P&R Weekly
Sep. 10, 2012

Influenced by scandal, state parks legislation lands on governor's desk
Now that we're all back from Labor Day weekend and nursing sunburns, this seems like a good time to review two key bills related to the future of state parks: AB 1589 and AB 1478. Bear in mind everything parks-related moving through Sacramento now references the summer scandal that exploded when the Sacramento Bee reported that the Parks Department kept millions of dollars off the books when they filed annual reports with the Department of Finance, giving the impression a big deficit existed when that was not actually the case.More

Bill devotes $20 million in hidden funds to state parks
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News
California would use $20 million found hidden in a state Department of Parks and Recreation special fund to keep all parks open under a bill approved by the state Senate. AB1478 also imposes a two-year moratorium on any parks closures. Senators passed the bill, 25-12, in response to a scandal in the parks department and sent it back to the Assembly for a final vote. More

California lawmakers advance 2-year moratorium on park closures
Los Angeles Times
In the fallout from the state parks funding scandal, the California Senate approved a two-year moratorium on park closures and allocated $30 million in surplus funds to keep facilities operating, one-third of which would match private donations targeting specific parks. The bill was introduced after parks officials admitted in July that some agency employees had stashed away $54 million even as the agency was cutting services and threatening to close parks. More

CDC: Yosemite virus — 10,000 at risk of hantavirus from park tent cabins
Reuters via The Huffington Post
Some 10,000 people who stayed in tent cabins at Yosemite National Park this summer may be at risk for the deadly rodent-borne hantavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC urged lab testing of patients who exhibit symptoms consistent with the lung disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, after a stay at the California park between June and August and recommended that doctors notify state health departments when it is found.More

Monterey Park applies for grant to build dog park
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
The city's dogs could have an open space to call their own as early as next year, officials said, after the council approved a staff application for a state grant to build a dog park. Officials said they hope to get the $100,000 they estimate they'll need for the project from a California Department of Parks and Recreation matching grant they plan to apply for by November. More

Numbers on hidden funds in California parks' controversy still murky
The Sacramento Bee via McClatchy
The amount of money hidden by California state parks officials in one of two special funds has suddenly become unclear, preventing the Legislature from spending the money to repair and reopen parks. A dedicated pot of money known as the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund holds the majority of the "hidden assets" that officials at the state Department of Parks and Recreation kept off the books when they filed annual reports with the Department of Finance. More

Struggle, gold digging, and cannibalism: The story of California state parks
SF Weekly
Have you ever wondered why Yosemite is a national park? Arguably the most glorious — and indisputably the most visited — in California, Yosemite was once under the state's dominion. It seems bad management has plagued this great state from the beginning, and even John Muir and the Sierra club could not stop the overgrazing of meadows and logging of Giant Sequoia.More

Parks documentary 'California Forever' to air
Calaveras Enterprise News
A documentary film about California state parks made by an Arnold couple, will soon air across the nation on prime time television. Many Calaveras County residents were first introduced to David Vassar and Sally Kaplan at the premiere of their latest film "California Forever" held at Jack Knight Hall at Calaveras Big Trees State Park last February. More

California opens Los Angeles River for recreation, education
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that expands public access to sections of the Los Angeles River. The measure requires Los Angeles County Flood Control to open the river gates for education and recreation. The agency will decide when and where doing so won't interfere with water conservation and flood control. More

Families rely on parks and recreation
For the last couple years, purple and teal banners have declared Long Beach Parks and Recreation "Best in the Nation." As recently as May 23, Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine was recognized for having the 19th best citywide park system among the 40 largest U.S. cities. In spite of these accolades, city leaders are poised to cut Parks and Recreation services, including its no-cost youth and adult sports programs in neighborhoods where they are deemed unnecessary.More

Recreation Therapy Scavenger Hunt

The Recreation Therapy Section is having a scavenger hunt. Find information about the first item here:More

Pen and Shovel

Read the development and operations blog "Pen and Shovel" about the hedging of shrubs. More

Master Plan RFP Request

The City of Manhattan Beach has embarked on a parks master planning effort in recognition of the need to plan and develop a prioritized improvement program for all city parks to ensure the long-term reliability and ongoing service of the park facilities. The focus of the Master Plan is to identify and evaluate the existing park facilities and their condition and operation. The primary by-product of this effort is the identification and projection of the park facilities requirements, the development of a prioritized improvement program, and the assessment of the capital costs to complete these improvements. This will provide the City with the necessary information to make informed management decisions regarding an appropriate long-term improvement plan for city parks.
RFP park master plan examples can be sent directly to Idris Al-Oboudi, ialoboudi@citymb.info More