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May 25, 2012 > Grants will help keep State Parks open

Grants will help keep State Parks open

Submitted By Jerry Emory

The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) announced it will award 13 grants totaling $328,586 to organizations fighting to keep state parks off the closure list. This serious one-year commitment is one of several steps the 43-year-old foundation is taking in response to the crisis of park closures across California's state park system. These grants were made possible by generous funding from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Thomas J. Long Foundation. These foundations have supported the work of CSPF for many years, and both have stepped up their support at this critical moment to help keep a number of state parks open.

In addition to these 13 new grants, CSPF previously awarded two grants to temporarily keep open Santa Susana State Historic Park and Jughandle State Natural Reserve. All of these awards are contingent on the state entering into agreements with these organizations that have developed strong and effective proposals to keep parks open.

"This is an example of the value of public-private partnerships," said California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Ruth Coleman. "We thank CSPF for mobilizing donors and resources to assist our nonprofit partners to get through this budget crisis."

Seventy state parks were originally slated for closure by July 1, 2012. Thanks to the efforts of private donors, nonprofits, local governments and DPR, numerous deals throughout the state have been finalized to keep some parks open temporarily, with many more in the works. All of the state parks community has acted in an exemplary fashion to adapt to the state's financial distress. Ultimately however, this good work can only be rewarded by the state re-funding these parks so they have a long-term future that is sustainable.

"We look forward to the moment when the ink dries on the deals between these nonprofits and the state," said Goldstein. "They are very much in the process at the moment, and we think these grant announcements are an important milestone toward their completion."

The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) is the only statewide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's magnificent state parks. For more information about California's state parks, visit calparks.org.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:
Anderson Marsh State Historic Park: Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association
Park: Austin Creek State Recreation Area: Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park and Bothe-Napa Valley State Park: Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space District
Castle Crags State Park: Innovations Housing
China Camp State Park: Marin State Parks Association (for Friends of China Camp)
Greenwood State Beach and Elk Visitor Center: Department of Parks and Recreation
Hendy Woods State Park: Hendy Woods Community
Jack London State Historic Park: Valley of the Moon Natural History Association
McConnell State Recreation Area and George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area: East Merced Resource Conservation District
Palomar Mountain State Park: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association (for Friends of Palomar)
Salton Sea State Recreation Area: Sea and Desert Interpretive Association
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Sonoma Ecology Center
William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park: Ide Adobe Interpretive Association

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