State gives Candlestick Point last-minute reprieve 

click to enlarge Funding: Though 70 parks were scheduled to shut, 65 will stay open for now. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Funding: Though 70 parks were scheduled to shut, 65 will stay open for now.

Candlestick Point Recreation Area and a handful of other parks recently dodged the executioner when Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to allocate $10 million to the state park system, buying more time for officials to find the alternative funding needed to keep them open.

Since California State Parks originally anticipated the closure of 70 parks Sunday, officials were relieved to discover that services at 65 of those sites would not be shut down— at least for now.

Of the 70 state parks slated to close, 40 will remain open thanks to funding from a third party, 25 — including Candlestick Point — are in negotiations to remain open temporarily, and five do not have any active negotiations.

Candlestick Point was among the 16 state parks in the Bay Area scheduled to close July 1 after failed efforts to find funding from donors and nonprofits. There is no set date for when Candlestick Point and the other surviving state parks will officially close.

“We don’t know why Candlestick Point isn’t on the closure list right now, but we’re thrilled,” said Jerry Emory, spokesman for the California State Parks Foundation. “We want to find a solution, so we’re crossing our fingers that we can reach a deal to keep it open.”

Benicia State Recreation Area, the California Mining and Mineral Museum, Gray Whale Cove State Beach and Zmudowski State Beach will continue operating for now, but don’t have the donations to keep them open much longer. Providence Mountains State Recreation Area in San Bernardino County is the only park on the closure list to completely discontinue services. The park closed earlier this year due to extreme vandalism and will remain closed until further notice, park officials said.

The California State Parks system is working with the nonprofit California State Parks Foundation to find funding for the sites that have been unsuccessful in finding assistance from third parties.

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Carolyn Copeland

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