March 2013 Parklands E-Newsletter

A Word From Our President

As I write we are preparing to head to Sacramento on Tuesday for our 11th Annual Park Advocacy Day. Park Advocacy Day 2013 is especially important because we have a Legislature that has many new members. Letting the new members know of the breadth and depth of the commitment their constituents have to state parks couldn’t be more essential. This year’s event is drawing more people than have ever attended before. And many of them are new to the event. That is a wonderful sign. Despite the common wisdom that the public has checked out on the challenges facing state parks, there is lots of evidence to the contrary. Not only are folks showing up to lobby, but they continue to engage at the park level as operators, volunteers, fundraisers and so much more.

One of our key challenges on Park Advocacy Day and beyond will be to simultaneously work through the circumstances of the moment – with many parks only partially open and a new fiscal cliff coming at us in about 15 months – and moving ahead to setting a course for the future that recognizes the potential of the California state parks system.

We will need all of your help in getting us through both paths successfully. As always, thanks for your help and support!

P.S. If you aren't joining us for Park Advocacy Day, I hope you will volunteer with us on Saturday, April 13, at our 16th Annual Earth Restoration and Cleanup (more information below).

Volunteer with CSPF this Earth Day

Earth Day volunteer registration is now open! Volunteer in a state park and help keep it beautiful. CSPF's 16th Annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup presented by PG&E will be Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 24 select state parks across California. Volunteer and bring your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers! Registration closes April 8 - or when the project site reaches its maximum number of volunteers.

All volunteers must pre-register at calparks.org/earthday.

There you’ll find all the project information for each location. Volunteers are needed to help complete environmental improvement projects such as trail maintenance, fence building, trash and debris cleanup, weeding and campfire center improvements. We hope to see you there.

Thank you to all our sponsors for making this event possible, including statewide sponsor PG&E, Edison International, Chevron, Oracle, Southern California Gas Company, and Virgin America; and refreshment providers Chipotle Mexican Grill, KIND Healthy Snacks, Fruit Guys, Noah's NY Bagels, Peet’s Coffee and Tea and Starbucks Coffee.

New Discretionary Grants Awarded

CSPF's Discretionary Grants Committee met on February 28, 2013 and awarded 11 grants totaling $46,868 to benefit a number of California’s state parks. The organizations that received grants include:

  • California Surf Lifesaving Association: $2,462 to support a beach and water safety public education campaign.
  • Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association: $2,285 to restore the Doheny Whale Walk; life-sized paintings of 8 whales and four species of dolphins. This is a centerpiece of its educational, interpretive programming.
  • DPR: Bolsa Chica State Beach. $4,000 to install five work-out stations along the multi-use trail at Bolsa Chica State Beach to increase visitation and promote health and wellness.
  • DPR: $3,500 to launch a Junior Lifeguards program at Oceano Dunes.
  • Mendocino Area Parks Association: $5,350 capacity-building grant to improve its financial/accounting system.
  • Mohave River Natural History Association: $1,167 to purchase a projector, DVD player and wireless speaker to be used in Silverwood Lake’s Nature and Campfire Centers for educational and interpretive programs.
  • San Mateo County Public Works and Parks for San Bruno Mountain State Park: $5,000 to rehabilitate the heavily used Bog Trail and restore the native plant community adjacent to the trail.
  • Save Our Shores: $8,000 to support multiple beach cleanups in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.
  • South Yuba River Citizens League: $6,000 to expand the River Ambassadors Program and pilot a Junior River Ambassadors Program.
  • South Yuba River Park Association: $5,000 to create and install interpretive signs for the covered bridge and historic gas station which serves as an education center.
  • 36 Views: $4,104 to support research related to the development of interpretive tablet apps for state parks.

Visit our website for more information about our grants program.

Stardust Soirée: The 2013 Golden Poppy Awards Gala

The Golden Poppy Awards Gala will be held on June 8 at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. This elegant evening under the stars will honor extraordinary environmental leaders whose commitments have helped ensure that state parks continue to provide adventure, renewal and inspiration to all Californians. The Golden Poppy Awards Gala raises funds to support CSPF's important policy work, public education and environmental programming to improve, enhance, and sustain California's magnificent state parks system.

Please consider purchasing tickets or sponsoring a table for this important and beneficial event!

To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit our website or contact Martha Henderson at (415) 262-4404 or martha@calparks.org.

Art Show Benefits CSPF

We hope you will join us at the Treasured Places Art Show reception on Friday, March 8. Treasured Places features paintings of California's stunning state parks created by artists of The Oak Group, whose members have worked to preserve endangered lands for 27 years. These paintings serve as a record of the natural beauty of our state parks, and the sale will raise awareness and funds for CSPF's work to protect them.

The reception on March 8 will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Faulkner Gallery, located at 40 E. Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. The show will be on display through March 30. For more information, please contact Allison See, Special Events Coordinator, at allison@calparks.org or (415) 262-4409.

