Donations to local state parks stay local |

Donations to local state parks stay local

Glenn Fuller
Submitted to The Union

In the wake of the recent California Department of Parks and Recreation's financial revelations, area nonprofit associations want the public to know local donations stay local.

Presidents of the South Yuba River, Empire Mine and Malakoff Diggins nonprofit associations released a joint statement on the topic this week.

"Donations to, and profits made by, the Associations stay right here in Western Nevada County at each of the three local State Parks," a news release states.

The three association presidents, Dave Anderson, Larry Skinner and Tom Stark, want to emphasize the fact that all association money is spent locally to assist in giving each visitor the best possible experience. It doesn't go to Sacramento.

Park entry fees, camping fees and parking fees do, however, go to the state department.

During the recent State Park budget crises, association members were stunned by the proposed closure list of 70 state parks, then shocked by the discovery of hidden money — reportedly as much as $54 million.

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Each local park association has its own specific mission statement on how it supports its park to provide a quality visitor experience. Activities that the local associations support include gold-mining education in many forms, docent-led programs, brochures, trail maps, bird lists, wild-flower walks, gold panning, hard-rock mining displays and tours of many types.

Each park supports a uniquely different visitor center, offering gifts, books, maps and many educational items for families and visitors. Each association sponsors its own unique event, i.e. Humbug Days, Miners Picnic and the Spring and Fall Festivals.

All three associations depend on membership dues, sales in their gift shops, donations from visitors and several special events and fundraisers.

For information on area parks, call Empire Mine at (530) 273-8522, South Yuba River at (530) 432-2546 and Malakoff Diggins at (530) 478-0720.

Glenn Fuller is a volunteer with the South Yuba River State Park Association.

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