Roxborough State Park in Colorado
From the President
A Broader Perspective
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to see some of Colorado’s state parks. I was in Denver for a collaborative meeting of the other statewide nonprofit organizations from across the country who support their state’s parks systems, like we do here in California. Between meetings we ventured out, as parkies are inclined to do, to see two state parks, including the incredible Roxborough State Park with its extraordinary rock formations.
This august group has been meeting for three years now as a way to network and help each other grow and sort through the challenges we all face in our own states. Almost 20 organizations have participated over the years from every corner of the country. It is always a great place to see how California is doing from multiple perspectives, and in comparison to other states.
As one example, both Wisconsin and Colorado are facing NO general funding for their state parks systems this year. The circumstances could not be more different but the results are the same. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature have zeroed out public funding for state parks entirely without a plan for how the system will run. The Colorado system is in the same position but there is at least a steady funding source coming from the lottery there. About half of the funding generated annually from the lottery is directed to parks systems throughout Colorado, including state parks.
This does not make me think, “Oh California has it so good!” But it is a reminder of how much our news could have been worse over the past few years. It is also a heads up that as these “experiments” take place across the country, we need to be vigilant that they don’t get imported to California.
It was enormously heartening to see the great work of our compatriots in the field. They are tackling many of the same issues we are in their own states, from engaging diverse communities and youth in state parks to the types of new visitor centers and services that are being tried.
I sometimes feel a bit like the den mother for this group of statewide organizations. We have been around longer and are bigger by most any measure. However, I never fail to learn something or hear of a new approach to a program or partner we should try.
And, as always, it makes me incredibly grateful to all of you for your support! We have a big platform for our projects because of your trust. We are doing our best to spread our knowledge around. Thank you!
Last Few Days to Submit Art to Youth Art Contest
CSPF is looking for young Californians to help celebrate state parks through our summer art contest. To participate, Californians ages 4 to 18 can submit a poster that depicts why they think California’s state parks are great places for kids.
The deadline has been extended to September 30!
The contest is intended to encourage young Californians to reflect on why state parks are important in their lives. All entries should reflect the theme “California’s State Parks are Great Places for You & Me.” CSPF has used this grassroots theme in recent years to connect Californians on a personal level to their 279 state parks.
Submissions to the Youth Art Contest should in the form of posters, no smaller than 8 inches by 10 inches, and no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches. Paper type, medium and style are all open to the artist’s preference. Submissions should be mailed to CSPF’s Sacramento office.
Find the full contest rules and entry form here.
Visitors enjoy new interpretive displays at Point Cabrillo Light Station
Park Partner Upgrades Marine Science Interpretation With Help from CSPF Grant
Recognizing the importance of the marine science education for students and visitors to enjoy at Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park, the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association with an August 2014 Park Partnership upgraded the park’s interpretive panels, installed lighting to panels, and upgraded existing interpretive and education exhibits.
"People in all cultures interact with the land they live on: they use it, they change it, and they are changed by it,” said Tanya Smart, president of Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association. “The completion of this project will enable visitors to Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park to explore and appreciate the natural world. We hope they will be inspired to care for the lands and oceans we all share."
New interpretive panels showcase marine invertebrates, marine mammals, the tidal zone, fisheries research, coastal birds, and preventing pollution in the sea and on the beaches.
Upcoming Park Enrichment Grant Submission Deadline
The next round of Park Enrichment Grants proposals are due September 18. CSPF offers Park Enrichment Grants through a competitive process three times a year to benefit California’s state parks. The program supports CSPF’s Park Excellence Project five vision elements: Celebrate Our Enduring Heritage, Welcome Visitors, Teach Californians, Safeguard Resources, and Connect Individuals, Organizations, and Partners.
More information and details on how to apply can be found here.
Volunteer in a State Park Near You
Become a Park Champion and help keep your local parks in tip-top shape. Repair the boardwalk at MacKerricher (Mendocino), clear the trails at China Camp (Marin) or Palomar Mountain (San Diego), help with general maintenance at Candlestick Point (San Francisco), or remove invasive plants and restore habitat for the birds and the bees at Silver Strand State Beach (San Diego), Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Los Angeles), Rio de Los Angeles (Los Angeles), Folsom Lake (Sacramento), or Half Moon Bay (San Mateo). FREE TENT CAMPING is available for registered volunteers at China Camp, Palomar Mountain, and MacKerricher!
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.
Core Leaders Needed
Calling all active Southern California Park Champions! Would you like to take your volunteering to the next level? We need additional Core Leaders at most Southern California parks, and are holding a Core Leader Training at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook on September 12. Due to limited space, open to active Park Champions only. Please register online.
The Park Champions program is made possible in part by generous sponsorship from PG&E, Edison International, Capital Group, Southern California Gas Company, and Intel Security.
Feel in Control, Leave a Legacy
CSPF is once again sponsoring two free eight-week workshops in Orange County – "It's Your Money" and "It's Your Estate" – to help our members learn which assets are best donated to charity, how to use real estate or other non-cash assets to increase life income, and how to avoid prohibitive taxes through a charitable planned gift. You may reserve your space by contacting the venues directly. Both workshops will be offered again in the spring, so you can take part in one now and another later.
We hope you’ll consider joining our most loyal supporters by naming CSPF in your plans. Your legacy gift makes a statement that the future of our state parks are important. If you have already included CSPF in your estate and have not previously notified us, or for assistance, please contact Ziba Marashi, Director of Major & Legacy Gifts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 262-4433.
Emerald Bay State Park by David Laurence Sharp
Photo of the Month
Congratulations to photo contestant David Laurence Sharp for winning the Photo of the Month for August!
His image, “Emerald Bay Sunrise,” from Emerald Bay State Park, captures a beautiful morning moment over Lake Tahoe.
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!
Mt. Tamalpais by Mike Ryan
Weekend Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa
Hiking With Old Friends
Hiking this Mount Tam classic is like hanging out with three old friends. Dipsea is popular with everyone, and just gets better with age. Steep Ravine is gorgeous and challenging (and you wouldn't have it any other way). And Matt Davis, well Matt's laid-back, sometimes a little dark but with brilliant bursts of brightness. Yes, this 8-mile hike is one to return to year after year.
Get Mt. Tam hiking details at Weekend Sherpa.
Take the 2015 Adventure Challenge
The 4th annual Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge is going strong! Do any three adventures from Weekend Sherpa and get an all-new T-shirt specially made by The North Face. Plus get a limited-edition tote bag and be entered to win the Grand Prize: two round-trip tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies from California!
Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.