China Camp just hit a major milestone. In 2012, facing major budget constraints, the state government threatened to close China Camp along with 70 other state parks. In an effort to keep the park open, Friends of China Camp (FOCC) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) entered into an agreement. It allowed FOCC to operate and financially support China Camp.
Now, a decade later, China Camp enjoys an unprecedented level of volunteerism and funding from the community. In fact, this decade of a public/private operating model has been such a success that DPR and FOCC are currently negotiating a long-term operating agreement. Thanks to its dedicated volunteers and small but deeply committed staff, FOCC has done a Herculean job running the park. Year-round efforts include maintaining and building park facilities and trails; offering a wide variety of programs to the public; working with scientists, educators, outdoor groups, and other partners; and keeping the park clean, safe, and beautiful for all.
This past October, Friends of China Camp celebrated by inviting Congressman Jared Huffman (author of legislation that made the public-private partnership possible), California State Parks Director Armando Quintero, and Marin County Public Library’s historian and archivist Carol Acquaviva to a special celebration and dinner. The trio, plus Executive Director Martin Lowenstein, addressed a 120-strong audience of volunteers, donors, Quan family members (original residents of China Camp Village), and DPR representatives. The theme was “Our China Camp: 10 Years Together.” A short video commemorating the park’s decade of community stewardship was also shared.
Special thanks to our sponsors for underwriting this memorable 10th-anniversary dinner:
- Violich Farms
- Jeff and Celeste Craemer
- Cerity Partners, LLC
- San Rafael Yacht Harbor
- Quarry House
- Adjusting Services International
- Rake Electric
- Judy’s Automotive
—by FOCC Executive Director Martin Lowenstein