The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) announced Thursday it will make a donation to the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to give Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park a reprieve from closure for one year. The nonprofit will provide $21,000 to the state to allow the park to be kept open to the public, albeit with minimal staff and services.
“We are thrilled to partner with DPR to provide Santa Susana Pass a reprieve from closures for one year,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of CSPF. “This park is not only important for the surrounding community, but it also encompasses significant Native American, Spanish, Mexican and early California history. We hope by keeping Santa Susana Pass open for another year the community will have the time it needs to come together to find longer-term solutions for the park.”
The donor agreement between CSPF and DPR is complementary to a recent $150,000 matching grant to nearby Los Encinos State Historic Park, spearheaded by Sen. Fran Pavley. Because park staff is shared between the two parks, a donation to Santa Susana Pass means staff can continue to work in both parks.
“The community of Chatsworth is very happy with the $21,000 grant for Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park,” said John Luker, president of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains. “This will allow us to keep our park open and avoid the closure that has threatened it for the last 3 years. We look forward to being an active partner with DPR, preserving and protecting these important assets for our community and the future.”
CSPF hopes the one-year reprieve will give local groups like the Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains time to look for find a stable funding source or new resources to keep the park open.
Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park is a 670-acre park located in Los Angeles County and is rich with natural, cultural and historical significance. The 8,000-year-old trail was used by game animals and the Native Californian ancestors of the Tongva, Chumash, and Tataviam before being widened into a rough wagon road. Today it’s a popular hiking trail. The park was one of 70 California state parks scheduled for closure by July 1, 2012.
With its 130,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation is the only independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California’s magnificent state parks. For more information about California’s state parks, visit calparks.org.