Living Coast Discovery Center will stay open - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Living Coast Discovery Center will stay open

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CHULA VISTA (CBS NEWS 8) - The Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista was set to close its doors Monday because of a lack of funding.

But instead, they'll be announcing they've raise enough to keep the wildlife refuge open to the public.

For more than 25 years, students have headed to a special place on San Diego Bay to learn about local plants and animals.

And thanks to some generous donors who stepped in at the last moment that learning will continue.

"Very happy to announce that we will be open tomorrow - October 28th," Sherry Lankston said. 

What was supposed to be closing day forever at the Living Coast Discovery Center - will instead - be a day of celebration.

"In the last three weeks, we've had a surge in people coming forward and saying we believe in you. We believe in the education you have. We believe in the center here and uniqueness we have at the Living Coast," Lankston said. 

Earlier this month, the Living Coast, previously known as the Chula Vista Nature Center, announced it was facing a $200,000 budget shortfall and would have to close down.

But support from corporations, adults and some creative kids saved the day.

"Cartwheel-a-thons and lemonade stands - some actually wrote songs for us," she said. 

The non-profit's purpose is to give county residents a chance to see animals that live in our county - like the California kingsnake.

"They're called king snakes because they can actually eat other snakes - so when you're eating your enemy - that kind of makes you the king."

In all, around 150 species of animals call this place home.

"We have the green sea turtles, bald eagles and gold eagles and barn owls and falcons and hawks and sharks and stingrays - oh my."

Thirty years ago, this place was used for illegal trash dumping. Today, 70,000 visitors come here annually to learn why that history cannot be repeated, and thanks to generous donors the message will continue.

Monday morning the center is planning to make an official announcement with details on how much they raised and how long their doors are guaranteed to stay open.

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