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Partnerships and CA State Parks - Andy Vought


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On January 16, 2014 we convened a Gathering to discuss partnerships and the future of California State Parks. More about it can be seen here:

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Partnerships and CA State Parks - Andy Vought

  1. 1. Rainy Season Gathering: Today, tomorrow, and the Next 12 Months from a Park Partner 16 January 2014 • The changing roles of the cooperating association as experienced at two Parks • Some thoughts on State Parks • Andy Vought – – – – – – 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation President, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation Director, Save the Redwoods League Prior: 25 years Start-up experience Support Portola and Castle Rock State Parks
  2. 2. Portola and Castle Rock Foundation • We’re the 501 (c) 3 –Cooperating Association for: – Portola Redwoods State Park – Castle Rock State Park • Since 1991 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  3. 3. Closest State Parks to Silicon Valley … 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  4. 4. Castle Rock State Park • Ridge hiking – start of Skyline to the Sea Trail • Unique bouldering and climbing • Castle Rock and Waterman Gap Trail Camps • 138,000 visitors/year (1) • 5229 acres; Opened 1968 (1) Statistical Report FY2011-12 – 86% ‘free-use’ hiking.
  5. 5. Castle Rock Donor Agreement • Partnerships: – Sempervirens Fund deeply invested strategically in Castle Rock SP; eventually took lead • Donor Agreement: • $250,000 – $50,000 from Portola and Castle Rock Foundation • Two year term 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  6. 6. Castle Rock State Park Projects
  7. 7. Portola Redwoods State Park • Redwood hiking and camping • Peters Creek Old Growth, Slate Creek Trail Camp • 53 family campsites, 4 group sites • 42,000 visitors/year (1) • 2768 acres; Opened 1945 (1) Statistical Report FY2011-12
  8. 8. Portola Redwoods Donor Agreement • Partnerships: – Save the Redwoods League and Peninsula Open Space Trust nurtured as equal parties to Donor Agreement • Donor Agreement: • $60,000 DA + $40,000 Improvement Fund + Volunteer team • Two year term • Business Plan: Randy Widera • Built ongoing partnership for infrastructure investments 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  9. 9. Portola Redwoods State Park Projects
  10. 10. Everyone’s Role is Changing • • • Parks – Continued triage; difficulty fulfilling commitments – adverse climate for creative solutions Land Trusts (Sempervirens Fund, POST, Save The Redwoods League) – Longer inventory holding – larger balance sheet requirements Cooperating Associations – Engagement Elevations due to Donor Agreements, Operating Agreements, … – Revised Mission Statement: Inspire Protection of Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks Through Quality Educational Experiences and Infrastructure Improvements 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  11. 11. Parks need to be more affordable… • • • • State Parks are too expensive: – $35 per night + $8 ResAm = $43 – $8-10 daily parking fees – Out of reach of many Californians Best path would be the defeated 2009 $15 State Park Access Pass proposal (mandatory: 28m vehicles, net benefit $360M ) New $150 150th Anniversary, $75 California Park Experience and $50 Historical Passport Passes a great idea We need further initiatives and pricing experiments – Targeted price reductions could enhance access without unduly burdening budget – all camping fees are only 11% of Parks budget. – Pricing – learn through experimentation; Price gouging on weekends or lowering prices during the week, for example buy 2 get 1 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  12. 12. A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste … • California Parks look costly in comparison to other States: Source: Statistical Report of State Park Directors, 2010-2011, Tables 1-5 • Benchmarking suggests budget may not be spent as efficiently as other States: – “California *28%+ had the second highest percentage of full-time headquarter employees in the comparison set. Oregon had the highest *34%+ and Illinois *3%+ had the lowest percentage” Source: 1/16/2014 Parks Forward Commission, California State Parks Baseline Financial Assessment, FTI Consulting, p.71 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  13. 13. We Need to Embrace Change Throughout the System • Market Our Parks Better – Understand our visitors based upon data • Share this data with partners to leverage value – Try things: accept credit cards, experiment with pricing, offer wifi, offer light accommodations • Changing roles for ‘the Supporting Cast’ eg. Land Trusts, Cooperating Associations – Evolve Different Business Models – Develop New Support / Cooperation Alternatives • Parks Needs to Embrace Parks Forward Highlighted Change – Understand the challenge – Simplify to improve employee efficiency – Reap benefits to fulfill commitments and build sustainability Source: – And support with money 1/16/2014 PR SP Sustainability Plan and Road Map for Park Partner Engagement, RW Widera Consulting Portola and Castle Rock Foundation
  14. 14. Thank You 1/16/2014 Portola and Castle Rock Foundation