Announcements and Reminders
Several Rotaract members from Santa Cruz County attended today’s meeting including their president, secretary and committee chairs. They spoke to us the Big West conference that our club helped to fund.
A roast for Zach Friend will be the major fund raiser for this year. The beneficiary will be the Chanticleer St. accessible county park for children and others with disabilities (Leo’s Haven)
Doug Deaver is the organizer for the speech contest which will be held on Feb 23rd.
We will be dark on the 22nd and the 29th of December.
Tim gave a ‘thank you’ to all of our veterans. Veteran’s Day is tomorrow!
Happy Birthday to John Fisher who will be 94 on Saturday!
Our speaker today was Bonnie Hawly who spoke about the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. It is the 40th anniversary of the state park system. In our area in Aptos we have Nisene Marks, New Brighton and Sea Cliff State Parks. In addition The Santa Cruz Mission (Holy Cross) is a State Historic Park as well as the Castro Adobe.
The Friends have a wide variety of programs and projects. They put on events, support state events, do marketing, manage social media, put ads in visitors’ guides etc. They also fund educational and interpretive services including ranch days at Wilder Ranch which takes young students into the past days on the farm.  They also have retail stores at five of the parks as well as an on line store.
Funding comes from  includes a portion of the fees, campground showers, selling firewood and camp fees. They also do grantwriting and have grants from several local foundations. They raise money at special events and have business sponsors.
Ms Hawly gave examples of several local projects they are undertaking like the new weir gate at Twin Lakes and new binoculars for kids at Natural Bridges as well as a new salt water touch tank at Sea Cliff. She mentioned the visitor center at New Brighton has information on both bird and human migration and that at Big Basin they are currently restoring the nature lodge. At Nisene Marks they funded two new bridge projects in the past year and a dust abatement program. At Castle Rock State Park they are working with Sempervirons to put in a new entrance and parking lot. And finally they are working to restore the Castor adobe, one of only four left in Santa Cruz County,
For more information, to contribute or volunteer, see or call (831) 429-1840.