For 32 years now, the William B. Ide Adobe State Historical Park in Red Bluff has celebrated Adobe Days.. Where community members get the chance to step back into the 1850s, with activities like blacksmithing, candle making and wood working. But state budget cuts is making history out of this annual history lesson. State Park Interpreter Debbie Chakarun says, "This is the last one.. Unless the community can come up with a way to help keep us open."
Ide Adobe Park is one of the 70 state parks that is scheduled to close in 2012.. Due to budget cuts. This means of the 278 state parks, about 25 percent of them will be closing. And several of these, like the Bidwell Mansion, Woodson Bridge, and Castle Crags, are in Northern California..
Also out of the 70 parks that will be closing state wide, 40 percent of them, like this one, are historical parks. School field trips studying about California's history and statehood will have to go else where. But historic sites like the Bidwell Mansion, home of Chico's founders, aren't elsewhere. "Part of what state parks is about is our diversity. We have a lot of resources that we treasure," State park valley supervising ranger Kirk Coon says.
Park employees, volunteers, and supporters, are now doing all they can to rally community support in order to try to keep the parks open. Ide Adobe Park Intern Caitlin Giddings says, "People when they come to visit will sign a post card and send it to Jerry Brown and send a message to him that even is we're a small park.. We still matter and a lot of people still really care about us."
As for the Bidwell Mansion, there is possible talk of a contingent fund.. Or the Bidwell Mansion Association taking over an operating agreement with state parks. But these options aren't for certain.. So for now park rangers are relying on community support. Coon says, "We really need people to step up and help us out.. We just need help!"
Ide Adobe Park is scheduled to close June 1st. And the last weekend for Bidwell Mansion tours in Chico, will be April 30th.