Bond invests $218 million to repair and improve California’s state parks
SAN FRANCISCO -- Today, Californians voted in support of Proposition 68, a general bond that invests $4 billion over time to address some of California’s most critical water and natural resource needs. Funds from the bond will help address deferred park maintenance, provide necessary funding for natural resources protection and restoration, and allow for repairs and improvements that will help facilitate better visitor experiences now and in the future.
California State Parks Foundation joined the Clean Water, Natural Resources and Parks Coalition in collaboration with many stakeholders and partners in support of the Yes on 68 campaign. “The passing of Proposition 68 demonstrates that voters care about advancing our parks, water and natural resources in both the short- and long-term,” said Rachel Norton, executive director. “This investment in our parks and our future will make sure that these essential spaces and resources will endure for generations of Californians. California State Parks Foundation is excited for the opportunities these new funds will create to realize our vision of access, equity and excellence in our state park system, and we look forward to continuing the partnerships with environmental nonprofits and community organizations that led to this victory.”
In 2017, the state legislature passed the California Clean Water & Safe Parks Act (Senate Bill 5) with bipartisan support for putting the measure on the June 5 statewide ballot. Proposition 68 invests in safe parks for every child, improving resilience to climate change, protecting the coast, promoting recreation and tourism, supporting conservation jobs and more.
“Investments in parks are not solely about recreation, they are also about public safety, education, health, wellness and creating opportunities for our communities to succeed and thrive,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “Money appropriated through this measure will provide for safe, clean, reliable drinking water; programs critical for those living in rural, ill-equipped places, and will prioritize its funding for parks projects in our state’s most disadvantaged areas which lack adequate outdoor recreational infrastructure. This will level the playing field for rural communities, such as those in my district, to competitively pursue state park grant funding.”
Proposition 68 will provide $218 million to repair and improve state parks, including projects that provide recreational opportunities for low income park visitors.
- $10 million for state parks enterprise projects
- $5 million for a unit of the state park system operated by nonprofits
- $5 million for a unit of the state park system operated by local agencies
- $30 million for low cost coastal accommodations
- $25 million for state parks natural resource projects
“Prop 68 will be the first huge boost in funding for California State Parks in more than 15 years. For nonprofits that have stepped up to co-manage State Parks that were slated to close in 2012, there is funding to help with our operations and address deferred maintenance projects, visitor service needs, help upgrade camping facilities, provide trail maintenance and restoration of natural and cultural resources, and provide unique youth programs in our parks,” said Michele Luna, executive director of Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. “Funding will also provide sustainability for a partnership that maximizes the skills of both California State Parks and their nonprofit partner organizations as we create efficiencies and provide excellent park visitor services.”
The Governor’s proposed budget, with the deadline to be passed by June 15, has allocated some Proposition 68 funding for the following items in the 2018-19 fiscal year:
- State Parks System Enhancements—$4 million to begin project identification and planning activities necessary to strategically allocate funds dedicated to the state park system.
- Legacy Forests at State Parks—$15 million for the Department of Parks and Recreation to protect forests in state parks.