Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks assists California State Parks by partnering on several ongoing special projects. Community support is critical to helping move these projects to completion.
Castro Adobe State Historic Park
Friends is leading a multi-year restoration effort to open the Castro Adobe as a State Historic Park in partnership with California State Parks. It is the first State Historic Park in the Pajaro Valley. The Castro Adobe is open on a limited basis for special events, such as Open House Days.
Friends undertook the restoration of the Castro Adobe in order to preserve and interpret for the public the only remaining building of the Rancho era in the Pajaro Valley. The Castro Adobe is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area. It is an excellent representation of a Monterey-Colonial adobe and is an important example of Northern California’s Rancho Period.
Castro Adobe State Historic Park will serve visitors from throughout California and beyond, as well as locals including fourth graders studying the Mexican Rancho Period and third graders studying local history. In the cocina (kitchen), there will be a tangible link between Latino traditions of today and Californio heritage as students and other visitors cook tortillas, and eat them with beans and nopales (cactus), just as in the Rancho period and still enjoyed today.
The Edna Kimbro Library and Archives – Center for Early California Studies will be opened to serve scholars and visitors interested in studying the cultural heritage of early California.
All donations to the Castro Adobe will be matched 1:1 by the James & Carol Toney Fund (up to $317,920). Follow the progress of this newest California State Park on the Castro Blog.
Farm Animal Program
Wilder Ranch State Park is home to dozens of farm animals and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks provides the funding for their care, including food and veterinary services, as well as educational and interpretive programs for park visitors.
The Wilder Ranch Farm Animal Program, which includes five goats, two sheep, three cows, several horses, a cat and nearly 40 chickens, contributes to the living history atmosphere at the park’s cultural preserve. The animals bring the ranch to life for visitors with a sampling of species that lived at Wilder Ranch when it was a working ranch.
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (tax-ID #51-0183410).