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

Rachael Myrow is KQED's South Bay arts reporter, covering arts and culture in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. She also guest hosts for  The California Report and Forum, files stories for NPR and hosts a podcast called Love in the Digital Age.

Her passion for public radio was born as an undergrad at the University of California at Berkeley, writing movie reviews for KALX-FM. After finishing one degree in English, she got another in journalism, landed a job at Marketplace in Los Angeles, and another at KPCC, before returning to the Bay Area to work at KQED.

She spent more than seven years hosting The California Report, and over the past 20 years has won a Peabody and three Edward R. Murrow Awards (one for covering the MTA Strike, her first assignment as a full-time reporter in 2000 as well as numerous other honors including from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the LA Press Club.
Follow @rachaelmyrow

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