Awareness IS Advocacy: Your Voice Can Prevent CA State Park Closures

20 Sep

Have you ever asked the question,
“What can I do to save CA State Parks?”

I get asked this question all the time. And in late 2011, there are several fast responses:

  • Write a form letter to Jerry Brown, asking him to approve AB42. This will let non-profits step in to help parks.
  • Volunteer! Click here to find a non-profit group near you.
  • Donate to a local organization fighting to keep your park open. Support Parks Alliance here, or try a Google search to find a specific or. Contact me if you are having trouble finding your local org.

Beyond these, I believe there’s another, even more fundamental and long term action you can take. Most people avoid doing this, because you won’t get credit for doing it, no one will thank you and, in fact, you may annoy some people along the way. Four words.

“Your friends won’t listen half as much to me as they’ll listen to you. And most people don’t even realize parks are closing permanently, or understand the costs, benefits and the politics.”

Start An Awareness Campaign.

The sad truth is, most people don’t realize there’s a critical problem with parks, or that they’re closing permanently. For others, there’s alot of things people don’t understand about the parks, their true costs, financial benefits and the politics surrounding them.

More than anything else, building awareness about the underfunding of CA Parks is what Folk4Parks has been doing for the last three years. But your friends won’t listen to me half as much as they’ll listen to you. You must start your own awareness campaign as well. It can be as simple as talking to your family over dinner, or as significant as starting a dedicated blog to the issues.

“Wanna make a difference for parks? Your greatest asset is your voice.”

YOUR Voice Changes Things. Really.

Awareness is so important, because, ultimately, it’s the public decides what is most important in our society. If we don’t know about something, we can’t defend it, vote for it, speak out against it, and we’ll never change popular opinion. You wanna make a difference for parks? Your greatest asset is your voice. Sincerity and passion have a way of reaching people in great and incredible ways. Oh, and make no mistake, your silence makes just as big an impact the other way.

Getting Started.

Use our these ideas and Folk4Parks content to get you started on your own awareness campaign.

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Tweets.
Go to a local CA park that’s closing. Here’s a list. Take a camera. Post pictures or video on Facebook for your friends to see. Oh, and remind them the park is closing. Most won’t even realize. Tell them to share your pics. Link them here to get them started on their own awareness campaign

It’s YOU that will inspire other people
If you want to convince others, share your experience. Your voice is inspirational to people who know you. Why do CA State Parks matter to you? Speak out, don’t be afraid. Just as an example, here’s why they matter to me:

“What’s The Difference If My Park Closes?
Lots of people think nothing bad will happen when parks close. They’re wrong. Use the data in this video to arm yourself to talk the many

“Government and The Parks Are Too Wasteful”
When people say parks are wasteful and the staff is overpaid, use these stats to defend yourself.

Emulate CA Park Advocates
Want to do more? Follow the lead of great CA Park bloggers and activists who have stepped up to do their part to make a difference for parks. Check all of these guys out:

Let’s Work Together
We’ve been doing this awhile, part-time, in between jobs and family. Let’s work together. Contact me and we can brainstorm some ideas.


Christopher Grant Ward

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