Ted Bystrowski, Reporter
Speaker: John Woodbury, “The Campaign to Save Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park”.
John Woodbury is a Napa County employee contracted full time to serve as the General Manager of the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District. He Staffed a citizens advisory committee in 2005 that recommended the County support the formation of the park and open space district, and resulted in voter approval of the District in 2006. Prior to working in Napa, John was Executive Director for 12 years of the Bay Area Open Space Council, a non-profit organization that supports park districts and land trusts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The mission of the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District is to protect, restore, enhance and steward the open space resources of Napa County, and to provide opportunities for the public to learn about and experience these natural resources. The Distric has to date committed to owning and/or managing 10 open space parks and regional trails in protecting over 6,200 acres of open space.
Most importantly, the District has just reached a five year agreement with the Sate of California, Department of Parks and Recreation to operate and manage the 1900 acre Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and the Bale Grist Mill State Historical Park. The District agreement to operate these two parks will prevent them from being closed by the State of California. These parks have over 60,00 visitors annually and add more that $1.6 million annually to the local economy. The District will partner with the local Napa Valley State Parks Association to operate the Bale Grist Mill.
The District has no dedicated tax basis; it revenues come from a mix of grants, donations and program income. There have been many people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that have volunteered their time to improve the new Napa open space areas and park facilities. The District has within its’ first six years become a great investment for Napa County.
The State of California spent $2 for every $1 the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and the Bale Grist Mill State Historical Park made. The Districts challenge is to make these parks breakeven by increasing the revenue they generate. However, in order to operate and manage these parks it is critical that the District continues to receive support from the local community. If you with to volunteer your time or donate money please call 707-259-5933 or email email@example.com.