California’s state parks are mostly identified with long walks in the redwoods, camping under the stars and beachcombing.
But as the state’s population evolves — in color, age and recreational tastes — so too must its parks, say those developing a new vision for the 280-park system that draws 70 million visitors a year.
U-T San Diego reported that the Parks Forward Commission will be in San Diego Monday (Oct. 14) as part of a statewide swing to gather information and the public’s advice before drafting recommendations on how the state can polish what some say is its tarnished crown jewel.
A draft report suggesting answers to that question is due out in April with a final set of recommendations scheduled to be delivered to governor and lawmakers by September.
More immediately, the commission is looking at ways to reverse tumbling revenues and restore public trust in the wake of revelations of financial mismanagement.
More long-term, commissioners hope to offer proposals to make parks more inviting and more accessible, particularly in addressing the interests of the growing number of Latinos and younger people married to their apps, GPS and Google.
“There is a tremendous opportunity through the Parks Forward (Commission) to better connect with Latinos. The values are already there, and shared,” said Marisa Quiroz of the San Diego Foundation, one of the listed speakers. “I am excited for what these public conversations will bring and see positive things on the horizon for increasing access to the outdoors and connecting more people to nature.”
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