Subscribe RSS

Posts Tagged ‘State Park Sunday’

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:Angel Island State Park

September 12th, 2009 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in State Park Sundays, Uncategorized

As a rule, I like to include pictures in these State Park Sunday posts.   Because I haven’t been to Angel Island since I  was about 10 years old I have none to share.  I can’t say that at the time it made a great impression on me.  I remember feeling privileged to see a Century Plant in bloom.  (Now I know that it does bloom more than once a century!)

A little later, however, I had a chance to learn more about the rich and tragic history of this state park.  Now I think  it is one of California’s most important state park treasures.  I was glad to hear that the federal government was considering transitioning this to a national park in case Angel Island was on the state park closure list.

This park is often called “Ellis Island of the West”.  However, unlike Ellis Island who welcomed most immigrants to U.S. shores this park was something more sinister.  As I did some background research on the Chinese immigrant experience for an ESL lesson on the book Dragon’s Gate by Laurence Yep, I discovered that Chinese immigrants were detained on Angel Island for many months, even years.

This island was also a temporary home for Japanese and German prisoners of war.  In the 1920′s it housed Japanese picture brides.

Immigration fascinates me.  My Irish ancestors arrived at Ellis Island at the turn of the century then made their way to California.  I want my children to understand their ancestor’s immigrant experience, learn more about how other immigrants have been treated by our country in the past, and show compassion towards the modern immigrants who live among us.  Hopefully, when we are ready to make the trip to Angel Island State Park, it will be open and ready to receive us!

Happy Trails,

Bridget

P.S.  I’m digging this cross cultural adventure out of the archives to share with my friends  at Trekaroo for  Spotlight Thursday.  Stop by for more great adventures with kids from across the country.

Share

Tags: ,

State Park Sunday: Sonoma State Historic Park

August 30th, 2009 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in State Park Sundays

I thought I would continue the Sonoma theme of my recent post, by taking a moment to highlight Sonoma State Historic Park.  This area encompasses a number of significant historical landmarks including the Sonoma Mission and General Vallejo’s home.  Here you can delve into the rich history of early Calfornia including the northernmost California Mission, the birth place of the Bear Flag, and the home and army barracks of General Vallejo, Commanding General of Alta Calfornia.

 

What makes this historical area so special is it is located in the heart of town, directly across from the beautiful town square pictured in my Photo Friday post and right down the street from local businesses.  As a child I remember browsing the upscale thrift shops and getting ice cream cones.

 Sonoma State Historic Park is part of what gives Sonoma it’s charm and sense of history.  It is a fun and educational family outing to complement any Sonoma getaway.  My Auntie Carol who lives in nearby Yountville commented that the whole area had been hard hit by the loss of tourism due to the recession.  I sincerely hope that Sonoma State Historic Park not be included in the impending park closures.  Sonoma needs interesting and affordable activities to draw tourists to this beautiful region.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stop by the Sonoma State Historic Park on my last visit due to time limitations, I’ll be sure to stop by on a future visit to capture this beautiful piece of Calfornia History.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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: SOS

August 9th, 2009 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in State Park Sundays, Uncategorized

Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, Ca

Last night I had a dream that I was making an impassioned plea for the California State Parks.  This morning  when I awakened I realized that, although I have a huge day in store, I couldn’t let another Sunday pass by without sharing with you the potential park closures that will be happening at the end of the summer.

So far it is looking like the California legislators have cut the State Park budget to the point that 100 parks will be closing afterLabor Day.  I am gravely concerned of the implications this will have for our public land, the economy of our local communities, and our children’s access to the natural world.  The parks are fragile just like the natural rock formation that you see above.  When I arrived at UC Santa Cruz in 2001, there were two such natural bridges.   Now the waves and storms have destroyed one…one remains.  

As citizens of California we cannot sit by and let the budget waves wash away these precious treasures of our state.  Today I am hoping for a miracle, park/business partnerships, a state park access pass, there must be a way to turn this around.

Let’s continue to do what we can to change our State Park’s future.  Visit the California State Parks Foundation and learn how you can make your voice heard.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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: , , , ,

State Park Sunday: Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe California

June 13th, 2009 by bsmith | 4 Comments | Filed in State Park Sundays
Emerald Bay by Lil' Bear

Emerald Bay by Lil' Bear

 

Welcome to the very first State Park Sunday at Family Adventure Guidebooks.  California State Parks and Beaches are facing closure.   This weekly feature is designed to encourage California residents and visitors to advocate for the parks that contribute so much to our lives and the California economy.

Emerald Bay State Park in Lake Tahoe, California is the source of many childhood memories.   As a young child I visited the Vikingsholm mansion, an elaborate Scandinavian inspired summer home located within the park.  The ornate Scandinavian designs with carvings and flowers inspired the way my family decorated my own play house at home.  My mom tacked boards along the roof line, and I had fun decorating them with colorful flowers.

As a middle school student I returned to Emerald Bay on a YMCA excursion.  My posse of giggling adolescent girls spread out lake side on their towels.  I will never forget the boom box playing “California Girls” by the Beach Boys.  That trip among girls who wore eye shadow and lip synced to Madonna around the campfire was my first glimpse at life as a teenager.

I give my own little guys the opportunity to explore Emerald Bay and make their own childhood memories.  I hope we can find our way to the island at the center of the lake and explore the stone castle tea house that captured my imagination as a child.  My mom’s family was from the Sierra town of Auburn, so we would have some family history to explore as well.  I’m worried that the impending closure of Emerald BayState Park will mean that I won’t have the opportunity to make this trip.

For more information about what you can do to advocate for California State Parks during this challenging economic times visit  The California State Parks Foundation .  Don’t forget to pay a visit to a local state park by next Sunday.  Wear green, have your photo taken with a sign downloaded from the park foundations SOS website and upload it.  Let’s let the California Legislature know  that we’re serious about preserving our state parks.

The above photo of Emerald Bay was taken by Lil’ Bear and is available on Flicker Creative Commons.  Check out her amazing photos.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

 

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share

Tags: , , , ,