For budgetary reasons, 70 of California's 279 state parks were set to close to the public on July 1st. But thanks to partnerships with private businesses and advocacy groups, 68 of those parks remain open for the time being. Even with this money and the recently discovered surplus in the Parks Department, Californians need to decide if funding our state park system is in our best interest, especially in an economically challenging climate. We talk about California’s State Park system, its history, its value, and what closing a state park might look like.
Just 47 miles north of San Francisco, a country road winds through the small town of Glen Ellen, where a sign directs you to Jack London State Historic Park.
Bob Ruether is a docent at the park. He guides me along trails lined with ancient manzanita trees, where everything is still. It’s like walking through a painting. The air is damp from an early morning rain. Down a hill a group of teenage boys from a halfway house pull out sandwiches and sit at a bench with their teacher.