Sierra State Parks Foundation 2020 Accomplishments
The mission of the Sierra State Parks Foundation is to support the Lake Tahoe-Donner State Parks for education, interpretation, preservation and advocacy in partnership with California State Parks to create a welcoming visitor experience.
Education/Interpretation – Covid-19 restricted did not permit the opening of the historic house museums for tours and educational programming in 2020. We turned our focus on virtual classroom experiences provided by the state parks personnel funded by our organization where over 5,000 individual visitor contacts were made including Junior Ranger programming, outside “table presentations” and 12 formal virtual school programs serving over 400 children. In addition, we provided a monthly virtual speaker series drawing over 1,200 viewers. As permitted, the park store staff welcomed 52,000 to our sites providing on site information and services when little else was offered. During this challenging year, we continued to engage the public through virtual hikes, Earth Day Art Contest and park game nights to name a few.
Preservation – Several projects were completed including, 1) complete restoration of the historic tennis court facility at Sugar Pine Point State Park, 2) continued restoration of the historic garden at Sugar Pine Point, Repair of vandalized stained glass window and replacement of stolen curtains at Vikinghsolm, 3) contract for the restoration of the Pioneer Monument at Donner State Park let, 4) repairs to outside wood facade at Vikinghsolm and many more small, but significant maintenance needs completed.
Advocacy – Partnered with State Parks to develop Safe Reopening Plans to allow visitation to the parks as permitted. Created outreach programs to curb a large influx of trash and vandalism as visitation to the parks were are record levels, despite Stay-at-Home Orders from the governor. Programs included community trash pick-up days, social media outreach, park signage and in-person interventions with visitors by employees and volunteers. We incorporated equity and inclusion initiatives into all aspects of our work to enable a more welcoming park environment.
Additional 2018 Accomplishments:
- The Donner Project Campaign kicked off
- The lakeside first level wood face of Vikingsholm was refinished
- Forest thinning to reduce fire risk was performed at Vikingsholm
- The foundation of the Hellman-EhrmanMansion was protected with the installation of a rock barrier.
- A light study was done on the textiles at Vikingsholm and the Hellman-Ehrman Estate.
- The lakeside garden of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion was regraded and ready to plant and restore to its original 1930 appearance.
- SSPF financially supported all State Park interpretive and educational activities for the Lake Tahoe parks.
- SSPF financially supported all of the volunteer needs for all parks.
- SSPF represented our parks and visitors at numerous public meetings, State agency commissions and in our State and local legislative bodies.
- Our PARK APP was launched and now gives visitors a great resource to explore and enjoy our parks.
- Coordinated the sale of 10,000 bundles of locally sourced firewood for our campers.
- Partnered with Action Water Sports (Camp Richardson) and Cruise Tahoe (Zepher Cover) to provide water based transportation and tour packages for Vikingsholm.
- Partner with State Parks to address employee housing issues.
- Leased a snow groomer and coordinated the all volunteer program to groom 17km of trails at Sugar Pine Point during the 2019 season.