Press Release - July 10, 2013

CSPF Honors Golden Poppy Awards Recipients at Gala

Nonprofit recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations for exemplary dedication to California's state parks

LOS ANGELES -- The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) will host its Annual Golden Poppy Awards Gala on Saturday, June 8 at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades to honor Peter W. Mullin, the City of Oxnard and County of Ventura, Thomas J. Long Foundation, and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Each year, CSPF’s Golden Poppy Awards Gala recognizes deserving individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution and commitment to protecting, enhancing and/or advocating for California's state parks.

“We are thrilled to honor and celebrate the extraordinary partners of California’s state parks at this year’s Golden Poppy Awards Gala,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of CSPF. “This year’s honorees went above and beyond to keep state parks from closing during a time of crisis.”

For more information about the Golden Poppy Gala on June 8, please visit

Honoree: Peter W. Mullin, City of Oxnard, and Ventura County

McGrath State Beach, a favorite camping spot among locals, was in dire straits in 2012 due to a major facilities issue that was impacting visitation. Because there was no funding available to fix the problem, the beach was placed on the 2012 state park closure list, along with 69 other parks. Unwilling to see the popular park close, a donor stepped up to fix the problem and save the park. Peter Mullin, owner of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, donated $50,000 to help McGrath State Beach match funds with a federal grant that would allow the park to make necessary repairs to reopen to the public. The City of Oxnard and Ventura County each stepped up and gave grants of the same amount to go towards repairing McGrath State Beach so that people can continue enjoy this popular park.

“California’s state parks are incredibly important to our state, and the quality of life for all Californians,” said Peter Mullin. “And, it is vitally important for us to protect them. The beauty of nature makes the difference in life—we should cherish it.”

Honoree: Thomas J. Long Foundation

The Thomas J. Long Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of CSPF and its work on behalf of California’s state parks for 17 years. Over the years, its generosity ranged from supporting environmental education and stewardship programs for underserved youth to assisting with the on-going restoration of the historic Pigeon Point Light Station. In 2012, in response to the threat of park closures, the Thomas J. Long Foundation significantly increased its level of giving to CSPF to support its Operational Grants Program, which was instrumental in keeping 27 of California’s state parks open and accessible to the public.

Honoree: S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation is dedicated to advancing a productive, vibrant, and sustainable California. Grant programs support nonprofit organizations and initiatives that address California’s critical challenges, including the management of the state’s public lands and open space. In 2012, when 70 state parks were threatened with imminent closure, the Foundation supported the launch of CSPF’s Operational Grants Program to support nonprofit partners that had stepped up to take over the operation and management of a specific state park. In addition, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation was instrumental in funding the Parks Champions Program.

About the Golden Poppy Award Gala

The Golden Poppy Award recognizing outstanding individuals, corporations, and organizations for their contributions of leadership, time, and/or financial resources to protecting and enhancing state parks and the California environment.

Previous Golden Poppy Award honorees include

2011 The National Park Service; Coca-Cola Refreshments and Stater Bros. Markets
2008 Frank McCourt, Owner and Chairman, Los Angeles Dodgers; Advocates of Los Angeles State Historic Park; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
2007 Henry F. Trione, Chairman Emeritus, CSPF
2006 Ambassador L. W. “Bill” Lane Jr., Trustee Emeritus, CSPF; PG&E employees for promoting volunteerism in state parks
2005 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2004 John E. Bryson, chairman, Edison International
2003 Huell Howser, host of the PBS series “California’s Gold”

About CSPF

With its 130,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation is the only independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's magnificent state parks. For more information about California's state parks, visit

For Immediate Release

July 10, 2013


Jerry Emory
(415) 262-4414

California State Parks Foundation

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