December 2013 Parklands E-Newsletter

Happy Holidays from the President

I know that it is the HOLIDAYS but never mind those Hanukkah candles and freshly-cut Christmas trees, I can smell birthday cake baking. It is a birthday milestone bigger than any of us will ever reach (unless those genetic engineers are way more successful than we think). It is 150 years! The California state parks system turns 150 in 2014. We still have one more month of the 149th year to go, but there is no harm in getting started on commemorating now.

Last night was the kick-off of the 150th anniversary commemoration of state parks. The passage of time does not normally fit into the calendar or the decade markers. But anniversaries and birthdays are important moments of reflection. This 150th anniversary is definitely one of those moments. We are already in a moment of reflection that is and will be illuminated by the work of the Parks Forward Commission and the new administration at DPR. But they are hardly alone in this work. They are joined by all of their partners, from local parks organizations and concessionaires to national and regional non-profit organizations who have put state parks at the core of their work. This community is strong. Collectively our success or failure will be based on our ability to energize new generations of Californians to love their state parks, to see them as fundamental aspects of their quality of life and to act on their behalf.

I hope as you and your friends and family enjoy this holiday season and emerge into the beginning of 2014, that you will have a birthday celebration for California state parks yourself. Perhaps you might have a little cake after a hike or a visit to your favorite beach? There will be some more public ways to commemorate this significant milestone but these private ones will be important, too. If we all make a personal pledge to take someone who has never been to a state park before along for a public or private commemoration, we will have done a great service to the future of our wonderful parks system.

Have a great holiday and a wonderful birthday!

Save the Date for Park Advocacy Day 2014

Save the date! CSPF invites you and fellow park supporters from throughout California to join us on Tuesday, May 6 for our 12th Annual Park Advocacy Day.

During Park Advocacy Day, park users, volunteers and supporters will gather at the Capitol to meet with legislators and bring awareness to issues important to the future of California’s 280 state parks.

Registration for this year’s event will open in early February.

For more information on Park Advocacy Day, please contact our Sacramento office at (916) 442-2119 or

Give a Gift for State Parks

This holiday season, we’d like to thank you for your generous support. Thanks to members like you we were able to accomplish great work for our parks in 2013, including:

  • Bringing our largest group of park advocates ever to our 11th annual Park Advocacy Day,
  • Coordinating thousands of volunteers to contribute to projects at 24 state parks for our 16th Annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup Event,
  • Contributing consistent and ongoing volunteer support in state parks across California with our Park Champions volunteer program, and
  • Supporting state parks directly with dozens of grants for state parks and park partners.

We are excited to continue our work in 2014, particularly because it will mark 150 years since our California state parks system was founded. We believe our parks are monumentally important to the well-being of all Californians, and we want to ensure that they are available to enjoy for the next 150 years.

But we can’t continue this important work without your support.

Now is the best time to give thanks for your state parks by making a donation to CSPF, because thanks to generous matching grant from The Donner Foundation and CSPF Board of Trustees, gifts made before December 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

Please make your tax-deductible donation to CSPF before December 31 and your generous gift will go twice as far for parks with our matching grant.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Shopping with a Purpose

Our online store Winter Sale is now on! We have discounted new products and have increased discounts on clearance items.

Visit our online store to get these great holiday deals.

On sale for the first time: Mission Mills olive oil, trailblazer excursion kit, folding chairs, our limited edition 2014 calendars and much more. Order by December 15 to ensure you receive your order in time for Christmas! All orders over $50 will also receive a free recycled notebook and pen set.

A sale this big only happens once a year so shop early and feel good knowing that proceeds go to support our work for state parks!

Volunteer this Holiday Season

Help restore the natural ecosystems in state parks or assist with much needed general maintenance projects with Park Champions this winter. Join one of our volunteer teams to improve vital habitat at Half Moon Bay (San Mateo), Silver Strand (San Diego), or Palomar Mountain (San Diego), repair trails at Wildwood Canyon (San Bernardino), or help with general park maintenance at Candlestick Point (San Francisco).

Visit our website to see a map of upcoming projects at parks near you and our Flickr page to see photos of Park Champions in action! Sign up today!

Deadline for 2013 Income Tax Savings Fast Approaching

Lower your 2013 tax bill while you help California State Parks Foundation by:

Contact Davida Hartman for assistance at (415) 262-4403 or

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to photo contestant Susan Bell for winning the Photo of the Month for November! Susan’s photo, “Gaviota Milky Way,” from Gaviota State Park shows a gorgeous sky over a nighttime shore.

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 our contest, simply complete your free registration on and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to Join Partner Contests.

Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa

Torrey Pines’ gorgeous coastline rivals some of California’s most rugged and remote stretches, making it hard to believe that it’s located just miles from downtown San Diego. See its most dramatic scenery in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (and score a little beach time at nearby Torrey Pines State Beach) by setting out on a 2.25-mile loop to marquee overlooks at Razor Point and Yucca Point.

Find out more at