Sierra State Parks Foundation awarded $1 million grant |

Sierra State Parks Foundation awarded $1 million grant

Special to the Sun

Turn-of-the-century banker Isaias Hellman built “the finest High Sierra summer house in California” a rustic, yet elegant three-story mansion overlooking the lake, known as Pine Lodge or the Ehrman Mansion.
Courtesy photo |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The Sierra State Parks Foundation (SSPF) is very honored to announce it is the recipient of a $1,000,000 grant from a Donor Advised Fund of the San Francisco Foundation.

“We are incredibly excited to receive this much-needed grant and are overwhelmed by the generosity of this anonymous advisor,” said Heidi Doyle, Sierra State Parks Foundation executive director. “It is extremely gratifying to know that our mission and our goals for the future of the Sierra State Parks under our tutelage have been recognized as a worthy endeavor.”

The donor identified specific projects from the list of the SSPF “to dos,” which are to be funded by this grant. These include: Vikingsholm sod roof restoration, Hellman-Ehrman Estate restoration, D.L. Bliss State Park interpretive signage, human-bear management projects, and Olympic Heritage snow trails grooming.

Certain monies were also earmarked for miscellaneous discretionary projects for West Shore Lake Tahoe State Parks only.

“We are simply astounded by the generosity and show of support of this donor toward our organization and its goals for our beloved local California State Parks,“ said Board President Dr. Larry Bienati.

“When I joined the Foundation, at the start of this 2013 season, we introduced a fundraising effort with a new brochure that described our parks and introduced new membership opportunities, we are sending out regularly scheduled newsletters and eBlasts, and we continue to work on our newly developed web site. We are so pleased that our outreach is working!” Doyle said. “This grant, along with the many other generous donations we have received, will have a major impact in preserving our parks and providing educational programming, and hopefully will encourage others to give.”

The Sierra State Parks Foundation began in 1968 when a group of local citizens worked to protect the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion from demolition for a camp ground. Since then, the Foundation has broadened its mission from a single-site focus to supporting education, interpretation, preservation and restoration efforts at Sierra State Parks at Lake Tahoe and Truckee. The Sierra State Parks Foundation celebrates the heritage and scenic environment of the region with visitors from around the world.

The SSPF office is located at 1295 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City. For more information about becoming a member or making a donation to the Foundation call 530-583-9911 or visit

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