In case you missed this in last Thursday’s Mercury News, the 2,800-acre Santa Cruz Mountains getaway southwest of Cupertino became the 31st park officially saved from the list of 70 parks.

hdpublicplaces-modThe article quotes Ruth Coleman, the head of California’s Department of Parks & Recreation, saying “We are over 30 now. I would expect we can get to 50. My fantasy is to get to 60.”

What did it take? $100,000 from Save the Redwoods League; the Peninsula Open Space Trust; and the Portola & Castle Rock Foundation.

Portola Redwoods (Credit: California Department of Parks & Recreation

Of that, $60,000 will pay for operations, making up the shortfall between the $350,000 annual park budget and the money that would have been lost in entrance fees, camping fees and other revenue had the park closed. Another $40,000 will go to an “enhancement fund” to pay for projects that could bring new money to the park, such as building a new outdoor shelter for weddings and other events, or rehabbing several old cabins that could be rented to campers.

These elements are common to many of the “rescue” deals, as is the stipulation that all the money Portola Redwoods generates over the next year will stay in the park, rather than go to Sacramento.

Next year? That’s right. This deal takes the park through one more fiscal year.

  • Anonymous

    This is all silly politics.  In the federal budget, $100k is chump change: that’s less than one year of one employee’s generous pension which he’ll get for half their adult life.   It’s what’s spent on two prisoners for a year, incarcerated for mandatory sentencing on drug possession.  It’s less than a tenth of a cent increase in the tax on a pack of cigarettes.  Leave the state parks alone and deal with the real budget issues.


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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