We Are Not Out of the Woods Yet
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of going to Henry Coe State Park for a check presentation ceremony. The Coe Park Preservation Fund provided funds to keep Henry Coe open for three years. It was a very nice moment. Ann and Winslow Briggs and Daniel McCranie presided over the event with Director Ruth Coleman and District Superintendent Mat Fuzie. It was a blustery and cloudy day but the rain held off until the speeches were made and the celebration cake was consumed. And Henry Coe could not have looked more beautiful with big storm clouds making the endless views even more dramatic.
After the ceremony, I tagged along for a hike with four amazing docents, Ken, Cynthia, Mike and Don, as well as Ruth Coleman and her daughter Jean. It is hard to imagine a group more equipped to handle any question whipped their way. And answer they did, pointing out flora and fauna, Indian grinding rock holes and the mountains and passes in the distance. There are not many places you can stand in California and look in any direction over 80,000 acres and see no development and no roads.
For now, Henry Coe has dodged the park closure bullet. We are awed by the passion and commitment that the folks at Henry Coe have put into motion to create a three-year reprieve.
Henry Coe's reprieve is a story that is thankfully echoing all over the state from Palomar Mountain in the southern part of the state to Ide Adobe in the north. Each of these parks has another powerful, passionate set of folks who are stepping up.
As some of you know, we recently announced grants to DPR and ten other organizations helping create reprieves for 19 parks. We are so grateful for the support that the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and the T.J. Long Foundation provided to help us fund this important work!
But we are not out the woods yet. We have a long way to go. Most of the reprieves mean that a particular park will only be open a couple of days a week or with minimal services. And let’s not forget about those that have no reprieve in sight yet. And lastly, we can't forget all those parks that AREN'T on the closure list at all, that have enormous service reductions.
As we come into July 1, the D-Day of the California State Parks movement, we can be proud for what we have accomplished as a community, but also chastened by the work still to be done.
Thank you for all your faith in CSPF and your commitment to our collective work.
There is plenty of action around state parks taking place in the Capitol.
In late May the Legislature largely agreed on a funding proposal to help keep our state parks open. Dubbed the “Ongoing Sustainable Parks Proposal,” this plan includes some temporary transfers of funding from other programs to state parks and a direction for more innovation and efficiencies in parks management. This will now be part of ongoing budget deliberations.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1589 (Huffman) passed 78-0 out of the Assembly and will now be heard in the Senate. AB 1589 is an omnibus state parks bill that establishes a variety of mechanisms to move state parks toward sustainability. Senate Bill 974
and Senate Bill 1078 (Evans) were also passed out of the Senate and will be heard in the Assembly.
CSPF recently awarded 13 grants totaling $328,586— seven Park Operating Grants and six grants supporting Donor Agreements—to organizations working to keep parks off the closure list and open and accessible to the public.
To view a list of grants recently awarded and learn more about deadlines and how to apply for any of our grants, please visit our website.
Last week our Save Our State Parks "Closing Parks is Bad for Business" campaign made great strides when a coalition of business groups signed a letter to the governor expressing opposition to state park closures. The letter urges the governor to continue funding the parks for the good of the state's economic well being. Numerous chambers of commerce, Convention-Visitors Bureaus and business organizations are represented. Read the press release online.
Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will donate $100,000 to support CSPF's Answer the Call fundraising campaign to help combat the closure of state parks in California. We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift.
That's not all, though. On Saturday, June 30, Chipotle is hosting a state parks promotion in their California restaurants. Guests who visit a Chipotle on June 30 will get half off Burritos by the Box orders of six or more and a free day pass for the admittance of one vehicle into a California state park of their choice, so you can take your burritos on a picnic!
How awesome is that? Thank you to Chipotle for this generous contribution and ongoing support throughout the year that will enable us to work to help keep parks open. Chipotle is dedicated to supporting family farmers, cultivating more sustainable sources, and respecting and preserving green spaces.
This offer is only available Saturday, June 30, 2012, at California restaurants on orders of six burritos or more. Guests participating in the promotion will also be treated to a free California State Park day pass, redeemable for admission for one vehicle at any state park. For orders of 50 burritos or more, please allow at least 24 hours notice prior to pick up. The maximum order accepted is 100 burritos.
We held our third-annual ParkFilm Fest in Los Angeles at Paramount Studios on Saturday, May 5 where we watched and celebrated a few of the famous movies that have been filmed in California's state parks.
This year was a marathon of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. We had a great crowd, and many special guests, including various actors from the films. Isaac Singleton Jr. (Bo'sun), Vince Lozano (Jacoby), Treva Etienne (Koehler), Tyler Tuione (Boiler Room Attendant), Greg Ellis (Lt. Theodore Groves), and Martin Klebba (Marty) joined us for a Q&A session, signed autographs, and chatted with guests at our reception.
Thank you to our event partner Environmental Media Association (EMA), our co-presenter UCLA Film & Television Archive, our event sponsors Toyota Motor Sales, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Studios, Southern California Edison, Paul Junger Witt, Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey, Ellis Environmental Management, and our in-kind sponsors Brita, Black Hills Farms & Family Vineyards, Kautz Family Vineyards, Lagunitas Brewing Company, R7 Media, and Weekend Sherpa, and Green Screen and Photo Opportunities sponsored in part by CSPF Trustee Jim Scilacci and wife Linda.
With the official start of summer less than two weeks away, Dockweiler State Beach is ready for the summer crowds with newly repainted lifeguard towers!
