Subscribe RSS

Posts Tagged ‘California State Parks Foundation’

Move It Monday: The Newest Family Adventure Mobile plus a California State Park Bargain

March 21st, 2011 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in California State Parks, Camping with Kids, RV Adventures
The Newest Family Adventure Mobile a Pop Up RV

The Newest Family Adventure Mobile- A New to Us Pop Up Trailer

This was a big weekend for the Smith Family.  Daddy brought home a new to us Pop Up Trailer, and I have a feeling the travels of the Smith Family may never be the same.  I’m hoping that this new way to travel will provide us with more opportunities to “Move It” on vacation (note the bike racks).  I’m excited to have a TV free zone with real beds and a kitchen to cook fast food alternatives.  We aren’t planning a big cross country trip or to check out and become permanent travelers like some of my blogging friends, but we are looking forward to local adventures to state parks and county campgrounds.  Perhaps we’ll even explore some cushy RV resorts with heated pools.  In any case, it will certainly make travel interesting and give us an opportunity to explore California’s natural beauty.  I’m dreaming of a family trip to Yosemite.  We went there when Justin was in kindergarten, and I have fond memories of family bike rides and hikes in this breathtaking national park.

On that note, call it “State Park Monday”.  I wanted to share with you the California State Parks Foundation  is offering a great introductory rate of $25 for their Park Sampler for new members.  Benefits include a subscription to Sunset Magazine, 7 day use  passes, and $5 off camping in state park camp grounds.  Such a steal and a great way to support California’s state parks.  I’m eagerly awaiting my membership card.

Here’s Jared dreaming of some camping adventures:

Jared Trying Out His New Bed

Happy Trails,

Bridget

P.S. See Mother of All Trips for some more Monday Dreams

Share

Tags: , ,

State Park Blog Rally Wrapup: How We Move Forward

November 9th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in California State Parks, Uncategorized

Cleaning Up Carlsbad State Beach

Needless to say I’m a wee bit disappointed at voters in the State of California.  We have passed up a golden opportunity to improve access to our state parks, attract more tourists, and preserve these natural treasures for future generations.  That said, I was amazed by the overwhelming support for California’s state parks throughout the blogsphere.  Thanks to Delicious Baby, Trekaroo, and Traveling Mom for hosting blog roundups and twitter parties to rally for this important cause.  Thanks to all the other bloggers who shared their love of state parks through blog posts.  I treasured every one.

This week I found myself asking, “How can we continue to support our state parks in the midst of these trying budget times?”

Here are some thoughts:

Visit California’s State Parks!

California’s politicians aren’t going to consider this a budget priority unless they see that the majority of Californians visit state parks on a regular basis.  So, go to the beach, take the kids camping or hike through the redwoods.  Make California’s state parks a family destination.

Do Service Projects

One of my family’s favorite things to do is go clean up our local state beach.  My son’s cub scout troop does this twice a year.  In my study of the state parks issue, one thing that stands out  is the dedicated service that thousands of Californians perform for their state parks.  The volunteer docents in costume at Wilder Ranch State Park made for one of our most memorable state park visits ever!

Donate a Symbolic $18 to the California State Parks Foundation.

Visit the California State Parks Foundation  website to make a donation or buy a membership.  Some levels have pretty great perks.

Stay Informed and Inspired

In addition to the California State Parks Foundation, I have found Folks 4 State Parks to be a great place to be reminded of why we advocate for our California State Parks.  Stop by to see some breathtaking videos of Christopher’s state park journeys.

Buy a State Parks Pass

A current California annual day use pass is a heck of a lot more than $18, but it’s still cheaper than a family trip to Disneyland.  Rumors are swirling about dramatic increases in day use fees in order to fund the parks,  so buy your California State Parks Day Use Pass now.  Prices range from $90-$125 depending on the parks that accept the pass.

Once again thanks for all the blog love for California State Parks.  The rally is over, but the crusade must continue ;) .

Happy Trails,

Bridget

Share

Tags: ,

State Park Sunday: Good News for California State Parks?

September 27th, 2009 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in State Park Sundays, Uncategorized
Save Our State Parks Booth, Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz

Save Our State Parks Booth, Wilder Ranch Santa Cruz

 

I have good news this State Park Sunday.  The governer has  decided not to close any California State Parks.  The budget cuts will still take their toll on the parks however in terms of loss of staffing and reduced hours.  This could continue to endanger the safety of the parks and the economic health of their surrounding communities.

