In honor of Earth Day, the California State Parks Foundation and its sponsors announced $75,000 in grant funding for state parks throughout the state, including two San Diego County parks in need of funding.
The South Carlsbad State Beach and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park were among the 21 parks selected for the grant funding.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many parks have closed to the public or are limiting visitors, significantly impacting revenue sources.
"On most Earth Days we'd be outside, celebrating, protecting and enhancing the irreplaceable natural treasures around us, but this Earth Day, while we all shelter in place we're doing everything we can to support our state parks from home," said Rachel Norton, executive director of California State Parks Foundation. "Immediate grant funding for California's state parks will help to bridge the gaps brought on by this pandemic."
For more than 20 years, the California State Parks Foundation's annual Earth Day celebrations have raised nearly $7 million, attracting nearly 90,000 participants volunteering more than 355,000 hours, officials said. Volunteers perform park maintenance tasks, like restoring natural ecosystems and trail improvements, totaling nearly $7.3 million in park improvements.
Sponsors include United Airlines, Edison International, the PG&E Foundation Corporation, Target, and Blue Shield of California.
"The reality is, in addition to the financial hardships we're all feeling, state parks already have more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance costs that have yet to be addressed," said Holly Martinez, director of programs and advocacy for California State Parks Foundation. "Green spaces have proven to be a place of reprieve while we all shelter in place and we hope everyone from home joins us today in celebrating our earth and the spaces we've been gifted.''