Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park Needs Your Help!

The Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock Association is offering an opportunity to win a beautiful quilt handcrafted by two talented local artisans and Association members. The quilt features a fall maple and oak leaf color motif and is decorated with 10 authentic Native American baskets and other items. The quilt will be given away to a lucky ticket holder at a drawing to be held on Sunday, September 30, during Big Time at the park. Tickets are only $1.00 each, 15 tickets for $10.00, or 30 tickets for $20.00 and are available at the museum. All proceeds from the drawing will directly benefit educational and cultural activities exclusively at this local park. You can buy tickets and see the quilt on display at the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum located in the park.

You don't need to be present at the drawing to win the quilt, but Big Time at the park offers a unique opportunity to experience current Native American culture first hand. There will be vendors offering many hand made Native American items, Indian tacos, as well as traditional ceremonial dancing. (Dancing will not be held in the Round House this year due to the need for structural repairs, but the dancing tradition will continue in another park venue.)

Also at the park this summer, the Chaw'se Association will be sponsoring its annual invitational Native American art show in the museum building . It opens on September 8 and continues on weekends through Big Time, September 29 and 30. The show features traditional and contemporary California art (including basketry, jewelry, paintings, and sculpture) from talented Native American artists.

Amador County's only state park, Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, was spared from the budget axe: It was not on the list of 70 state parks slated to be closed to meet state budget cuts. However, that doesn't mean status quo for this oak studded salute to Miwok culture nestled on Pine Grove-Volcano Road between Pine Grove and Volcano. Budget cuts have been the rule for more than 10 years at the park. The museum was once open 7 days a week for a total of 37 hours, and was open year round. Currently, it is only open Friday through Monday for a total of only 14 hours. The campground, one of the only available campgrounds below the snow line, is now closed during the winter months. And the school tour program, which exposes thousands of 3rd and 4th graders to Native American culture, has had its staffing severely cut.

What can you do to help? Support the Chaw’se Association by buying tickets for the opportunity quilt. You can also join the Association in its continuing efforts to support educational opportunities at the park. Annual membership is only $15 for individuals, $25 for families, or $50 for businesses.

The park is open daily from dawn until dusk. The museum is open Friday through Monday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. For more information about the park, call 296-7488 to contact park staff.

To contact the Association, e-mail us at
chawseassociation@gmail.com, or contact Lynda Burman, association board member, at 296-3795.

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