‘Nature is our teacher and the parks are our classroom’


How The Kids Saved The Parks from Plus M Productions on Vimeo.

Some people might be able resist to a story about a group of smart brave kids banding together to help save their beloved local state park from budget cuts. I am not one of those people.  This documentary, “How the Kids Saved the Parks,” follows students from Grass Valley Charter School in California on their quest to save the gorgeous South Yuba River State Park. According to Grist:

The kids put together a Mobile Media Action Team, and met with John Laird, the California Secretary for Natural Resources. They explained to Laird why they thought South Yuba Park should not close, and also gathered more than 10,000 signatures urging the state to keep the park open. In short, they did a lot of difficult, adult stuff, and because of their efforts, the community managed to find a way to keep the park open (with a $3 to $5 entry fee, but still)…..The entry fee alone won’t generate enough revenue to keep the park open, but officials say that the groundswell of support insures it will not close.

Even though California is making something of a comeback, it’s no secret that its state parks are in deep financial trouble. The Wall Street Journal reports: “California lawmakers should outsource management of some state parks to cope with chronic under funding, advised an influential state commission, which found that the state had expanded its park system without providing adequate income to support it.”

Last week the state’s Little Hoover Commission released a report entitled “Beyond Crisis: Recapturing Excellence in California’s State Park System.”  In it, member Virginia Ellis advocates a major overhaul. “Without a bold, new course equal to the vision that created the state park system, California risks a replay of closing parks that the state can no longer afford to operate,” she says.

Solutions will require creativity, perseverance and guts. Maybe California could put the Grass Valley Charter School kids on retainer.


'Nature is our teacher and the parks are our classroom'