A common misconception about the California State Parks is that California fully funds these parks. Unfortunately, the truth is far from this. In the financially challenging year of 2008 – 2009, the system considered indefinite closures to address the projected $14.5 billion deficit. The next budget year, the parks operated with a budget reduction in maintenance, equipment, and service. And the pattern has continued to present day; in fact, the State Parks deal with outdated technology for managing the parks and providing reservations.
Furthermore, a majority of the Californian taxes goes to education, health care, and public services. So it’s clear that the Parks can’t depend on the state alone. In 2013, non-profits contributed over “12 million to California state parks, while nearly 40,000 volunteers donated more than 1 million hours of their time.” In addition, Sierra State Parks Foundation raised over $614,000 for the seven state parks in the Lake Tahoe – Donner area just last year! Want to see what projects we are tackling this year? Click here!
In conclusion, state parks cannot do it alone! It is a communal effort from the legislators, the State Parks, donors, volunteers, and the fostered partnerships between Parks and non-profits like us. Help us keep parks open for all to enjoy by donating or volunteering today!
- Did you know the California State Parks system is the largest state park system in the US?
- The California State Parks system overlooks 280 separate parks on 1.4 million acres!
- California has approximately 70 million visitors annually!