Jamestown, CA– The man who wants to save our California State Parks one dollar at a time was in Jamestown Wednesday.
Nevada City resident Alden Olmsted believes the 70 California State Parks set for closure by July 2012, including Railtown 1897, can be saved if each Californian simply donated one dollar. His goal is to raise at least $11 million.
“Three days before Memorial Day, I set up a website and tried to do some stuff by email and by phone,” said Olmsted. “But I realized I’m probably going to have to just get out in the car and do the political thing and kiss babies and shake hands. So I started driving around to the parks.”
Olmsted says he’s visited about 35 parks on the closure list so far and has put nearly two thousand miles on his car. In just two weeks, he’s collected over $10,000.
Wednesday at Railtown, Olmsted says he spoke with Park Superintendent Kim Baker and was very impressed with the park and its rich film history.
“I was able to leave a bucket for donations at the Visitor Center,” said Olmsted. “So for all Jamestown, Sonora and Angels Camp residents, you can donate right there in Jamestown. And you know that there’s no overhead. I’m using my own dime, my own gas money. 100% of this money is going in a fund and will be given to these parks.”
Olmsted says he’s not sure if he will be able to visit all 70 parks on the state’s closure list, but will do his best to try. He’s says he’ll take a break for the next couple of days to reorganize and then visit state parks in Southern California.
“September 1st is when I’m hoping to present Jerry with a check because that’s when he said that some of the parks might start closures,” said Olmsted. For the next three months is when I’m going to hit it hard. We just can’t close these parks.”