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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mission Statement


History: It's something that we look back on in textbooks and in photographs. We watch videos and listen to narrators describe someone else's account of what happened, never realizing that history is happening around us every day. It's when we go out and experience history as it's happening that we create memories.

There will come a day in the near future when we'll refer to 70 California state parks in terms of historical importance. We'll turn to our children when passing by a boarded up building tagged with graffiti or a litter strewn, locked gate and say, "That used to be a park." Then you'll think to yourself about how you'd always meant to go, to have taken a day to learn the site's history, to breathe in the fresh air, to simply create memories not governed by a narrator's interpretation.

70in70 is an attempt to create memories before history outpaces us: 70 state parks are slated for closure this year, and we intend to visit each one within the next 70 days.

What exactly is this project? Is it journalism, art, landscapes, documentary, nature photography, activism? To be honest, I'm not really sure. I've been trying to quantify it, to organize and define it; but in the same way we can't tell the story of history until after it has taken place, I don't think I can label this until it's done.

The only guideline is this: 70 closing state parks in 70 days, from one end of the state to the other. The goal is to post one park a day. There might be words, there might not. Portraits of those affected? Who knows. Interviews? Could be. Lots of photographs? Definitely. 

10 comments:

  1. What a wonderful thing to do. I am involved with one of the 70 parks, the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park. I agree with your statement that children are going to be locked out of history. The greatest number of parks to be closed are State Historic Parks 22 out of 70, almost a third. What a precious resource to be thrown away.

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  2. please post/link the list of park closures for easy reference

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  3. couldn't the parks be saved if something like welfare was eliminated ?

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  4. Or they could do something other than eliminate welfare that wouldn't be evil.

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  5. This KPCC new story has a link to a government-produced .pdf that lists the 70 parks (without including any location info):

    http://www.scpr.org/news/2011/05/13/brown-says-hes-closing-70-state-parks/

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  6. couldn't the parks be saved if tax loopholes were closed?

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  7. The California State Parks Foundation has a map and things to do to help out: calparks.org/parkclosures

    Full disclosure: I'm their database/web admin.

    This is a wonderful project! I've passed this site on to my coworkers. Can't say for certain, but I bet we'd love to help promote what you're doing. Good luck, and we'll be watching!

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  8. Actually the parks could be saved by just continuing to fund them.

    The $22 million planned cuts will do basically nothing to help the state budget, and in effect will cost the state MORE - in economic and tourism losses, job losses, and increasing costs of reopening the parks. The park system generally makes more money than it costs to operate, and it's bewildering that our legislators consider it more fiscally conservative to cut them down.

    As you have already documented here, closed parks are never really closed. People will enter them, erode the land and structures, trash the place, grow pot, start fires, and endanger themselves in areas where no lifeguards or rangers are around to help.

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  9. Prop 21 on the CA ballot in 2010 could have saved the parks, but sadly it was voted down-- I think because few realized that so many parks faced closure.

    I wonder if it or something similar could be put back on in a special election, now that more folks are becoming aware that so many parks face imminent closure?

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_21,_Vehicle_License_Fee_for_Parks_%282010%29

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  10. Due to several development projects, these parks were seen as nuisance even hindrances to their projects. I just hope people realize the important of these open spaces and their significance.

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