Originally one of CSPF's sites for our 15th Annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup on April 14, heavy rains forced us to reschedule the event to May 12. On a beautiful Saturday morning, 65 volunteers, along with 15 beach maintenance staff, repainted seven towers with a fresh coat of bright blue paint. Other volunteers combed the beach for trash and recyclables. Thank you to the volunteers and staff for taking time out of their Mother's Day weekend to show Mother Nature some love. And thanks to the Beaches and Harbors staff who repainted the rest of the 21 lifeguard towers. Additionally, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe receives high praise for waiving the parking fees for the Earth Day volunteers.
Come out and see the spruced-up towers for yourself – Dockweiler State Beach offers three miles of sand and surf, with fire rings, picnic areas and an RV Park; and a chance to see the airplanes depart from Los Angeles International Airport as they fly overhead. This state beach is managed by Los Angeles County's Beaches and Harbors Department.
June is a very busy month for CSPF’s Park Champions Program with volunteer workday across the state! We are also offering a San Francisco Bay Area Volunteer Leadership Orientation on Saturday, June 16. All active Park Champions are invited to attend. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more information.
Upcoming Work Days
The following work projects are appropriate for anyone 14 years and older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
Wed., June 13, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, San Francisco County
This work day will focus on trail improvements and brush removal. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
Fri., June 15, 8:45 a.m. - 1 p.m., Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property, Santa Cruz District
This workday will focus on trail clearance and beautification of the historic orchard. This work is suitable for volunteers of any age. Minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
Sat., June 16, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Chino Hills State Park, Inland Empire
This work day will focus on trail improvements.
Fri., June 22, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Carpinteria State Beach, Channel Coast
This work day will continue repairs to the sea-weathered wooden screens, and other park improvement projects.
Saturday, June 23, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, Tehachapi
This work day will focus on building and repairing a split rail fence in a historically correct manner.
Register to volunteer on our website. Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with other details. Registration is important so we can accurately plan for the day. Volunteers are much needed and appreciated.
Mountain Play Association's 2012 season on Mount Tamalpais is underway, and they're doing Tony Award© winning musical The Music Man. If you haven't seen a play in the Mt. Tamalpais Amphitheatre before, be sure to try it this summer. There are three performances remaining on June 10, 16, and 17. It's the San Francisco Bay Area’s best outdoor theater experience, and it's in a state park! Find out more about this year's performance.
Earth Day Latino was a big success at Los Angeles State Historic Park this year! The event, put on by the William C. Velasquez Institute and partners such as the California State Parks Foundation, FarmLab, ReMapLA, and others, brought out over 200 people to learn about environmental issues and the importance of preserving green spaces. The weekend included camping at the park, which many families experienced for the first time. CSPF Board Trustee Patricia Perez helped welcome the campers and their families to the park in the morning.
The day included native shrub and tree planting demonstrations, a history lesson on the community activism that created Los Angeles State Historic Park, and the unveiling of an amazing artistic model of the original Zanja Medre water wheel presented by local artist James Naish, who built the steel and wood model that measured 20 feet wide and 12 feet high.
UCLA professor and digital media artist Fabian Wagmister and class of 2012 Eco-Interns unveiled the second annual Eco-Interns billboards. The eco-interns youth program was composed of high school juniors and seniors who are interested in environmental conservation, public health, and L.A. history. The billboards were the final project for the interns as they worked closely with Professor Wagmister to piece them together. The process focused on collective creative designs and statements about Los Angeles, nature, and parks through the eyes of the youth. The billboards were posted along Broadway Blvd. directly above the park.
More activities included a treasure hunt with geo-caching in English and Spanish, music, Frisbee games and eating healthy food donated from local vendors. In the evening, a nature presentation featured snakes, owls, hawks and other fun animals that are native to the region. A drum circle ended the day's activities, putting everyone to bed with a head full of the dreams and excitement that only camping out in a park can offer after a long and active day.
Congratulations to photo contestant Rob Dweck for winning the Photo of the Month for May! He found an interesting perspective on an old classic image with "To Make This Dock My Home." Click here to see a larger version of Rob's photograph.
If you would like to win a Lowepro backpack and a CSPF membership like Rob did, join our free photo contest today and compete for the honor of the next Photo of the Month!
Far back in Anderson Valley lies an ancient redwood forest that few ever see. Hendy Woods State Park is an absolute gem in Mendocino County with 92 campsites and four small, stand-alone cabins. If your idea of camping is a roof over your head, opt for a cabin. Huckleberry and Wood Rose sit side-by-side, Puma is wheelchair accessible, and Ring Tail next door sits deepest in the campground. There's no electricity and the double-person bunks don't include mattresses, so bring everything you would for camping (minus the tent). A wood-burning stove can keep things toasty, but with summer temperatures ranging from the 60s to the 90s, you probably won’t need one. The 845-acre park is home to two redwood groves along the flats of the Navarro River: Big Hendy and Little Hendy. Spend a day relaxing on the riverbanks or take a 1.6-mile (round-trip) walk among 300-foot coastal redwoods on Big Hendy Grove's Upper Hendy Loop Trail. This was the home of the Pomo people for thousands of years, and more recently the “Hendy Hermit,” a Russian immigrant who built a hut from a fallen redwood and resided there for more than a decade. Hike to the hermit's abode and crawl inside for a glimpse into his life. You'll appreciate your bare-bones cabin back at camp all the more.
Camping at Hendy Woods State Park is $35 per night. The cabins are $50 per night. Make reservations through CSPF's Travel Center, Reserve America or call the park directly at 707-895-3141 to inquire about availability and cancellations. The Puma cabin is wheelchair accessible. The campground is dog-friendly!