Support 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.
Parks Forward Report Reflects Commitment to Excellence
February 17, 2015: A milestone has been reached for California state parks, home of most of the redwood forests that Save the Redwoods League members have protected over generations. Last Friday, the Parks Forward Commission released its final recommendations (external link) for a long-term plan for state parks that will meet the needs of all Californians, now and in the future. The Parks Forward report is the result of a deliberate, independent process to address the financial, operational and cultural challenges facing California State Parks and to ensure the system’s long-term viability. The report reflects careful thought and a strong commitment to the mission of the Parks Department, and represents a substantial step toward a stronger future for our state parks.
California’s state parks shelter 60 percent of the world’s remaining old-growth redwood forest. The League is deeply invested in the future of our parks and the people who enjoy them, and we share the Parks Forward Commission’s commitment to such goals as increasing outdoor education for young people, investing in research in the parks, and expanding access for California’s underserved and urban communities.
The League’s contributions are reflected in the Parks Forward recommendations, which focus on these primary areas:
- Transforming the systems and structure of CSP
- Expanding engagement of partners, including the proposed creation of a statewide nonprofit to accelerate projects and support increased partnerships
- Enhancing access for all Californians
- Pursuing stable funding
We look forward to deepening our partnership role to help implement the recommendations.
Stay tuned for updates on the Parks Forward (external link) process and the League’s parks support work.
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 State Recreation Area (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.
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:
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.
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 are underway, including construction of bathrooms and a picnic area accessible to people with disabilities; interpretive signage; drinking fountains; and a resurfaced all-access trail. The upgrade is to be complete in summer 2015.
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 other wildlife. The health of this forest is critical to protect nearby ancient stands including Stout Grove. Your gifts are enabling the League to contribute funds for trail planning and restoration. Learn more about how your donations are helping to restore this forest.
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 supported much-needed repairs and upgrades to the park water system that supplies the campground and provides fire protection for the community of Leggett.
Other State Parks Your Gifts Support
Your League gifts also are funding plans for a new trail at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, trail restoration at Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, and brochures to help you get the most out of your visits.
We will continue to 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.