E-News August 2014

From the President

In the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of attending events in diverse state parks. From meetings at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area where we discussed progress toward the restoration project there, to milling about the always-exciting Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, I have been lucky to spend time in state parks this summer. I hope you have, too!

In fact, as I write these thoughts, I am sitting on a train speeding through the delta, northeast of San Francisco. I can see Mount Diablo and Benicia State Recreation Area across fields and water. The fragility of this environment—at its root natural but heavily manipulated by humans —is a reminder of the responsibility we all have in ensuring that our natural resources, open spaces, and parks are vigilantly protected and appreciated by our fellow Californians.

That vigilance for our parks is a charge we have taken seriously at CSPF for more than four decades. In fact, CSPF is 45 years old this October! While the big celebrations have rightly been focused on the 150th celebrations of the Yosemite land grant and the California state parks system, ours is a milestone that has me reflecting on the maturity and experience that has grown at CSPF in these last decades.

As a supporter of CSPF, you know that one of the key areas of work we have been engaged in during the last year is the Parks Forward process. The Parks Forward Commission issued their second draft report on July 30. There are many good ideas in the report, as well as something to challenge every institution that supports the California state parks system. From the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and its oversight agencies to CSPF ourselves, from the non-profit community to Californians at large, the challenge is clear. Are we willing to find the reserves within us to approach our collective challenges differently? Are we willing to admit what we are up against, and commit ourselves to the challenge and change? These are tough questions to wrestle with, but the answer has to be a resounding and collective YES.

The answer has to be yes because change is mandatory. That is the clear message of the latest Parks Forward Commission draft report, and we agree. It is not a time to be complacent or to think we can turn back the clock.

With 45 years of good work and accomplishments in our portfolio, CSPF to ready to stand up in this moment of challenge and affirm our place in the new order for state parks. It is essential, and we are ready. That may mean a new role for CSPF. It may mean redefined roles for DPR and the numerous park partners who are so vital to the health of the system. We welcome this, as should others, as long as it leads to a stronger, more vibrant parks system.

If you’d like to read the report, you can find it here.

Elizabeth Goldstein, President

CSPF Judges State Fair Youth Art Contest

CSPF is proud to announce the recipients of the “2014 California State Fair’s Youth Art Competition, California State Parks Foundation Donor Awards.” These four talented youth artists have been recognized for their outstanding depictions of California’s natural environment. They each received California state park day use passes from CSPF.

During the Youth Art Competition, kids ages 5 to 18 from throughout California submitted entries to be judged and displayed as part of the California State Fair. They could enter four shows including Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, Crafts and Hobbies or Media.

CSPF participates in the Youth Art Competition to encourage youth to seek inspiration for their art in California’s state parks. We also hope that visitors to the California State Fair’s Youth Art Exhibit will be inspired by the work of these young artists to visit state parks themselves.

Santana Garcia for “Down by the Bay”

Santana, an 11th grader from Sacramento, was recognized for her photograph “Down by the Bay,” taken on a family trip to the Monterey Bay. Santana says that she was inspired to take this photograph when she saw how much fun her sister was having using her binoculars.

With a goal to one day attend photography school and take photos for National Geographic, Santana says her passion for photography began when she was just 7 years old.

Santana is excited to use her new state park passes to visit state parks with her family. She hopes to be able to take lots of pictures during her visits!

Sofia Pantis for “Figure in Emerald Bay”

Sofia Pantis of Carmichael was recognized for a photograph she took on a family trip to Lake Tahoe. The photo was taken at Emerald Bay State Park, where Sofia was inspired by the scenery – especially the rocks and the water that can be seen in the background of the photograph.

“I take pictures when I want to remember somewhere that I’ve been.” This was her second year participating in the Youth Art Competition.

Sofia especially loves outdoor places that are open and have water. She says that she enjoys “the freedom of the open skies and fresh air and trees.”