Volunteer with Park Champions Program

Spring is in the air, and this will be Park Champions’ busiest spring ever! We have a wide variety of park maintenance projects on the calendar, and we would love your help building trails (Chino Hills & Palomar Mountain), cleaning campgrounds (Salt Point), and improving habitat for the birds and the bees (Baldwin Hills, Candlestick Point, and Half Moon Bay). Workdays at Palomar Mountain and Salt Point on March 25 also include free camping. Please see our website for a map and calendar of upcoming workdays and register for a project near you. Hope to see you at a workday soon!

Protect San Onofre State Beach from Destructive Toll Road

Five years after our strong coalition won a big victory for San Onofre State Beach, the popular recreation spot is once again under threat from a proposed toll road.

After record-setting hearings where thousands of activists turned out to denounce the road, both the California Coastal Commission and the Bush administration rejected the highway project in 2008 because of potentially devastating impacts to the coastline. Now, however, a local transportation agency has unveiled plans to build the exact same highway in segments. The agency has applied for a key water quality permit for the first five-mile segment of the road. This illegal approach is known as "segmentation" and is simply a ploy to build the entire road down through San Onofre.

For years, the toll road agency has tried to build a 16-mile highway through San Onofre, which draws more than 2.4 million visitors (and tourism dollars) each year. The park includes Trestles Beach, a renowned surf spot that the state Historical Resources Commission recently agreed should be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Home to 11 threatened or endangered species, the area also contains significant portions of San Mateo Creek, one of the last unspoiled watersheds in Southern California.

Without a complete environmental review for the entire 16-mile road, there is no way to analyze the full impact of the project. The agency's permit application also overlooks impacts to important wetlands that could potentially affect the coastal zone.

CSPF members can tell the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to reject efforts to push through this disastrous highway proposal. Urge the water board to reject the toll road agency’s water quality permit for the first five-mile segment of this destructive toll road. If you live in southern California, come to the water board hearing next Wednesday, March 13, at 9 a.m. and speak out against the toll road. The hearing will be held at the Costa Mesa City Council Chambers, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

If you can't make it to the hearing, you can help our cause by sending a personal message to the water board on our partner NRDC’s website.

How to Say It

Bequests help ensure a strong future for our parks. To include CSPF in your will or trust or by beneficiary designation, please use this language:

California State Parks Foundation, Tax ID 94-1707583, 50 Francisco Street, Suite 110, San Francisco, CA 94133

For specific examples of how to make a bequest, please visit our website. We recommend you seek the advice of an estate or tax professional in connection with any planned gift.

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to photo contestant Sean Peck for winning the Photo of the Month for February! Sean’s photo of two young elephant seals bickering at Año Nuevo State Park came at the perfect time of year. Click here to see a larger version of Sean’s photograph.

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 MyParkPhotos.com and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to Join Partner Contests.

Travel Tips from Weekend Sherpa

Chino Coaster

Theme-park rides aren't the only way to get a good rush in Orange County. Find your thrills in Chino Hills. The state park—saved from urban sprawl in the 1970s—unfurls in thousands of acres of grassy swells once grazed by cattle and sheep, and includes a stellar valley-to-views trail to panoramic Gilman Peak. The 1,200 feet of elevation gain comes gradually, isn't obstructed by rocks, and offers great vistas for most of the 4-mile trek to the summit. The first few miles on the North Ridge Trail are filled with prairie hill scenery and California walnut trees. The path ascends a high ridge with huge views of snow-capped Mount Baldy and Ontario Peak as large Gilman Peak comes into sight—and is accessed via a side trail. The 1,685-foot peak, with red-tailed hawks soaring overhead, is pure pano-rah-rah: Anaheim and Fullerton slope to the Pacific while Santiago Peak looms and the Santa Anas stretch to the southeast. Raise up your arms—roller coaster!

Take Highway 57 to Brea, exit on Lambert Rd. and drive east. After 2 miles, Lambert Rd. becomes Carbon Canyon Rd. Drive another mile, past Carbon Canyon Regional Park to Chino Hills Discovery Center on the left. There's a $5 day-use fee. Begin hiking up Telegraph Canyon Trail, leaving from the east end of the lot. Walk 0.15 mile through an old lemon grove to a junction with North Ridge Trail. Turn left and hike 3.5 miles up the ridge. There are no junctions until Gilman Trail. Turn right and hike the final 0.2 mile to the summit. Return the way you came for a 7.75-mile, out-and-back hike, or continue over the summit on the hikers-only Gilman Trail for 1 mile, down to Telegraph Canyon Trail. Turn right and hike back to the trailhead for an 8.5-mile loop. Bring this map of the park. Due to state park budget cuts, Chino Hills State Park is closed Tuesdays through Thursdays. Dog-friendly!

If you'd like to receive more tips like this emailed right to your inbox every Thursday, sign up at weekendsherpa.com.