SANTA CRUZ (KCBS) – Park advocates have saved 14 of 70 state parks, which were scheduled for closure this summer, with the latest being in Santa Cruz County.

The non-profit group Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks has signed a deal with state officials to keep Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park open for the next three years.

KCBS’ Ted Goldberg Reports:

John Laird, the California Secretary for Natural Resources, said the agreement is another step in the effort to keep dozens of state parks, slated to close on July 1, open.

“If we continue to find partners and raise money, we could have as many as half the parks in California saved from closure,” said Laird.

Laird said the state has gotten help from similar groups.

“We have found partners that include cities, individual donors, non-profits, some businesses and they have really stepped up,” he said.

Laird said that although efforts continue to save the state parks from the chopping block, he doesn’t expect all of them to be saved, saying 30-35 will likely be closed for two years until the state budget can be righted.

State officials said they believe the park closures will save $33 million over the next two fiscal years.

To keep Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park open, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks plan to raise $135,000 over the next three years.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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