Here are two different takes on what the Governer’s announcement means for the state parks.

California State Parks Foundation Press Release

Union Tribune Article

No doubt about it, a rough road lies ahead for the State of California and it’s State Parks.  User fees are going to be more important than ever, so have a picnic, go camping, and keep letting Sacramento know that you support a state access pass.  Get out and enjoy these great State Parks before the governor changes his mind!

Happy Trails,

Bridget

Share

Tags: , , , ,

State Park Sunday: Ano Nuevo State Park

August 21st, 2009 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in Santa Cruz County Adventures, State Park Sundays

Elephant Seal, Ano Nuevo State Park

As summer comes to an end, I start thinking about Elephant Seals.  At  Ano Nuevo State Park, just North of Santa Cruz California you will find the largest elephant seal breeding colony in the world. Starting in mid December you can participate in guided public walks.  Tickets for this amazing experience go on sale October 20th and apparently the walks fill up quickly so mark your calendars!  They even have a live web camera set up for those of us who won’t be heading up North this winter.

If you visit outside of the tour season,  you will need to get a visitor’s permit to visit the wildlife viewing area.  See more info here.

I don’t think I’ll be in Santa Cruz this winter. Still,  if this amazing park stays open, I will definitely have to gather the kids around the laptop, and check out the web cam.  Perhaps when we make our annual pilgrimage to Santa Cruz next year, we will get visitor permits and try to observe the seals molting.

Every Sunday, Family Adventure Guidebooks  is featuring a different California State Park in order to call attention to the potential State Park closures that will be happening after Labor Day.  The California State Parks Foundation is organizing I Heart State Parks actions throughout the state over Labor Day Weekend.  For more information and to learn how to organize your own event click here.

If you would like to do a State Park Sunday guest blog or just contribute a photo of a California State Park, please leave a comment below.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

 

PS The beautiful photo is provided by bike4freedom2 under a Flickr Creative Commons License

Share

Tags: , , ,

State Park Sunday: Anza Borrego

August 15th, 2009 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in San Diego Adventures, San Diego Day Trips, San Diego State Parks, Spring Adventures, State Park Sundays

Anza Borrego State Park, California

The media is starting to recognize the dire straights faced by the California State Park System.  This past week, a local reporter came upon my blog and interviewed me for a piece on the California State Park closures.  Reading the North County Times article I learned something new.  The Colorado Desert District which includes local treasures such as Palomar Mountain State Park and Anza Borrego Desert State Park spends significantly more than it collects in revenue. This may put both parks on the closure list.Anza Borrego Desert State Park, wild flowers

Anza Borrego is famous for the wild flowers that bloom in the midst of the desert every spring.  Local volunteers  in the area come together to greet and assist the large numbers of visitors who flock to Anza Borrego in order to experience this natural wonder.  During my parents last visit  the line was so long that they were unable to enter the visitor’s center!

Fields of Gold, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

I didn’t make the trek to go wildflower hunting last spring, but I was certainly hoping to head out there this year since my little ones are a bit more patient and better travelers.  Unfortunately, if Anza Borrego is one of the one hundred parks that will be closed, my children will lose this opportunity to observe a desert spring.

Anza Borrego offers alot more than wild flowers.  It is the largest state park in Calfornia and has numerous hiking trails.  The website says that visitors may see a wide range of animals including roadrunners,  golden eagles, kit foxes, and big horn sheep.  If you plan to visit in the spring, check the park’s website for weekly flower updates. 

Hope that you are all enjoying your last days of summer.  State park closures will be announced after Labor Day.  Visit the California State Parks Foundation for updates and action alerts.  Also, Knudsen is making a donation for every one of their products purchased before September 6th up to $100,000.  Food for thought next time you head to the grocery store.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

PS The beautiful pictures in this post were provided my my talented mother and Family Adventure Guidebooks correspondent Lee Gillin.  Thanks mom ;) .

PPS I am cheating a wee bit and entering this post in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday in order to call attention to the potential closure of many of California’s State Parks.  To enjoy Debbie’s beautiful pictures of a Japanese Garden in Seattle and more great travel posts from around the world click here.

Share

Tags: , , , , ,

State Park Sunday: Fourth of July Fun @Wilder Ranch State Park

June 20th, 2009 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in State Park Sundays
Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, Ca
Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, Ca
Our family is off on a spur of the minute trip to Santa Cruz, California next week.  I am hoping that we will linger until the Fourth of July to enjoy the festivities at Wilder Ranch State Park.  This park is a combination of historic buildings, wild spaces, and bike trails like the one featured above.  It is a magical place to spend a weekend afternoon.  I have only had the chance to visit once, but I remember that it had gigantic climbing trees that could support a whole class full of preschoolers (and indeed they did!)