Elizara Pellegrini for “Sunset, New Brighton State Beach”

Elizara, a 6th grader from Folsom, was recognized by CSPF for her Upcycled Recycled Artwork airbrush painting, which she creatively made using a paper towel as her canvas. This painting was one of 11 entries Elizara submitted this year. Another state-park-themed entry, a t-shirt she airbrushed with a painting of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, also received recognition from the state fair.

Elizara leaned how to do spray brush art earlier this year from her father.

Although she says it is hard to pick a favorite state park, she recently visited Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve with her school and really enjoyed the field trip. She also enjoys visiting Beal’s Point at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which she is able to do often with her family.

Heidi Peterson for “Perched Sparrow Marquetry Box”

Heidi Peterson, a recent graduate of Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, was recognized for her wooden marquetry box, which features a bottom made of alder with walnut accents and veneer leaf cut outs, and a lid made of walnut decorated with an image of a sparrow perched on an oak branch made out of an assortment of wood veneer types.

While Heidi first learned about woodworking from her dad, she says that she seriously began the hobby in high school, where she took every woodshop class offered, and also took an independent study course in wood marquetry. This piece was her final project for her senior year, and she worked on it for six months. Heidi says that “this particular piece was the result of the combination of my woodworking, my separate interest in painting, and my love for nature.”

She recently went to Limekiln State Park on a camping trip, and says that it is now her favorite state park. “I love how you could be in the middle of a forested area, surrounded by redwoods, and then walk for five minutes and be on a beautiful beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean.”

Heidi plans to continue studying woodworking at Stanford University, where she begins classes this fall.

Summer Program Introduces Kids to State Parks

For the sixth year running we have, in partnership with California State Parks (DPR), continued a unique summer program that introduces the educational and outdoor benefits of state parks to urban youth in Oakland, Gilroy, Fresno, San Francisco, Whittier, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Sacramento, San Bernardino and Glenn counties. The program – Summer Learning – is planned in collaboration with staff at DPR and a selected network of summer after school providers, and are designed to address the themes of emotional, social and environmental health, literacy, science, and nutrition.

This year, more than 4,000 diverse and mostly urban youth ages 8 to 12 explored and discovered a wide range of outdoor activities at several state parks. They used geocaching to learn about the wildlife and ecosystems at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area; stepped back in time by participating in a living history program to experience life in the 1850s first hand at William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park; and enjoyed looking at the stars and navigating by flashlight while camping at Mt. Tamalpais and Henry W. Coe state parks, and San Clemente and San Onofre state beaches.

Donate a Picnic Table or Bench

You can make a tangible difference for a state park you love. For a tax-deductible gift of $2,500, you can donate a personalized redwood picnic table or bench to be placed in a state park that park visitors can enjoy for years to come.

Tables and benches are eight feet long, made of redwood, and can display a personalized message. Wilder Ranch State Park has a particular need for two tables at Tiger Beetle Meadow right now. However, most state parks in California are able to accept tables and benches. Please contact us if you would like to inquire about additional parks.

If you are interested in placing a table or bench, please find more information here, or contact Allison See at allison@calparks.org or (415) 262-4409 to begin the process.

Photo of the Month

Congratulations to photo contestant Dan DellaChiesa for winning the Photo of the Month for July!

He captured this adorable photo of otters floating together at Moss Landing State Beach. See a larger version of Dan's photo here.

You could be the next photo of the month winner! To compete in CSPF’s contest, simply complete your free registration on MyParkPhotos.com and be sure to check off “California State Parks Foundation” next to Join Partner Contests.

Thank you to our contest sponsor Lowepro!

Take the Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge

It’s that time of year … the 2014 Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge is on! This summer submit photos of you taking on any 3 adventures from WeekendSherpa.com and get a free T-shirt (specially designed and made by Marine Layer), a drawstring backpack, and a limited-edition Adventure Challenge sticker. Plus, one randomly selected person will win a Grand Prize trip for two to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico—courtesy of Alaska Airlines!

Find out more at Weekend Sherpa.

California State Parks Foundation

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