For the last several months, I've been living under a rock...so overwhelmed with work that I simply ignored a lot of things, including current events.
So imagine my surprise and dismay when Elizabeth at Squam Art Workshops posted that California will be closing 70 of their 279 state parks. This video, The First 70, is very compelling. You can get more information about the closures at Save Our State Parks.
Parks are incredibly important to everyone's well-being. For those who use them, parks offer respite from the noise and stress of the city. Parks provide education through ranger programs. They encourage tourism, which brings money into the localities where the parks are. And parks even benefit those who don't or can't use them. The wild spaces help keep our air and water clean, and support biological diversity, which keeps the ecosystem healthy. Which keeps people healthy.
I asked Rachel Herron of Yarnagogo (who lives in California) if she had heard anything about the park closures. She had, but only in passing. She also said that California is facing major challenges...schools are closing (some kids won't be able to go to school at all) and other essential services (like police and fire) are being reduced. And that makes the park closures that much more complex.
What can you do? Let people know about the park closures. Use the parks. If you don't live in California, use the parks in your area. Go camping, visit a historical site.
Because you never know, your own parks might be at risk.