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Home / Get Involved / Support California State Parks

Support Your California State Parks

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.

It Takes a Forest - Learn about our work to protect redwood parks and how you can help.

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 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 the fall of 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 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, Hendy Woods 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 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, rebuilding a picnic shelter and improving the camping-host site. This year, 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

The bridge and campground are open, so go enjoy the magnificent redwoods at Standish-Hickey and know that you made a difference here. Thank you!

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 in 2012, to keep Hendy open. Your gifts are now helping improve the park's infrastructure with $40,000 allocated for operational shortfall and enhancements, including a possible new group camp site, trail improvements, an upgrade to make a bathroom accessible for people with disabilities and other potential projects.

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park

For generations, visitors have relished the seclusion of this ancient redwood forest and the swimmer's delight, the Van Duzen River. Grizzly Creek's skyscraping trees are so stunning that they are featured in the film, Return of the Jedi. Humboldt County Parks is now operating Grizzly Creek. Now, as in previous years, your gifts are enabling the League to contribute a grant of $20,000 for park operations, maintenance and enhancements.

Mill Creek Forest

Mill Creek, a former logging site now part of Del Norte 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 are also funding plans for a new trail at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, restoration at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and brochures to help you get the most out of your visits to redwood parks.

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

Share Your Redwood Park Memories with Us

Hidden Park Gems, Valentine's Redwoods Gifts

In the deep folds of the Santa Cruz Mountains, you'll find the largest stand of ancient redwoods south of San Francisco at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the perfect place for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking and more.

Hendy Woods State Park

HIGHLIGHTS: Hendy Woods State Park shelters not one but two ancient redwood forests, the 80-acre Big Hendy and 20-acre Little Hendy groves.

Park Highlights & Visitor Information »