A local group is fighting to keep a San Diego park off the chopping block of state parks set to close because of budget cuts.
Palomar State Park has been victim to slashes to the California recreation budget, as its campgrounds closed in October because of monetary restraints. Gov. Jerry Brown announced in 2011 that nearly a quarter of all state parks would have to close because of budgetary constrictions. A few campgrounds in San Diego are no longer in use year-round and unless the money reappears, they’ll remain closed to the public.
Friends of the Palomar State Park have raised nearly $70,000 for the park, which is enough to keep the park open for one year. But Michael Walsh, vice president of the Friends, said that’s only the first hurdle
“The number we are pushing toward is $180,000,” he told NBCSanDiego.
The group has run into problems with people under the impression that fundraising goals have been met, when in reality the group is only a third of the way to $180,000.
“It’s important people realize the three-year goal,” Walsh said. Meaning roughly $110,000 is still needed in donations.
The California State Parks and Recreation department has yet to agree to a plan of action for Palomar State Park, but no one on a government level has told the group “no.” And Nedra Martinez, a state park supervisor, has been working with the group during the last few months to assist with communication at the state level.
Walsh said there’s a level of cautionary optimism among the group and stressed that there’s still a ways to go before they have enough money for the three-year goal.
For more information about the park, visit the Friends of Palomar State Park website.