With many state park closures looming, three leading Bay Area conservation organizations – Peninsula Open Space Trust, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and Save the Redwoods League – have joined forces to help keep Portola Redwoods State Park open.
This temporary reprieve will allow the park to remain open for the next 12 months while the nonprofit organizations work with California State Parks to develop a long-term solution and plan that would set Portola Redwoods on a path toward sustainability.
The ultimate goal of the partnership is to protect California redwoods for all park enthusiasts to experience and enjoy.
“This partnership agreement reflects a lot of hard work and creativity on the part of state park staff and our nonprofit partners,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks. “On behalf of California State Parks, I want to thank our partners for stepping up and filling the budget gaps.”
Just five miles north of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Portola Redwoods State Park welcomes visitors "with tranquility and solitude," Coleman described. It features rugged terrain with a natural basin covered by coast redwoods, Douglas firs and live oaks.
Portola Redwoods boasts 18 miles of hiking trails, 53 camping sites and two creeks that meander through the park.
“We are thrilled to help keep Portola Redwoods State Park open for the public's enjoyment,” said Ruskin K. Hartley, executive director of Save the Redwoods League. “We encourage everyone to visit this park, and other redwood parks along the north coast of California and the Sierras."
Combined, the three organizations are contributing $100,000 to eliminate the budget gap and to fund some much-needed repairs.
"Portola Redwoods is an ethereal retreat on the doorstep of Silicon Valley," said Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) President Walter T. Moore. "It deserves all of our collective efforts, not just to keep it off the park closure list for another year, but to assure its long-term financial sustainability."
"There is no reason that the intellectual capital and generous spirit of Silicon Valley can't figure out how to make this happen," he said. "And with the support of the community, we will make it happen."
“We want to improve the experience for visitors to Portola Redwoods State Park," said Andrew Vought, board member of the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation. "In addition to upgrading physical facilities, we are soliciting volunteers to help us at the park.”
For more information about California State Parks, visit http://parks.ca.gov.