These are some things that Wilder Ranch has in store for Independence Day:

  1. Old fashioned parade at 11:45 a.m. (It being hyper politically aware Santa Cruz, sufragettes are planning to attend.)
  2. Cake walk
  3. Historic Lawn Games
  4. Ice-cream cranking
  5. Live 1909 Music
  6. Ranch demonstrations like woodstove baking, black smithing, and vegetable gardening.

The picture above is available from flickr creative commons.  Many thanks to richardmasoner for posting it.

Hope you enjoyed SOS weekend.  Make sure to upload your photos to the California State Parks Foundation Facebook Page.  Click here for more info.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

Share

Tags: , , , ,

Photo Friday: South Carlsbad State Beach

June 11th, 2009 by bsmith | 8 Comments | Filed in Outdoor Adventures, San Diego Beaches, San Diego Day Trips, San Diego State Parks, State Park Sundays

 

Beach Cleanup, South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad, Ca

Beach Cleanup, South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad, Ca

Dear Readers,

Let me introduce you to my soul place here in Carlsbad.  South Carlsbad State Beach is the site of many wonderful family memories. This is where Justin learned to boogie board, and Ken learned to surf.  When we first arrived at this beach three years ago, Destiny was too timid to get anywhere near the water.  Now, on a good day, she’ll splash and be dragged along on a boogie board.

It’s where we bring our dear friends from Santa Cruz when they come to visit.  All the Northern California folk savor the warm water.  We break out the boogie boards and teach the kids to ride the waves.

On summer evenings our family heads down to the South Carlsbad State Beach to picnic and watch the sunset.  Every anniversary Ken and I head to the beach for burritos and boogie boarding until the sun goes down.

This beach is special to our family.  It is our beach and we care for it by packing our own trash and sometimes other people’s.  Twice a year we join our fellow Cub Scouts in a huge beach cleanup.  Happily so many people treasure this beach, that there is usually not much trash to find.

jared-explores-logs-south-carlsbad-state-beach

Exploring the Logs, South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad, Ca

All this may be changing at the end of the summer.  Due to budget cuts, South Carlsbad and many other state beaches and state parks are on a closure list .  Such closures be devastating on a personal level for the citizens of Carlsbad and other local communities.  It will also have a significant impact on tourism.  According to a  recent Sacramento State study California State Parks generates $300 million dollars in California sales tax for “park related expenditures”.    

The budget crisis is very grave here in California.  The Governor and Legislature have tough decisions to make that will have a significant impact on health, human services, and education.  Although State Parks are very important to me and my family, I feel somewhat guilty advocating for them, when there is so much need elsewhere.  Recently , however, I read a great idea from the  California State Parks Foundation that would free up some money in the budget, keep the parks open, and even promote in state tourism.  Last spring, in the midst of the last round of budget battles the foundation proposed the implementation of a California State Access Pass  program.  In exchange for a $10 fee on the California vehicle tax, all vehicles with valid California license plates would receive free admission  and parking at most California State Parks.  The fee would raise $282 million for the State Parks and the current allocation for the parks in the budget would be returned to the General Fund for the next four years in order to assist the State of California in resolving other budget concerns.

What can we do to avert this crisis?

Here are some steps that I have taken so far:

  • Signed the California State Parks Foundation Petition .
  • Joined the California States Parks Foundation Facebook Group as well as my friend Jade’s  Facebook Group Families for California State Parks.
  • E-mailed my City Council to express my concern regarding this issue and educate them about the California State Park Access Pass proposal.
  • Planned  to participate in Save Our State Parks Weekend.  We will head to Carlsbad State Beach on or before the weekend of June 20th and take pictures/ film a Flip video of my family holding the Save Our State Parks sign.   I’ll upload the pictures to the CSPF as well as my blog.

I am also starting a regular feature on my blog to raise awareness entitled State Park Sundays.  Every Sunday I hope to feature a profile of a different California State Park.  It’s a big project and I would love some help.  Spread the word about State Park Sundays.  I also welcome guest blogs about your favorite California State Park.  Let’s make sure that Californians appreciate the treasure that they have before its gone.

Thanks for your patience with my very word intensive Photo Friday Post.  For more Photo Friday Fun check in with my friend Delicious Baby.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,