This replica 'Californio' saddle crafted by San Juan Bautista State Historic Park docent John Grafton is now on display at the Castro Adobe. 
Handcrafted 'Californio' saddle debuts at Castro Adobe.
A custom replica 19th Century “Californio” saddle was unveiled at Castro Adobe State Historic Park during the April open house event.

San Juan Bautista State Historic Park docent John Grafton crafted the period-specific saddle especially for the Castro Adobe. He attended the open house to demonstrate the materials, tools and techniques he used, and visitors got to try their hand at leather-working with him.

Much like the Castro family who built the adobe, John Grafton has made cattle a way of life. His childhood and early career took him to ranches throughout the West—of both North and South America. During and after a later career in law enforcement, John developed a relationship with California State Parks as a docent specializing in hands-on demonstrations of the horse culture of early California. He currently volunteers at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, where he does blacksmithing, leather and rawhide work, and woodworking — and combines these activities with interpretation of the material and social culture of the early Californios.

Read more about the saddle and John Grafton's background on the Castro Adobe blog.

Beach safety paramount following winter and spring storms.
Although sunny, warm days have returned to the Central Coast, the ocean still has a wintery edge to it. Rip currents, caused by storm-created sandbars, are a difficult-to-see danger at local State Beaches. 

Lifeguards and firefighters recently reported that rip currents from New Brighton State Beach to Moss Landing are more pervasive and more dangerous this spring than they have seen in years, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel

The way to escape a rip current is to swim parallel to shore to break free of the current, then swim straight to shore or use waves to push yourself to the beach, local California State Parks lifeguards say. This video from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains more about rip currents. Please take a few moments to watch.
Showcase, mural installation mark 25th anniversary of Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. 
The 25th Anniversary of the opening of Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park will be commemorated with the Mission Showcase, a special event to honor excellence in Mission history education, 12-3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the park. 

Join State Parks and Friends in honoring local students and their efforts to present the complexity and impacts of California's Mission history through their Mission projects. Along with viewing the projects, the afternoon's activities will include make-your-own tortillas on the comal and a hands-on archeology station. Patrick Orozco and the Amah KaTura dancers will share songs, history and Indian culture. 

Also, community volunteers and Mission Hill Middle School students, in cooperation with Friends and California State Parks, will be installing the new Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park 25th anniversary mural throughout the weekend. The installation will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 21 and continue Sunday and Monday, May 22-23. The mural will be located on existing retaining walls along the park’s Mission Street boundary, facing downtown Santa Cruz. The mural site is at the stairway entrance to the park, adjacent to Mitchell Properties on Mission Street and up the hill from the Town Clock. Volunteers ages 11 and older are welcome; those younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Email Amanda Segers for details.

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, “Your State Park Downtown,” is at 144 School St. in Santa Cruz. The park is home to the oldest building in Santa Cruz County. Built between 1822 and 1824 by local Ohlonean and Yokuts Indians, the park’s signature adobe is the only remaining structure from Mission Santa Cruz, founded in 1791. After decades of private ownership, the adobe was sold to the State of California, extensively restored and finally opened in 1991 to the public as the Santa Cruz Mission SHP — making it one of the youngest State Parks in the region. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks saved Santa Cruz Mission SHP from closure in 2012.
Save the date: 2016 Gerbera Festival. 
The seventh annual Kitayama Brothers Farms Gerbera Festival, a benefit for Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 18. The festival, part of the Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House, features greenhouse tours, a flower-arranging competition, wine tasting by Storrs Winery, activities for kids and more. 

Kitayama Brothers Farms, host of Gerbera Festival, is located at 481 San Andreas Road in Watsonville (next to Sunset State Beach). More information about tours and other activities will be available soon. 
Vote for Friends!  
Please show your support for Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in the voting for New Leaf Community Market's 2016-17 Environtokens donation recipients. 

The program gives customers who bring reusable grocery bags when shopping at New Leaf, a 10-cent Envirotoken to donate to the nonprofit of their choice. Friends is on the ballot for five stores: 

Vote here for Westside Santa Cruz.
Vote here for Felton.
Vote here for Downtown Santa Cruz.  
Vote here for Capitola.
Vote here for Boulder Creek.

Voting is open now! It ends at 11:45 p.m. on May 31. Thank you for your support! 
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp