Today is July 1, the day of the new State Budget, and the day of the deadline for the 70 State Parks on the closure list to figure out how/if they were going to stay open.
Celebrations are occurring at some of the parks this weekend, as the great news is 69 parks are staying open for at least one year, many with a two or three reprieve. Hurray!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!!!!!!!
That being said, the reprieves are temporary. Parks are staying open largely as a result of each individual park taking on mounds of fund raising and legal paperwork. Now the work will be ongoing for all of them, until such time as the state budget reverses itself. Well, we don't need a crystal ball to see the near future on that matter.
As to my blog and visiting all 70 parks, I have in fact visited them all. On June 11 I made my 70th trip to the Portola Redwoods near Santa Cruz. It has been an amazing experience. I still have to blog about the last eleven, and I will continue to do so for the next week or so I until they are all up. I knew from the get-go that I would enjoy this project. But, it turned out to be so much more than 70 pleasure trips. The experience has been genuinely transforming. I will write more about that when I wrap-up my adventures in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, go visit the parks! The concensus in my conversations with "park people" is that the best way for individuals to help keep the parks open is by using them! You can help keep the parks opening by visiting with family, friends or alone. How often do you have an opportunity to "help" by having fun?
Of course you can always make a donation to individual parks or to the California State Park Fund Assocation.
Here is a link to the California State Parks page that allows you to search for a park by city, region, type of park, etc.
If you prefer an alphabetical list, here is a wikipedia link. There are 280 to choose from, no doubt one or two near you!
These parks belong to us. If we don't use them they might go away. I know I would be sad if my future park blogs looked like this page, lots of information but no pictures.
The only park remaining on the closure list is Providence Mountain SP out in the East Mojave. This park was actually already closed before last year's announcement.
And so, with all sincerity I say, "I Hope to See you at the State Parks!"