History of the ParkIT! Initiative
ParkIT! is a collaboration of local residents, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies to solve shared concerns. In 2018, nearly 30 initial listening sessions were conducted by a group of founding members led by the late Ernest Chung.
With a proven talent for engaging stakeholders, Ernest hosted these meetings around his dining room table. The aim was to gather various perspectives and knit together ideas for a solution. Those who knew him best describe his sincerity of being other-focused as what allowed people to relax and co-create with ease. And, his ability to encourage others to do more, lovingly called “The Chung Challenge,” brought out the best contributions from others. In this way, Ernest’s leadership brought forth a large breadth of broad community support for ParkIT!.
Consensus on the course of action evolved and a ParkIT! Steering Committee was developed to guide the effort and continue the movement toward goals.
In addition to providing financial contributions and steering committee representatives, the following entities also provide local and state connections as well as in-kind contributions through expertise in producing technical planning documents and fundraising proposals: Big Sur Land Trust, Point Lobos Foundation, and Big Sur Marathon Foundation.
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District and the Monterey District of California State Parks & Recreation provide steering committee representatives, local and state connections, land use for parking lots and restrooms, and other resources necessary for implementation.
The Precursor to ParkIT! History
The ParkIT! Initiative becomes possible only with multiple land agencies working together toward a shared vision. The Lobos-Corona Parklands Project (LCPP), which was both a result of and a driver for collaboration among the entities that form the backbone of ParkIT!, is the formal agreement to work together as part of an integrated multi-agency effort for the benefit of the public.
Years of planning, land acquisition, and parks preparation, as well as millions in public and private dollars, have been invested in the Lobos-Corona Parklands Project area. The project area encompasses nearly 10,000 acres and includes Palo Corona Regional Park, the former Whisler Wilson Ranch, and High Meadows Open Space (Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District); Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, the former A.M. Allan Ranch, Carmel River State Beach, Hatton Canyon and Garrapata State Park (California State Parks); and the Coast Ranch and South Bank Trail (Big Sur Land Trust). These lands host some of California’s most spectacular coastal areas and vistas, abundant wildlife, diverse habitats, and profound historical and cultural resources.
With substantially increased visitation to the region, ParkIT! objectives ensure improved access and travel for residents and tourists. The approach will improve public safety and protect natural resources while optimizing access and visitor experience to Highway 1 parklands, Carmel to Big Sur.
ParkIT! Steering Committee
Community Member Advisors
Big Sur Land Trust, CFO/COO
Big Sur International Marathon, Board Member
Samuel B. Hale
Point Lobos Foundation, Executive Director
Point Lobos Foundation,
Big Sur Land Trust, Director of Conservation
Ex Officio Advisors
Monterey Sector Manager, California State Parks
California State Parks District Manager
Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District General Manager