Climber Chris Sharma Fights for His Home Park
In May 2011, California's Department of Parks and Recreation announced that during the following fiscal year, it would be closing 70 of its 279 state parks. Hoping to achieve an $11 million reduction in the state's already overextended budget, Secretary John Laird admitted the cuts were unfortunate.
Well, the end of the 2011 fiscal year is nigh, which means that starting in July, countless Californians and outdoor recreationalists will be out of a campground, a hike, and for some famous ones, a climb.
Slated for closure is Castle Rock State Park in Santa Cruz, CA, where native son and top boulderer Chris Sharma began his career. Refusing to see his turf closed for those who he's inspired, he has begun a campaign to save the park, which is also home to the famed and aptly-named V10 Eco-Terrorist.
Sharma will be hosting a series of fundraising events throughout the Bay Area this month, including a triple header of media presentations in Emeryville, CA and Santa Cruz during the weekend of May 17th. Tickets are available online, but those who are interested in the statewide parks campaign can support the California State Parks Foundation, which also recently began offering partners "operating grants" to help share the costs of parks management.
And for those who just want to check out Sharma's greatest hits, it'll be worth a trip to the East and South Bays. Check out some of his climbing highlights above.
Benita Hussain is a Sierra editorial intern and writer whose work has also appeared in GOOD, Women's Adventure and Matador Sports, among others. With degrees from Cornell University and Fordham Law School, she's also a part-time lawyer and yoga teacher that surfs, climbs and travels to do both. Twitter:@hussainity.