Tag Archives: California State Parks

Mothballing a Site Can Be Worse than Staying Open

The California State Parks system has been teetering on the edge of closure for the past few years due to the economic paralysis that has gripped the state’s government.  The situation is so bad that the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the entire system–nearly 300 sites–to their 11 Most Endangered List in 2008.  The downward spiral continues and the state has now begun mothballing sites with disastrous results.  The recent victim is Mitchell Caverns, which was recently vandalized when the site was closed and abandoned.  According to the Los Angeles Times:

Intruders cut fences, kicked doors off of hinges and shattered windows and display cases. They stole metal signs and survival gear, including hand-held radios, flashlights and binoculars. They also stole diesel-powered generators and ripped out thousands of feet of electrical wire used to illuminate the only natural limestone caverns in the state park system, San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators said.

This may not bode well for the state’s plan to shut 70 more sites in July–that’s 25 percent of the parks.  Perhaps it would be better to lease or sell these sites with easements rather than see them vandalized and destroyed.  For the more on this story, see “Shuttered California State Parks may be Vulnerable to Vandalism” by Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2012.

Webinar on Strategies for Financially Sustaining Historic Buildings

The California Preservation Foundation, a statewide historic preservation organization, has been offering a series of lunchtime webinars (well, lunchtime on the West Coast) on a variety of topics that would interest staff and volunteers who work with historic sites, including window restoration, fundraising, architectural styles, historic landscapes, and tax credits.

On Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 12 noon Pacific time, I’ll be sharing a webinar with Jim Newland of California State Parks on building a stable financial foundation for historic sites by rethinking Continue reading