SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) has named Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) and Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) as its 2015 Legacy Award honorees, in recognition of their work promoting and advocating for California’s state parks. Assemblymembers Olsen and Rendon will be presented with their awards during a reception at the close of the 13th Annual Park Advocacy Day in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 5.
“We are pleased to honor two dedicated state park supporters and distinguished legislators with this year’s Legacy Awards,” said CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein. “Working to protect, improve, and promote California’s state parks is a passion that we share with our honorees, and we are pleased to see legislative champions actively pursuing that goal. They deeply understand that all Californians deserve access to an excellent state parks system. On behalf of CSPF’s 130,000 members statewide, we congratulate Assemblymembers Olsen and Rendon for their work and welcome the opportunity to recognize their commitment to California’s state parks.”
CSPF is honoring Assembly Republican Leader Olsen for her efforts to raise visibility of the state parks system’s 150th anniversary in 2014, as well as for her 2013 legislation increasing access to state parks for veterans and active military members. Olsen was also active in her district in 2011, during the park closure crisis, rallying community groups to help keep threatened state parks in the district open.
Assemblymember Rendon is being recognized for his leadership chairing the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee during a critical period of rebuilding confidence and capacity in California’s state parks system. Rendon authored legislation in 2013 to encourage and enable the state to enter into operating agreements with nonprofit organizations. In 2014, he proposed re-prioritizing the structure of the state park system, to create a specific emphasis on facilitating, promoting, and enhancing access and relevancy of state parks for underserved communities.
“It is a great honor to receive this recognition,” Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto said. “I’m proud to continue to work with my legislative colleagues and the California State Parks Foundation toward solutions that will make our state parks more accessible to all Californians, and toward ensuring that they are protected and preserved for future generations.”
“California has made considerable strides towards reviving our state parks system and expanding parks and open space access to our most disadvantaged communities, but there is much more work to do,” Assemblymember Anthony Rendon said. “I thank CSPF for this honor and urge all parties to renew our focus towards continuing the progress we’ve made.”
As part of Park Advocacy Day, more than 140 park advocates plan to travel to the Capitol to show their support for state parks and urge legislative actions to continue to keep parks open. CSPF has been holding Park Advocacy Day for the last thirteen years, reflecting its ongoing commitment to engaging Californians in the active protection and advocacy of their state parks.
Previous winners of the California State Parks Foundation Legacy Award include Senator Sheila Kuehl (2003), Senator Tom Torlakson (2004), Senator Denise Ducheny (2005), Assemblymember Fran Pavley (2004), Assemblymember John Laird (2005), Senator Wes Chesbro (2006), Assemblymember Tom Harman (2006), Assemblymember Pedro Nava (2007), Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (2007), Senator Christine Kehoe (2008), the California Legislative Black Caucus (2008), Congresswoman Susan Davis (2008), State Treasurer Bill Lockyer (2009), Senator Lois Wolk (2009), Assemblymember Jared Huffman (2012), and Senator Kevin de León (2014). In 2010, CSPF honored park advocates across the state with its newly-inaugurated Grassroots Champion Awards. Additional Grassroots Champion Award winners include the California Travel Industry Association (2011), John Mott (2011), and Heath Hen Films (2013).
About Park Advocacy Day
On Tuesday, May 5, the California State Parks Foundation will sponsor the Thirteenth Annual Park Advocacy Day in Sacramento on behalf of state parks. More than 140 participants from across the state will converge at the Capitol to lobby policymakers on critical issues facing the state parks system, including park management, funding and park protection.