The first day of winter, time for rejuvenation

 In Community
Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore

The 2012 winter here in Northern California arrived with strong winds, rain and cold temperatures. Last year, around the same time, the sun bathed me in warmth at Point Reyes National Seashore. Along with the weather, each year brings something new, including unexpected challenges as well as new opportunities.

Events of this year, especially the recent tragedy in Connecticut, have shown us that in the aftermath of a crisis, organizations and people will rise up. We owe so much gratitude for the nonprofits, donors and volunteers who help us respond to difficult times and work tirelessly to make the world a better place.

Many of these nonprofits rely on the period between November and December to raise funds to sustain the important, life changing work that they do. The Chronicle of Philanthropy is tracking online giving in 2012 compared to 2011 using a large graph. Hover over any day of the month to compare online giving totals between 2011 and 2012, as we reach the pinnacle of the giving season.

For many parks advocates in California, fundraising is now a part of their job descriptions to keep park gates open, educate school children and find ways to bring in money to support park operations. Thank you for enriching lives and protecting our natural, cultural and historical treasures.

In September of 2011, I began to dedicate this blog to covering the state parks crisis in California and was amazed by the outpouring of support and high level of cooperation among nonprofits, public agencies, philanthropists and lawmakers. My goal was to provide an online space where we could avoid amnesia about the trail of events, as they unfolded throughout the year. I owe so much gratitude to Glenn Brank of NorCal Yak for giving my blog many shout outs on his highly engaging blog featuring Northern California kayaking adventures and to Robert Hanna, the great great grandson of John Muir, for the many Facebook links.

I hit the pause button on my blog in August after tapping into my energy reserves for too long while working to ensure that my nonprofit clients received my highest level of attention. I am pleased to report that I helped two organizations I care strongly about maintain important momentum during development director transitions.

Please jump on over to to find the latest coverage on the California State Parks crisis including an article published today featuring author Joan Hamilton’s interview with the new Parks Director, Major General Anthony Jackson. In recent weeks, I have also revitalized my outreach for Bay Nature’s continuing state parks coverage, talking to new people and discovering yet more hidden treasures and untold stories in our park system. I will keep you posted.

Sun, rain or snow, I hope you find time to rejuvenate in the coming weeks. I wish you serendipity and success in 2013.

This post is dedicated in the memory of Christina Wong McAleavy, whose big smile, uplifting laughter and sense of adventure will always be an inspiration.

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