The future of California State Parks is a League priority because redwoods live in these sanctuaries created with gifts from our members. Read the latest about our work to support redwood parks.

Recent News

Protect Your Parks Investment

June 6, 2014: The administration of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. showed a commitment to state parks in its May proposal for the California state budget. California’s state parks shelter most of the redwood forest you’ve protected through the League.

Sam Hodder, League President and CEO, said the proposal is “a strong endorsement of the Parks Forward work and our efforts to reinvest in our parks.”

The League participates in Parks Forward (external link), an independent process to address the financial, operational and cultural challenges facing California State Parks and to ensure the system’s long-term viability. In fall 2014, the Parks Forward Commission will adopt a long-term plan for a parks system that meets the needs of all Californians, now and in the future.

The Brown administration is prepared to establish a team of experts to further develop and lead the parks department in implementing organizational reforms. Meanwhile, the department has started to carry out many of the Parks Forward Commission’s recommendations described in the recent draft report, including adding more cabins and collecting fees through debit and credit cards. The enacted budget will be available this summer.

Please join us in the effort to protect your investment in redwood state parks by donating to our parks improvement projects today.

Moving California State Parks Forward

The future of California State Parks is a League priority — after all, gifts from supporters like you helped create these redwoods sanctuaries. We are actively involved in the Parks Forward (external link) process, designed to build a bright and stable future for California’s beloved state park system. The Parks Forward Commission, made up of independent experts, advocates and thought-leaders, is currently assessing the state of California State Parks; and in fall 2014, the commission will adopt a long-term plan to help State Parks meet the needs of all Californians, now and in the future. The League has been working closely with the Parks Forward Commission since its inception. All commission meetings and work group sessions are open to the public. Visit the Parks Forward website (external link) to find an upcoming meeting near you.

For more Parks Forward updates, check back on this page page or sign up for our enewsletter.

How Your Gifts Enhance These Parks for You

With your gifts, the League has already been supporting innovative partnerships to improve selected redwood state parks’ infrastructure and further energize local communities near the parks.

In 2013, your generous donations helped obtain matching funds for essential operating expenses and infrastructure projects at three amazing redwood parks that faced closure: Portola Redwoods State Park, Hendy Woods State Park and Standish-Hickey (external link). Totaling $130,000, your gifts helped protect your investments in these parks by covering operational shortfalls and business plans that help put each park on a firm financial footing, plus improvements of water systems, campsites, shelters, bridges and more.

Now because of your gifts, these parks will receive more than $1 million from the State Parks and Recreation Fund and additional matching funds from California Assembly Bill 1478 (external link). Thank you!

Your gifts are making a difference in these redwood parks and others. One hundred percent of donations entrusted to us for our Parks Crisis Fund will be used for the following:

Portola Redwoods State Park

Visitors love Portola Redwoods State Park for its seclusion and tranquility among ancient redwoods and its picturesque Pescadero and Peters creeks. The park is a convenient getaway for those seeking refuge from the grind in nearby San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

In 2012, the League, Peninsula Open Space Trust (external link) and Portola and Castle Rock Foundation (external link) joined forces to help keep Portola open. The three organizations continue to work closely together and with California State Parks staff to eliminate the budget gap and to fund some much-needed repairs.

Your gifts have helped fund $20,000 for projected operational shortfall and an additional $20,000 to support enhancements, including developing solutions for an antiquated septic system and improving the camping-host site, which opened in 2014! Your gifts will help fund the creation of a ramada, business plan, marketing program and interpretive panels.

Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area

The League has partnered with Mendocino Area Parks Association (external link) and Team Standish (external link) to work with California State Parks on much needed improvements at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area (external link). Thanks to your gifts in 2013, California State Parks reinstalled a seasonal bridge across the Eel River, restoring visitor access for the first time in three years to 61 stunning redwoods campsites.
The bridge also allows access to

  • the Standish Tree, a giant estimated to be 1,200 years old
  • miles of forest trails
  • a path to the sandy shores of a sparkling swimming hole
  • day-use parking

Your generous donations were doubled by matching funds from California Assembly Bill 1478 (external link), granting Standish-Hickey a total of $100,000 for critical projects. The funds are also supporting much-needed repairs and upgrades to the park water system that supplies the campground and provides fire protection for the community of Leggett.

Hendy Woods State Park

For decades, families have visited Hendy Woods to camp and hike among its gigantic 1,000-year-old redwoods and enjoy the cool shade, enveloping quiet and beautiful Navarro River. Many return year after year to what they call the perfect location for relaxing and exploring the Mendocino coast and wine country.

The League began working with another nonprofit organization, Hendy Woods Community (external link), in 2012 to keep Hendy open. Your gifts are now helping to improve the park’s infrastructure. Day-use area upgrades planned for construction in fall 2014 include bathrooms and picnic tables accessible to people with disabilities; Interpretive signage; and a botanical garden for plant identification.

Mill Creek Forest

Mill Creek, a former logging site now part of Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, was left with many crumbling roads that could cause catastrophic landslides and harm forests and imperiled salmon. Once restored, Mill Creek will grow to resemble an ancient forest with a thick canopy, clear streams and abundant fish and wildlife. The health of this forest is critical to protect nearby ancient stands including Stout Grove. This year, as last year, your gifts are enabling the League to contribute $10,000 for support of park operations, maintenance, trail planning and restoration. Learn more about how your donations are helping to restore this forest.

Other State Parks Your Gifts Support

Your League gifts also are funding plans for a new trail at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, restoration at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, trail improvements at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and brochures to help you get the most out of your visits.

Over the next year, we will work with California State Parks and our park operating partners to identify possible enhancements that will help parks sustain themselves by reducing costs or increasing revenue.

With your help, we’ll continue to enhance access, protect and improve parks’ existing revenue streams, create new revenue streams, and restore or protect natural resources. Donate to our Park Crisis Fund to directly support threatened redwood parks. One hundred percent of your donation will be used to help state redwood parks.

You can continue to support these and other state parks projects by giving a gift. All donations the League makes to California State Parks are held in an account that is separate from the accounts in question. Donations made to the park system are tracked separately and can only be used for the specified purpose.

5 Ways to Support Redwood State Parks