Friday, March 7, 2008

Save California's State Parks

Save Topanga State Park

Governor Ahhnold Schwartipants obviously doesn't venture outdoors to workout, or else he wouldn't have tried to pass a 2008 budget proposal to close 48 California state parks and slash lifeguard jobs on 16 state beaches. If he were a triathlete and not a gym rat/beefcake, he'd know that the only way to stay sane as a triathlete in Los Angeles is to venture into the many state parks within the city limits. It's like getting away from it all without having to drive forever (except on the 405...sometimes that does take forever) or plan an entire freaking vacation just to get out of the city.

He'd also know that those of us who swim in the ocean a lot are secretly terrified of getting masticated by a ginormous animal and/or caught in a wave. Therefore, we find comfort in the fact that someone's out there looking out for us, especially if we do stupid things like accidentally swim into a rip tide or get hit by a surfboard.

Among the parks on the kill list: Topanga State Park and Will Rodgers State Park--two of the most accessible and most visited parks in the Los Angeles area. And two of the reasons that I and every other local triathlete have been able to improve our uphill and downhill running abilities, bike power, as well as sculpt bottoms that art students around the world would love to sketch.

Topanga saw 455,461 visitors in the 06/07 fiscal year, according to the CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation. And if those numbers are only comprised of paying individuals, the park probably actually saw 4x that amount of people, since everyone parks their cars on the street, then walks in for free. Which may be part of the problem here (and I can't say I'm not culpable).

Save State Parks

So what can we do to reverse this psychotic, masochistic ruling from the beefcake gouvernator who apparently needs only a Gold's Gym and concrete surroundings to survive?

Visit the California State Parks Foundation to whip off an email to your local state representative. Inundate them with emails. Camp out on Schwarzenegger's lawn. Protest.

Also, check out this rad website: Save Topanga State Park. They've got tons of ideas about how you can take action.

We will not stand for this, Gov. Schwartzenegghead! Get the money you need to fix your freakin' budget from people who drive Hummers!



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