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Pick a Park — or Risk Losing It

Pick a Park — or Risk Losing It

In June 2011, I approached Christopher Grant Ward of and asked him to provide some video content about the state park closures (see the post about our collaboration).  He’s so great at telling a story and I felt it was important to SEE what’s going on rather than tell.  Over the past two months, he’s been working on the incredible visual and artistic task of creating the film footage. I’ve worked “behind-the-scenes” to compile info for a fact sheet, learn about the issues, and start spreading the word to bloggers and media about the impending closures.

I’m very excited to introduce the trailer he created for his 8-part documentary highlighting the value of the parks.  (For those with sensitive ears, there’s one mention of “H-E-double hockey sticks.” However, it’s fleeting and I think it sufficiently expresses the frustration he feels (and I feel!) when we try to understand this issue.)

The headquarters for this fight is the California State Parks Foundation and their Save Our State Parks website. They have 5 ways you can take immediate action on their home page, plus explanations of legislation.

Pick a park and support it. I’m picking McGrath State Beach, since it’s near where I grew up and I know Cindy who is running the Save McGrath efforts on Facebook. I started by getting in contact with their non-profit to see how I could help (donate, volunteer, write letters).  I am not able to contribute much by way of time or money, but I’m doing what I can.

Parks slated for closure in 2011-12:
(with hyperlinks to the non-profit agency websites associated with those parks)

  1. Anderson Marsh SHP in Lake County (Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association)
  2. Annadel SP (Valley of the Moon Natural History Association)
  3. Antelope Valley Indian Museum in Lancaster (Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum)
  4. Austin Creek SRA (Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods)
  5. Bale Grist Mill SHP (Napa Valley State Parks Association)
  6. Benbow Lake SRA (Richardson Grove Interpretive Association)
  7. Benicia Capitol SHP (Benicia State Parks Association)
  8. Benicia SRA (Benicia State Parks Association)
  9. Bidwell Mansion SHP in Chico (Bidwell Mansion Association)
  10. Bothe-Napa Valley SP (Napa Valley State Parks Association)
  11. Brannon Island SRA (None listed)
  12. California State Historic Mining and Mineral Museum (California State Historic Mining and Mineral Museum)
  13. Candlestick Point SRA (San Mateo Coast Natural History Association)
  14. Castle Crags SP (Castle Crags Interpretive Association)
  15. Castle Rock SP (Portola-Castle Rock Foundation)
  16. China Camp SP in Marin County (Marin State Parks Association)
  17. Colusa-Sacramento River SRA (None listed)
  18. Del Norte Coast Redwoods SP (Redwoods Park Association)
  19. Fort Humboldt SHP (Redwoods Park Association)
  20. Fort Tejon SHP in Lebec (Fort Tejon Historical Association)
  21. Garrapata SP (None listed)
  22. George J. Hatfield SRA (Four Rivers Natural History Association)
  23. Governor’s Mansion SHP (Governor’s Mansion Foundation – in progress)
  24. Gray Whale Cove SB (San Mateo Coast Natural History Association)
  25. Greenwood SB (Mendocino Area Parks Association-MAPA)
  26. Grizzly Creek Redwoods SP (Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association)
  27. Hendy Woods SP (Mendocino Area Parks Association-MAPA)
  28. Henry W. Coe SP in Morgan Hill (Coe Park Preservation Fund and the Pine Ridge Association)
  29. Jack London SHP (Valley of the Moon Natural History Association)
  30. Jug Handle SNR (Mendocino Area Parks Association-MAPA)
  31. Leland Stanford Mansion SHP (Leland Stanford Mansion Foundation)
  32. Limekiln SP (None listed)
  33. Los Encinos SHP (Los Encinos Docent Association)
  34. Malakoff Diggins SHP in Nevada City (Malakoff-Diggins Park Association)
  35. Manchester SP (Mendocino Area Parks Association-MAPA)
  36. McConnell SRA (Four Rivers Natural History Association)
  37. McGrath SB (Friends of Channel Coast State Parks)
  38. Mono Lake Tufa SR (Bodie Foundation)
  39. Morro Strand SB (Central Coast Natural History Association)
  40. Moss Landing SB (None listed)
  41. Olompali SHP in Marin County (Marin State Parks Association)
  42. Palomar Mountain SP (Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association)
  43. Petaluma Adobe SHP (Sonoma-Petaluma State Historic Parks Associaton)
  44. Picacho SRA (Sea and Desert Interpretive Association)
  45. Pio Pico SHP (Friends of Pio Pico, Inc.)
  46. Plumas-Eureka SP (Plumas-Eureka State Parks Association-PESPA)
  47. Point Cabrillo Light Station Property  (Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association)
  48. Portola Redwoods SP (Portola and Castle Rock Foundation)
  49. Providence Mountains SRA (Poppy Reserve Mohave Desert Interpretive Association)
  50. Railtown 1897 SHP (California State Railroad Museum Foundation)
  51. Russian Gulch SP (Mendocino Area Parks Association-MAPA)
  52. Saddleback Butte SP Poppy Reserve Mohave Desert Interpretive Association)
  53. Salton Sea SRA (Sea and Desert Interpretive Association)
  54. Samuel P. Taylor SP in Marin County (Marin State Parks Association)
  55. San Pasqual Battlefield SHP (San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association)
  56. Santa Cruz Mission SHP (Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks)
  57. Santa Susana Pass SHP (Santa Susana Mountain Park Association – in progress)
  58. Shasta SHP (Town of Shasta Interpretive Association)
  59. South Yuba River SP (South Yuba River Park Association)
  60. Standish-Hickey SRA (Richardson Grove Interpretive Association)
  61. Sugarloaf Ridge SP (Valley of the Moon Natural History Association)
  62. Tomales Bay SP in Marin County (Marin State Parks Association)
  63. Tule Elk SR (None listed)
  64. Turlock Lake SRA (Four Rivers Natural History Association)
  65. Twin Lakes SB (Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks)
  66. Weaverville Joss House SHP (Weaverville Joss House Association)
  67. Westport-Union Landing SB (Mendocino Area Parks Association-MAPA)
  68. William B. Ide Adobe SHP (Ide Adobe Interpretive Association)
  69. Woodson Bridge SRA (None listed)
  70. Zmudowski SB (None listed)

See a slideshow of all 70 parks on — the visual impact of what’s at stake is very disturbing to witness.

Read more about The Danger of Closing a Park in my post on and get more actionable ideas on how to help.


Wednesday 17th of August 2011

Thanks for helping to identify potential solutions to this depressing situation. Amazing that our leaders can actually think closing parks is the best solution to California's budget problems.

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