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CA State Parks urges Newsom to restore funding for Library Parks Pass and climate change programs

The Central Coast is home to many state parks.
Photo by Amanda Wernik.
The Central Coast is home to many state parks.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget eliminates a program that gives library card users free entry into California state parks.

The pilot program was introduced three years ago to get rid of income barriers preventing people from visiting state parks.

Rachel Norton from the California State Parks Foundation said most people benefiting from the passes are those with lower incomes, and survey data shows a majority are people of color.

“We wanted to benefit folks that may have, for whatever reason, experienced barriers when they visit parks, and so it's really really devastating to have the funding not continue.”

The Library Parks Pass offers free vehicle entry to state parks. The foundation is asking lawmakers to bring back $3 million in funding for the program, which is about half of what it currently receives.

The California State Parks Foundation is also asking Newsom to fund efforts to address the impacts of climate change on state parks.

According to a recent report from the Foundation, rising sea levels could wipe out up to 75% of California’s beaches by the year 2100.

The Foundation manages a quarter of California’s coastline.

“Getting them the resources that they need to make sure that our state beaches are resilient to sea level rise is of paramount importance. ”

It’s working on making beaches stronger by redesigning shores to absorb force, which helps prevent coastal damage.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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