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KEEP STATE PARKS OPEN FOR ALL!

NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008

The Governor had proposed closing 48 out of 278 priceless State Parks to save money. The proposal would have closed one out of every six state parks, to save just $9 million. The City Project published a report documenting the following unfair impacts. The Governor has withdrawn the proposal.

Four counties with the greatest green access need in the state would lose over 100,000 acres of State Parks, nearly as much as the other 54 counties combined. Those four counties alone would lose 101,370 acres, nearly half of the 216,629 acres to be closed statewide. Green access need is measured in combined terms of the fewest acres of parks per thousand residents, and the highest levels of child obesity, youth, poverty, and people of color.

The ten counties that would lose the most acres of State Parks would lose 196,904 acres, which is 91% of all acres to be closed

To learn more, please see The City Project’s Policy Brief Keep State Parks Open for All! and Policy Report Healthy Parks, Schools, and Counties: Mapping Green Access and Equity for California (2007).

NEWS FLASH! The Governor has withdrawn his proposal to close state parks — instead, he wants in effect to raise taxes regressively by hiking fees to use State Parks.

Park fees should not be raised willy-nilly. As discussed in the Brief and Report, there should be a state-wide vision and strategic plan for fair access to parks and green space. Standards and criteria to measure needs and equity should be defined to distribute park benefits, to achieve a fair system of finance and fees, and to hold officials accountable. There should be a park needs assessment to guide planning and investments. There should be an audit of park and resource bonds since 1999 (including Propositions 12, 13, 40, 50, and 84) to document who benefits and who gets left behind from the investment of park resources.