I first “met” Christopher on Twitter. He sent out a message as he was driving through Orange County and we’ve chatted on and off since then. He’d traveled to over 100 out of California’s 278 State Parks to record their beauty for his Folk4Parks.org “netroots” organization. We share the belief that the value of our parks is intrinsic; their existence shouldn’t be taken for granted. The last frame of his video is why I’m voting YES ON 21:
Ansel Adams said “beauty comes first” – using his images to help promote environmental goals of the Sierra Club. John Muir sat Teddy Roosevelt down in the middle of Yosemite to show him what could not be explained in words. In the same way, Christopher Grant Ward–a California native, artist, folk musician and film maker–is using his original photography, cinematography, music and writing to change the political conversation in California around State Parks.
In the last year, he’s visited more than 100 California State Parks, documenting the journey through photography and video, as well as interviews with park employees and visitors. Press releases and political debate often command the discussion around parks, but Ward believes the best arguments for supporting Prop 21 are the parks themselves.
“I saw a gap between the politics and the poetry,” Ward stated when asked why he started Folk4Parks.org and got involved in this issue. “The value of parks is not what they ‘do for us’ but what they are, essentially, how they make us feel, what they teach us. Their value is that they exist and that in this modern world we are still able to experience them.”
Ward’s most recent video, “21 Reasons To Vote Yes on Prop 21” is a FINALIST for in the Yes on 21 California State Parks Initiative video contest. It’s a 30-second viral short, featuring a series of park vignettes and Ward’s original music. Give him your vote and Vote Yes on 21.
I watched all 21 finalists last night and voted for Christopher’s entry. Just for fun, here are my second and third choices:
Good luck to all the entrants!
Do you hear us, California? We care.