By Julie Wolfson
Along the shore of San Pablo Bay in San Rafael, the beautiful views from China Camp have attracted visitors for decades. With an historic Chinese fishing village museum that tells the story of the workers who created the shrimp and fishing industry there, China Camp has been a favorite destination for picnics, hikes, fishing and other outdoor activities. Sadly, China Camp is one of the California State Parks slated for closure later this year.
Kanter Lipsey, one of the original founders of China Camp State Park, fondly describes her love of the spectacular bay vistas, oak forested hills, meadows, beaches, extensive salt marshes, and wildlife. As a member of the Friends of China Camp (pdf), she works to spread the word about the challenges they face. "We hope Governor Brown can be encouraged to save the park he originally created back in the 1970's, and that a way can be found to bring about financial solvency to keep this exquisite popular park open permanently. Eliminating free county road parking and issuing fee passes to mountain bikers could generate considerable new income for the park," says Kanter Lipsey.
She encourages people to log on to the California State Parks Foundations website to help save the 70 parks on the proposed closure list.
On Saturday August 27th from 11:30am to 4:00pm, China Camp will come alive with dancers, acrobats, music, crafts, art and tours for the 2011 Heritage Day Celebration. Locals like Louise Kanter Lipsey are hopeful that this will not be the last year for the annual event.