Volunteers needed for 36 environmental improvement projects - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Volunteers needed for 36 environmental improvement projects statewide

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Volunteers are being sought to help clean up parks in San Diego County and throughout the state next month during the California State Parks Foundation's 14th annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup.

On Saturday, April 16, the foundation will host environmental improvement projects at 36 parks statewide -- including the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Palomar Mountain State Park, San Elijo State Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego County.

With more budget cuts expected for state parks, volunteers are more important than ever to keep the parks in clean and safe conditions, according to the foundation.

Statewide, thousands of volunteers each year plant native trees and community gardens, restore trails and wildlife habitats, build interpretative displays, remove graffiti and trash from beaches and parklands and make overdue repairs to fences and boardwalks.

Since 1998, nearly 71,000 participants have contributed more than 296,250 volunteer hours worth nearly $5.9 million in park maintenance and improvements. More than $3.6 million has been raised for the Earth Day program throughout California.

"The Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup events are a wonderful opportunity for communities to come together and volunteer to beautify and preserve California's state parks," said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation.

"Our treasured state parks need this cleanup, especially at a time when environmental improvement and maintenance projects are significantly delayed or eliminated due to continued budget challenges," she said.

Those interested in volunteering on Earth Day can call (888) 98-PARKS or register online at calparks.org. Registration is required as space is limited.

With 120,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation is the only independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's state parks, according to Goldstein.

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