Welcome to Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma (FOLFAN). We're a nonprofit organization and a state park cooperating association that supports the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (SRA). The SRA includes Lake Natoma, Folsom Lake, and the American River that connects the two lakes. The park includes approximately 100 miles of trails, 100 miles of shoreline, and a picturesque oak woodland setting. FOLFAN's mission is "Enhancing education and recreation opportunities for the public and protecting the wonders and resources of Lakes Folsom and Natoma."
View our most recent FOLFAN newsletters for the latest news about us and our park:
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Because of the ongoing pandemic, all group events in the park have been CANCELLED. Although the state park remains open as of mid-July (2020), there is every possibility of our park going back into a soft-closure mode, or even a full-closure mode, as California tries to get the pandemic under control. FOLFAN has therefore decided to not engage in any activity that serves to bring people together physically. This includes most of our volunteer initiatives. Things are just too unsettled and risky, and FOLFAN doesn’t want to put park visitors or volunteers at risk. FOLFAN will continue to have our monthly board meetings, and other meetings that can be done via Zoom or phone. We will continue to communicate and share information through our monthly newsletter, website, Facebook page and other media. But we will wait to launch our volunteer initiatives until it is safe to engage in activities and events that bring people together. Until then, we need to emphasize safety and caution, both for our park visitors and volunteers, as well as for the park itself. If you are going to use the park during the pandemic, please use it safely and responsibly:
Much trail work has been done in our state park in the past year and a half, including the necessary trail repairs and landslide stabilization work needed to reopen the popular Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. After a 3-year closure, the paved multi-use trail, near Negro Bar and below the Orangevale Bluffs, officially reopened on February 15, 2020. Other trail repairs have also been done throughout the park, with more to come once the state park staffing issues from the pandemic are resolved. What we haven't seen is any new trail construction. But that's intentional on state park's part. Their current priority, because of years of "deferred maintenance" and staffing shortages, is to focus on fixing what already exists.
The Folsom Lake State Recreation Area has been seeing record numbers of visitors since it reopened from a soft closure on May 15. The park is simply hopping with people seven days a week who are looking for an escape, or a recreation experience, or a nature experience. We know that a good number of these park visitors are new to visiting state (and national) parks and aren’t familiar with the rules or with park etiquette. Otherwise, why would so many of them make little or no effort to dispose of their own garbage?
In any case, we care about the appearance of our park and are concerned about the consequences of garbage getting into our waterways. We know you care, too. That’s why FOLFAN is asking all of our members and fans to please bring a garbage bag each time you visit the park. Not just to collect your own garbage, but to use to pick up litter where you find it. In normal times, FOLFAN has the Adopt the Parkway program and a number of park cleanup events each year to supplement what the park maintenance staff are able to do. But in these pandemic times, we need to avoid group activities and events that put people at risk. So we're asking for your help to address our litter challenge. All we ask is that you do it safely. Please download/view/print our handout on Litter Cleanup Tips for Self-Directed Volunteers. Also, FOLFAN is more than happy to provide you with garbage bags. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll figure out the easiest way to get some bags into your hands.
If you've visited our park much in recent years, you've probably seen one or more of our bald eagles. We have several bald eagle nests in and around the park, and a golden eagle nest as well. The location of the nests are kept confidential in order to protect the eagles from overzealous park visitors. (Eagles are protected by law which prohibits anyone from harming or disturbing them or their nest areas during breeding season.)
As many of you know, we have a nesting pair of bald eagles that have returned to the same nest at Lake Natoma for several years now. And they have been successful in growing their family and sustaining their species – despite concerns about their nest location being too close to too many people. Typically the mama eagle produces two eggs each spring. But this year she produced three eggs, which may have been one too many. The largest of the eaglets fell from the nest a few weeks before it would have been ready to fledge. It survived on the ground for nearly two weeks before disappearing. We don’t know what ultimately happened to the eaglet. We hope that it was taken in by a rescue group. But, in any case, the other two eaglets have been successful and we expect them to leave the nest area by late July 2020. Mama and papa eagle will then leave for cooler climates before (likely) returning next winter.
If you would like to learn more about bald eagles (our National Bird), please refer to our new Bald Eagles brochure.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Kayner
Anyone who wants to learn more about FOLFAN (i.e. what we do) will find it useful to browse our latest FOLFAN Annual Report for 2019. It is a highlight overview of what FOLFAN accomplished in the most recent calendar year. All in 9 concise pages, including lots of photos.
Here is a list of our current brochures and handouts. Click on the links to download/view/print any of these documents. If you want a printed copy (or copies), check with us about availability. In addition to our FOLFAN brochures and handouts, you can also download/view/print the official Folsom Lake State Recreation Area brochure.
FOLFAN >> This is a recently updated brochure with concise info about who we are, what we do, and how people can join us or support us.
Adopt-the-Parkway >> This brochure explains the Adopt-the-Parkway program and its opportunities for both Financial Sponsors and Volunteer Stewards.
Bald Eagles >> This new brochure responds to common questions about our national bird: the Bald Eagle.
Every Day is Earth Day >> This next-generation brochure is filled with helpful tips and "easy to do everyday" things that will make a positive difference in protecting and preserving our beautiful planet.
Trail Etiquette >> This 1-page handout on Folsom Lake SRA Trail Etiquette helps all trail users to better enjoy the experience and to get home safe.
Litter Cleanup Tips for Self-Directed Volunteers >> This 2-page handout is for self-directed volunteers who wish to help clean up park litter. Since we can't sanction park clean-up events during the pandemic, we hope all of you will make a habit of picking up litter when you visit the park. Not just your own garbage, but also that left behind by our litterbug friends.
Thanks to the Bodacious Biking Babes, River Ridge Realty and Hoefer Family Foundation for donations to help pay for brochure development and printing. Also thanks to Mary Casey for her excellent design services, and to our many FOLFAN members who allowed us to use their beautiful photos!