State Parks That Are Going Away

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone – Joni Mitchell

An article in Sunday’s Sacramento Bee, “A State Park Bucket List,” gave pictures and descriptions of 15 favorites among the 70 parks and historical sites we may only have another 13 months to see.

Casualties of the California budget crisis, all these sites are scheduled to close in July, 2012.  Without ongoing maintenance, many of these parks, and especially those with old or historic structures, may never open again.

This includes the Jack London State Historical Park, which I wrote about on this blog last fall.

It includes the Bidwell Mansion in Chico, home of Gen. John and Anne Bidwell, founders of the town, who donated a magnificent 3600 acre park where the Sherwood Forest scenes for the 1938 Robin Hood withErrol Flynn were filmed.  Sherwood is a pleasant walk or bycycle ride from the center of town.

Those who can might want to check the newspaper link and plan a trip to see some of these gems while they still are open.

PS – One of my facebook friends just gave me this website which is open for donations to help save these parks, under the auspices of the California Institute of Man in Nature:   Donation buckets with the John Olmstead logo are also going to be available at California parks this summer.  FWIW, I just made a small donation through paypal.

3 thoughts on “State Parks That Are Going Away

  1. I read the article with great sadness. I hope these will be shuttered, ready to be brought back as the economy improves. Dave and I went to the Jack London State Park last fall. What a wonderful, inspiring place — especially for writers. I intend to get busy and see many of these places this year. Thanks for the post.


    • My comment that some buildings that may not reopen if not maintained was based on the experience of someone in my other critique group. He stopped at a small historical park on the highway out to Mendocino to see a temple built by 19th c. Chinese railroad workers. The ranger told him he’d come on the last day the site would be open, and pointed out significant weather damage that had not been repaired and would never be.

      I doubt that anyone has a “final” plan for these parks, but I too hope they will be cared for with an eye to eventual reopening.


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