Earlier this summer, as the days ticked closer to the July 1 state park closure deadline, POST, Save the Redwoods League, and the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation worked with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to keep Portola State Redwoods Park open.
POST received a $50,000 grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for this work: $20,000 was designated to help keep Portola open over the next year and the remainder is available for longer-term infrastructure and programmatic improvements.
In a surprise development on July 20, it was reported that State Parks had $54 million in undisclosed funds, $20 million of which is reportedly eligible for park resources management and projects. Although this is a significant sum, deferred maintenance and infrastructure improvements in the state park system reportedly total $1.3 billion. Given this continuing backlog of maintenance, supporting State Parks and preserving the lands that represent the best of California is as important as ever.
While the legislature determines how these funds will be used, POST remains committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Portola as an important goal of our Heart of the Redwoods Campaign. This park is an essential link in our local redwoods landscape and lies at the center of spectacular protected lands along the San Francisco Peninsula.
Local communities and nonprofit organizations have come together through unprecedented partnerships to support our parks. It’s this kind of public engagement that will help us find permanent solutions to preserving our local natural lands for the future.