Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Refuge By The Sea

Asilomar means "refuge by the sea". It is,indeed, a peCeful & beautiful place.

This week I am in training, taking "Introduction to State Parks" at the Mott Training Center at Asilomar Conference Grounds and State Beach in Pacific Grove near Monterey. It is beautiful. The weather has been perfect. The surf wild, beautiful & dangerous.

It is wonderful to take these classes in this remarkable place - and enjoy a respite from the stress at work. And get paid for it!

The classes are interesting & informative. I have learned many things! Including about the laws which give Parks it's authority & some of the legal questions & challenges Parks faces. We have learned Parks history and philosophy. Department organization. Somethings about various programs within the department.

Parks people really do believe in Parks' mission: " provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting it's most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. My classmates are from all over the state & many parts of the department They all care about Parks and what it stands for.

Today I was surprised to learn - among other things - how Off-Highway Vehicle Parks help the environment. Yesterday's stunner was the danger of drowning and how hard the Department's Aquatic Safety Program - our Ranger Lifeguards - work to save lives.

We are really sad that Prop 21 failed. Today our director Ruth Coleman has a video conference with all Parks employees. She tells it like it is, but she doesn't quit. She reminded us that the vote was not onthe VALUE of Parks, just on how to fund them. We are in to hard times, but we will strive to be true to our mission. We will go on looking for creative ways to manage. We will also look to all the Prop 21 supporters for help.

I know that time this week at Asilomar is solace to my soul. Living the mission.

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