would love to have you share your photos of your experiences in state parks.

And as our warm weather turns cooler, we have a wonderful new collection of writings about state parks to keep you engaged, even from your home. Heyday Books has published Trail Posts, a “literary exploration of California state parks” from the bottom to the top of the state. We are honored to have inspired such a book. We hope you will enjoy it too.

So when you are yearning for a little inspiration about a new place to explore, we hope you will look at state parks through the eyes of a new author or a photographer and think to yourself, ”that would be a fun trip!”

Thanks for inspiring me on my next adventure! Have a wonderful fall whatever state parks it might take you to.

Elizabeth Goldstein, President

End Your Summer in a Great Place

The Labor Day weekend is often looked at as the unofficial end of summer – but the truth is, we still have several more weeks of summer left!

Have you taken our “End Your Summer in A Great Place” Photo Challenge? The challenge is simple: just upload photos from your trips to California's state parks on our Facebook page and you'll be entered to win fun prizes from our online store!

To help inspire your visits, we've put together a list of over 150 events and activities taking place in state parks between now and October. Our list includes a variety of experiences- everything from music festivals and theater to guided hikes, historical walking tours, train rides and star parties.

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!

Announcing the publication of our first book

Trail Posts: A Literary Exploration of California’s State Parks

California’s state parks—the lands, the people, and the periods they represent—have played a key role in California’s history and culture. If you look at state park systems nationwide, California’s ranks as the most diverse among them all. And, great writers and poets have captured their spirit of place for over a century. Trail Posts contains many of those evocative and timeless writings. Edited by Heyday Press’ Malcolm Margolin and Mariko Conner, with a forward by CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein, this must have book is a lively introduction to California’s natural and literary heritage.

Wallace Stegner once wrote that “no place, not even a wild place, is a place until it has had that human attention that at its highest reach we call poetry.” Writings by explorers, poets, and novelists confirm that our parks are indeed a great convergence of landscape and the human spirit. Trail Posts gives a new appreciation for the abundance and vitality of the land, and our artistic engagement with it.

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.

Legislative Update

The Legislature officially adjourned and ended the 2013-2014 legislative session in the early morning hours on Saturday, August 30. Three pieces of legislation related to state parks that CSPF supported were passed and are now headed to the governor's desk for his signature. Assembly Bill 2150 (Rendon) creates the Division of Community Initiatives & Park Access within the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to improve park access for underserved communities. Senate Bill 170 (Wolk) authorizes the sale of flour and corn meal milled at the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. And Senate Bill 633 (Pavley) requires DPR to inventory its current energy costs and identify energy-saving infrastructure projects, establish a pilot program to allow mobile food and beverage concessions at state parks, and create at least two new regional state park passes. We are working to urge Governor Brown to sign each of these bills, and will keep you posted on the actions he takes later this month.

If you haven't already done so, please check your CSPF email subscription to ensure you are subscribed to “Action Alerts” so you can receive CSPF's email updates on state park related legislation and be notified of ways you can take action.

CSPF Awards New Round of Park Partnership Grants

We are pleased to award a new round of grants totaling $250,000 to 13 organizations that are working to support underfunded state parks in California. These grants are given to nonprofit organizations that have agreements to either operate or support operations of a particular state park. This brings the total amount given through park partnership grants to more than $1 million over the past two years.

The grant criteria was updated for this round to look beyond the crisis of keeping parks open and begin to define a new future for the state parks system. The new grant criteria supports five key themes: Celebrate Our Enduring Heritage, Welcome Visitors, Teach Californians, Safeguard Resources, and Connect Individuals, Organizations, and Partners. These themes, or “vision elements,” were developed from CSPF’s 2011 Park Excellence Project which outlined a vision of excellence for state parks while providing a roadmap for the work ahead.

Congratulations to the grant recipients!

See a list of the grant recipients and projects here.

Attend a California State Park and Rec Commission Meeting

The California State Park and Recreation Commission invites you to attend their upcoming meeting, Forum on State Park Management and Restoration of Natural Resources, on Friday September 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Asilomar Conference Grounds. The California State Park and Recreation Commission welcomes the public to join, learn more, and offer questions and comments.

The Forum will be part of the State Park and Recreation Commission quarterly meeting, and will provide an overview of the scope and scale of California State Parks’ natural resource management responsibilities and the department’s approach to natural resource protection. Topics will include Forest Management, Coastal Resources, Invasive Species, and Protected Lands’ Greatest Needs and Challenges. Panel discussions will address California State Parks and partner organizations’ current and planned natural resource management activities.

Additionally, the public is invited to attend a field trip featuring coastal dune and estuary restoration, snowy plover management and forest stand management in the Monterey Bay area. The field trip will take place Thursday, September 18, from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., departing from Asilomar Conference Grounds, 800 Asilomar Ave., Pacific Grove, CA 93950 (participants must provide self-transportation).

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

If you can’t make it, the Commission meeting will be live-streamed at Cal-Span.org.

Volunteer in a State Park

Keep your local parks green and clean, or dust off your camping gear and make a trip to a help new park, by volunteering with Park Champions. Our volunteer teams need your skills and enthusiasm to make their projects a success.

Help paint fences at Mount Diablo (Contra Costa), improve hiking trails at Salt Point (Sonomah – FREE CAMPING), China Camp (Marin – FREE CAMPING), or Chino Hills (San Bernadino), remove invasive plants and assist with general maintenance at Candlestick Point (San Francisco), rebuild the boardwalk at MacKerricher (Mendocino – FREE CAMPING) or restore plant and animal habitat at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Los Angeles), Olompali (Marin), or Half Moon Bay (San Mateo).

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.

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to photo contestant Susan Liepa for winning the Photo of the Month for August!

She captured an amazing reflection in the tunnel at Crystal Cove State Beach. See a larger version of Susan'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!

Take the Weekend Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa

The hardest thing about Buzzard’s Roost in Big Basin Redwoods State Park is leaving it! The around-the-compass views here call for lots of lingering. But the summit is only half the fun. The 2.2-mile one-way hike to reach it proffers its own special touches. Starting from the park headquarters, pass Blooms Creek Campground and cross its namesake creek to begin Pine Mountain Trail’s 1,000-foot ascent beneath a redwood canopy that keeps things cool.

Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.

California State Parks Foundation

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