Come July 1st, more than 50 state parks are slated to close until further notice … That’s a fair drop from the Original 70, but if non-profits are scrambling to ink deals with the state to shrink the list further, they don’t have much time left.

Hendy Woods State Park, just outside Philo. Is there light at the end of this grove? Looks like it. (Credit: Rachael Myrow/KQED)

This week, the Hendy Woods Community and Save the Redwoods League announced that Hendy Woods State Park in Mendocino County will remain open this summer. They haven’t quite signed on the dotted line with the state, but the non-profits are confident enough to announce Hendy is now taking reservations again for campsites and cabins.

Also this week, the California State Parks Foundation announced it will award 13 grants worth more than $325,000 to organizations fighting to keep state parks off the closure list. It’s a one-time offer (at least until further notice), “one of several steps the 43-year-old foundation is taking in response to the crisis,” according to the group’s press release.

Among the lucky winners: China Camp State Park. The Marin State Parks Association and its subgroup, Friends of China Camp, received about $30,000 to bolster their efforts, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

The big money behind these grants? The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Thomas J. Long Foundation, two groups that have supported state parks in the past.

All of the Parks Foundation awards are contingent on non-profits entering into an agreement with the California Department of Parks & Recreation.

“We look forward to the moment when the ink dries on the deals between these nonprofits and the state,” said Goldstein.

As do they, it’s fair to say.

The California Report is maintaining an up-to-date Google Map of the parks in question.


Rachael Myrow

From KQED’s Silicon Valley Bureau in San Jose, Rachael Myrow covers arts and culture in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. This follows more than seven years hosting KQED's California Report, broadcast on NPR affiliates throughout the state. She still guest hosts for The California Report and Forum, and files for NPR and PRI’s The World. Before KQED, she worked in Los Angeles for Marketplace and KPCC.

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