State Park Access Pass – Ask for It

ca_state_park_poppy_ocean

The budget committee voted to remove General Fund support for state parks.  Yikes! 

That means that incredible lands like the photo shown above may be closed to public access which deprives us all of two benefits:  1. Access to affordable, wholesome, uplifting fun at a time when families may not afford other recreation and 2. Erodes the protected status of these precious open spaces.

The good news is that there is an alternative to sitting back and letting our wild lands be taken from us (and I fear eventually turned into some form of development):

The budget committe also voted to recommend a new State Park Access Pass which would give a year’s unlimited access to state parks for $15 per vehicle — an outstanding deal!  This proposal needs to pass a final vote of state legislature.   Please nudge your representative – click here for an automated form.

Then reward yourself by visualizing your last fun trip to a CA state park…either hiking, camping, or maybe a beach.  Better yet, treat yourself to a visit to a state park this weekend.  🙂

(Photo Credit: Montana de Oro State Park – California Poppy by docentjoyce)

Henry Coe State Park Hike June 20

Henry Coe photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkinkade/
Henry Coe State Park is a rare and precious combination of wild lands on the doorstep of a major metropolitan area.  Its been one of my favorite places since a backpacking trip deep in the park when a rottweiler-sized cat came down to the stream across from camp to get a drink…and ran once it realized people were about.   Watching the big cat drink was a wonderful sight to behold — and not one I’d particularly expect to see at park headquarters.

Unfortunately, our access to Henry Coe State Park is threatened by the CA budget crisis withdrawing funding for state parks.    I’m not only concerned about not being able to use Coe — I’m also worried that a closed park is less likely to be preserved as it becomes an easier target for development.

SOS is an organization committed to keeping our state parks open.   They have called for a show of support for the parks in the form of visiting a state park sometime on the weekend of June 20-21, 2009 and taking photos of ourselves with banners for a video they are producing.

I plan to be at Henry Coe State Park Headquarters to take the photos and I want you to join in.   Everyone is welcome for the photo.    

Henry Coe State Park HQ is off 101 near Morgan Hill, 60mins from Redwood City. Click for general directionsClick for google map  The HQ has restrooms and drinking water available.

If you want to be photographed with a sign, you can print your favorite of the signs on the SOS Weekend page.    If enough people RSVP by Thursday 6/18 to say they’ll be there, I’ll have a larger banner made up.

If you would like to coordinate carpools, feel free to leave comments on this post.   Please understand that this website is open to the public and I won’t necessarily know everyone who comments.   I’m already in a carpool down and will meet y’all there.

We do plan to hike after the photos.    If you’d like to hike too, please bring water, decent shoes, snack/lunch and your sense of personal responsibility.  This isn’t an organized event, but I’m happy to have new friends and acquaintances share the trail.

Hope to see you Saturday!

(Henry Coe photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nkinkade/)