Out of 70 state parks slated for closure 65 have attracted partners. Some are still in negotiation, but the 41st partnership agreement was signed July 3.
The partnerships range from nonprofit organizations to public entities and private concessionaires. The state is keeping the remaining 24 open as negotiations continue.
Five parks have no active negotiations or prospective partners. The state nevertheless is keeping 69 out of the 70 open as a result of the recently passed state budget. They will remain open “for the near term.”
All partnership agreement parks “will be staffed by and remain under the operational control of California State Parks,” its press release stated.
That may turn out to be unrealistic staffing, but we give full credit to the state Parks Department for getting out of its bureaucratic mindset and looking toward innovative partnerships with local communities to keep the parks open.
Among the parks kept open are the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, Del Norte Redwoods State Park, Mono Lake Tufa Natural Reserve, South Yuba State Historical Park, Santa Cruz Mission SHP, Benicia Capitol SHP, Palomar Mountain SP, Petaluma Adobe SHP, Weaverville Joss House SHP, Branan Island SRA, Tule Elk State Natural Reserve, Tomales Bay SP, Jack London SHP, Samual P. Taylor SP, Shasta SP and Grizzly Creek Redwoods SP.
Some parks are open, but have reduced hours or offer a lower level of services. Many are supported by donations. The majority are being kept open by nonprofit associations of volunteers. It is the volunteers that we especially praise. Donated time is a precious commodity, especially on a regular basis.