A Journey to the 70 California State Parks in Danger of Closing
I want to share this with you because I think that it is so important. I am such a lover of nature and the beauty that God has created. I believe that it is important for us to take care of that nature and nurture it and cultivate it and be reminded that there is something bigger than human beings. God entrusted this earth to us;
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
(Genesis 1:28-31 ESV)
We are called by our creator to be good stewards of the earth so as Christian I am firmly behind the idea of State and National Parks that set aside land for the recreation of all and the preserving of wildlife. It is our call to do this. Ken Burns great documentary called National Parks, America’s best Idea. Now I am not sure if State and National Parks are the best idea America has, but I know that they are good and wonderful and worth preserving.
When they got the news that budget cuts would put 70 California parks out of commission, three documentary filmmakers decided to pile into a converted airport shuttle bus and visit all of them — in 120 days. They turned to Kickstarter and raised over $57,000, quickly exceeding their original goal of $35,500, to produce a full-length documentary, The First 70. Lauren Valentino, Jarratt Moody, and Cory Brown, collectively Heath Hen Films, spoke with activists and volunteers along the way, but they make a strong argument of their own by capturing the state’s gorgeous, sun-dappled landscapes on video. The film is currently on the festival circuit, and will be available viadownload and DVD. Meanwhile, the California State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit that helped fund the documentary, has been working with donors to keep some parks open. They’re tracking their progress via a map on their site.
Valentino, the producer of the documentary, describes how the project came together and shares a behind-the-scenes clip in a short interview below. The three filmmakers seem to be living the dream, cruising up and down the California coast for months, but she assures us that production was hard work — “nothing about it was glamorous.”