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Donation Drive Launched To Help California’s Cash-Strapped State Parks

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Castle Rock State Park (www.parks.ca.gov)

Castle Rock State Park, one of the several Bay Area parks targeted for closure. (www.parks.ca.gov)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A statewide ballot proposition, which would have shored up California’s crumbling state parks, failed at the polls in November.

Proposition 21 would have increased the vehicle license fee to pay for parks.

“Everyone with non-commercial vehicles would have paid $18 per vehicle,” said Greg Zelder with the California Parks Foundation. “And that would have raised about $500 million to fully fund state parks.”

KCBS’ Patti Reising Reports:

But supporters haven’t given up the fight, as they have now turned to an online donation drive in an effort to raise cash.

Zelder said those who are still inclined can pay the $18 in the form of a donation to the foundation. He said it started small, on social networking sites after the election.

“It’s really been a grassroots, from the bottom up fundraising campaign,” said Zelder.

The California Parks Foundation set up a page on its website and has taken in $50,000 so far. By law, the money can’t be used to fill positions, so it won’t be able to hire some off those laid off rangers and lifeguards.

Zelder said donations will help the foundation train volunteers to do maintenance at the parks and advocate for a long-term solution.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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