August 2013 Parklands E-Newsletter

A Word From Our President

The members of the Parks Forward Commission were announced earlier this week by Resources Secretary John Laird and State Parks Director Major General Anthony Jackson. The Commission will be co-chaired by Lance Conn, a Bay Area business man and conservationist, and Christine Kehoe, a long-time state legislator and champion for state parks. The Commission membership is a wonderful mix of those with deep experience in parks and newcomers who will bring fresh ideas and approaches to the table. The full list of Commissioners can be found here.

This long-awaited announcement is good news as it heralds the true beginning of the formation of a future vision for state parks. The independent Parks Forward Commission is charged with assessing the management of parks, the shape of the state parks system, potential sustainable funding tools, new approaches to revenue generation and a whole host of other issues.

The good news is the commissioners enter the arena with a big head start thanks to the work of many others before them. It is our hope that they build on the recent Little Hoover Commission report. There is also a wealth of resources within DPR itself and consultant work that been performed for it in recent years. In addition, we urge them to review the report we co-authored with Save the Redwoods League: “A Vision for Excellence in California’s State Parks.” It will be a task to sort through all the thinking that has come before, as well as bring new ideas to the table. However, we have no doubt this group of Commissioners is up to the challenge.

The Parks Forward Commission, through the California State Park and Recreation Commission, will do public outreach across the state. These workshops will be vital to ensuring that the breadth and depth of public voices may be heard in this process. We urge you to go to the Parks Forward website for the announcement of the place and time of each of the workshops.

Lastly, we want to thank the dedicated and thoughtful funders who have made the formation of the Parks Forward Commission possible. Without them this important project could not move forward swiftly.

Elizabeth Goldstein
President, CSPF

Save the Date for Hidden Stories

Don’t miss out on CSPF’s third Hidden Stories Series conference, Folding Back the Layers of California’s Latino/a History: The Stories Beneath the Stories, at the California Endowment in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday, October 2 and 3, 2013. Conference sponsors include Southern California Gas Company, Danny and Myrna Villanueva of the Villanueva Companies, the Hoefer Family Foundation, Fiesta de Reyes, and Anchor Brewing Company.

This year’s conference is expanded to two days and includes guided tours of local parks and historical areas, and lunch with keynote speakers Estevan Rael-Gálvez of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and CSPF’s Elizabeth Goldstein. A celebratory dinner at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes closes out the first day, featuring Ric Salinas of Culture Clash. Early bird conference price is $109 starting August 20! Regular-priced tickets are $139 starting September 11. Dinner tickets are an additional $50. First come, first served – tickets are limited.

The 2013 Hidden Stories conference will explore Latino history in the context of California’s state parks. Many state parks ably include interpretation of the contributions of historical Latino figures and the context of the time and place. This conference seeks to go beyond existing interpretation to look at “the stories beneath the stories” of this important historical group. CSPF is excited to present three panels discussing the valuable contributions Latinos have made to California:

  • Narradoras de California (Narrators of California): Women and Their Families in Historic Communities
  • Quiere Ser mi Vecino (Do You Want To Be My Neighbor): Parks and the Evolution of Historic Latino Neighborhoods
  • Etnicidad, Identidad y Lugar (Ethnicity, Identity and Place): California's Historic Latino Population

Don’t miss the exciting history tours slated for Wednesday, including:

  • Los Angeles State Historic Park walking tour
  • The Los Angeles Mural Conservancy walking tour
  • Olvera Street & El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument walking tour
  • Campo de Cahuenga in North Hollywood
  • Pío Pico State Historic Park in Whittier
  • The Homestead Museum in City of Industry

Visit on August 20 to get your tickets early! Please share with your friends and colleagues.

Volunteer with Park Champions this Summer

Volunteer with Park Champions and learn more about California state history and geography! We have upcoming projects at a very diverse assortment of historic parks, urban parks, beaches, mountains, and lakes. Family friendly workdays at China Camp (Aug 14), and MacKerricher (Aug 24-25) include FREE CAMPING. Exceptionally brave and strong volunteers are needed to help us repair trails at the top of Mt. San Jacinto (Sept 7-8), and complimentary backpack camping and tram passes are included.

Please visit our website for a calendar of upcoming workdays and our Flickr page for examples of Park Champions in action! Hope to see you at a workday soon.

What About Your Online Estate?

Today, much of our lives are transacted online. Yet when we think about planning, we often forget to consider the importance of letting a trusted family member know where to find our list of user names and passwords.

Read on to learn more about your online estate.

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to photo contestant Dustin Penman for winning the Photo of the Month for July! Dustin’s photo, “Bloom’n Lupine,” from Folsom Lake State Recreation Area captures a unique view of some gorgeous purple flowers. Click the image to see a larger version.

You could be the next winner of great prizes like a Lowepro camera bag, Chipotle Mexican Grill gift card, and a CSPF membership. To participate in CSPF's contest, simply complete your free registration on and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to Join Partner Contests.

Quick Way to Help – Review Us on Great Nonprofits

Can you spare a couple minutes to help our nonprofit reach our goals? Please write a review for us on our Great Nonprofit profile and we can become a top-rated nonprofit for 2013!

All you have to do is write a new, positive review (4 or 5 star) for CSPF. You can also write a new review if you have reviewed us before.

Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa

Rail Rolling
Looking for some adventures along a gorgeous stretch of the Pacific? Cruise up Highway 101 exploring one of the best beach cities in California: Ventura.

Stretching along the Ventura oceanfront, the Omer Rains Trail packs plenty of coastal scenery into its 4 miles. The trail starts at San Buenaventura State Beach and passes along low sand dunes before reaching Ventura’s 1,620-foot wooden pier, one of the oldest and longest on the West Coast.

Get more details at

Adventure Challenge
If you are out enjoying parks this summer, now is a great time to take Weekend Sherpa's Northern California Adventure Challenge or Southern California Adventure Challenge. It’s easy … you just pick 3 adventures from their website, submit photos of yourself doing them before September 12, and then get cool prizes. Get started today!