The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) announced Thursday (May 17) it will award 13 grants totaling $328,586 to organizations that are fighting to keep state parks off the closure list.

This one-year commitment is one of several steps the 43-year-old foundation is taking in response to the crisis of park closures across California’s state park system, according to a news release. These grants were made possible by generous funding from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Thomas J. Long Foundation. These foundations have supported the work of CSPF for many years, and both have stepped up their support at this critical moment to help keep a number of state parks open.

“We are pleased to announce these grants as part of our integrated effort to help keep these threatened parks open,” said CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein. “The grantees that have come forward to assist parks need our help now, and more organizations will have similar needs in the future. It is our hope to assist in providing reprieves for as many parks as possible by working closely with the parks community. We’ve been working hard on a number of different fronts, such as launching a major fundraising campaign and offering new technical assistance to nonprofits working to keep parks open.”

In addition to these 13 new grants, CSPF previously awarded two grants to temporarily keep open Santa Susana State Historic Park and Jughandle State Natural Reserve. All of these awards are contingent on the state entering into agreements with these organizations who have developed strong and effective proposals to keep parks open.

“This is an example of the value of public-private partnerships,” said California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Ruth Coleman. “We thank CSPF for mobilizing donors and resources to assist our nonprofit partners to get through this budget crisis.”