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Dec 27, 2012 6:29 PM

Tubac steps up to save historic park for the second time

TUBAC - From the old Tubac Schoolhouse, to the exhibits at the Tubac Presidio Museum, some say Presidio Park is a historical treasure.

And nobody knows that better than Gwen Griffin. "Oh I think it's very important," Griffin says. "It's just a wonderful place to be."

Griffin is a volunteer at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. It holds a special place in her heart, since she practically grew up there. "My parents donated the land on which the museum stands," Griffin says.

So when she found out the park might have to close its doors again, panic set in. "And I said if I don't come here and help out and keep this park from being closed, I think I'm going to get struck by lightening on a day when it's not raining."

A few years ago when state legislators cut funding for several state parks, the Tubac Presidio was in danger of shutting down. However, the park was saved, after an agreement was formed between Santa Cruz County and the state. The agreement gave the Tubac Historical Society permission to take over operations.

A couple weeks ago, the Tubac Historical Society said it was calling it quits because it didn't have the resources to continue operating the park.

The Presidio was in danger of shutting down again.

Luckily, a non-profit organization called "Friends of the Tubac Presidio and Museum" is stepping up to take over operations. "It's just one of those things where the people rise up and say let's do it!" says Earl Wilson, a member of "Friends of the Tubac Presidio and Museum".

He hopes once the group gets going it will gain the support of the community. "The Presidio itself in terms of size is relatively small, but in terms of historical significance, it's huge," Wilson says.

The goal is to make sure the Presidio sticks around this time for decades to come. "We've done a lot of new things here and we'd like to continue that progress," Griffin says.

The Tubac Historical Society will continue operating the park for the next couple of months.

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