After concluding a statewide artwork contest, California State Parks is rolling out new specialized vehicle license featuring California’s official tree, the California Redwood. Proceeds from the sale and annual renewal of the “ParksPLATE” will provide an ongoing funding source for the restoration and preservation of state parks across California.
State Parks officials unveiled the specialized plate at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park where some of the most extensive restorations since a major reconstruction effort in the 1890s are currently underway. Plate sales will support restoration projects like this one and help the department restore and preserve California’s state park system.
“California State Parks is the steward of some of the largest and most diverse natural, cultural and recreational resources of any state agency in the nation,” said State Park’s Director Lisa Mangat. “We invite Californians to show their pride for the state’s natural beauty by ordering our license plate, and support our efforts to protect and restore the state park system.”
The department selected the winning contest entry based on criteria of creativity, inspiration, reproducibility, legibility, and uniqueness that best captured a California redwood tree. A committee representing State Parks, California Natural Resources Agency, Save the Redwoods League and the Sempervirens Fund recommended a design to the director of State Parks for approval. The California Redwood is the official tree of California. The tallest redwood tree in the world, the Stratosphere Giant, is just over 370 feet tall and is located within the state parks system at Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
The winning artwork was designed by Wyn Ericson of Napa, California.
“I’m in shock, this is awesome,” said Wyn Ericson. “As a kid, my family and I would spend most summers camping. I have always been inspired by the colors and beauty of the natural landscape. After reading the contest rules that sequoias were required to be in the painting and that my artwork could potentially be on thousands of license plates, I immediately began sketching.”
Ericson, 35, graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art with an emphasis in drawing and painting. He went on to get his California Teaching Credential in Art Education and earned his Master’s Degree in Education in 2007 from Point Loma University. Spending time in the outdoors is one of Ericson’s favorite past times, and inspiration for his artwork stems from exploring Yosemite Valley, hiking through the Sierras and exploring the Northern Coast. A resident of the Napa Valley, Ericson teaches and creates art in oil, acrylic, and watercolor.
California Vehicle Code Section 5161 authorizes State Parks to pursue a special state parks environmental design license plate. The law specified that the design depict California redwoods.
The cost for a sequential plate is $50, or $98 for personalized plate. Specialized plates for motorcycles and trailers are also available. There must be 7,500 pre-paid orders for the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin implementation of the special license plate program. To make an order or to find more information, visit parksplate.parks.ca.gov.