On July 1st of this summer, California is slated to close 70 state parks due to severe budget cuts- that’s 25% of America’s largest state park system! I am one of the many Californians disappointed in the decision to close the parks and am determined to stop it! Growing up in the Midwest, I was mesmerized by California’s natural beauty and cultural allure. John Muir was my high school hero, the Redwoods and Big Sur were dream destinations, and fantasies of cross-state road trips had me starry-eyed. Not to mention the appeal of surfer boyfriends! Now that I’ve lived here for 4 years and have seen so much of the state, California’s beauty still lives up to my ideals. If these parks close, how are we supposed to continue to enjoy them? Who will maintain them? How long before they are all closed?
Jenny from The Go Game wrote me recently to tell me about the road trip game she built to help raise awareness about the park closures and to get people out to visit and support the parks. If you don’t think you’re interested in camping, hiking, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors, check out the trailer for The First 70, a Kickstarter-funded documentary about the threatened parks. The beauty they capture is enough to convince even the most inexperienced nature greenhorns that a walk in the park is worth it.
Here’s a list of which parks are closing, so start planning your trips! You can also write your representative, volunteer in a park, or just visit the California State Parks Foundation to learn more about the park system.
Thanks to Jenny for sending this over! Can’t wait to get on the road again…I’m going camping in Big Sur next weekend! Image above is Garrapata State Park via.