CARLSBAD — With California state parks in desperate need of funding, local nonprofit Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches, or FCCSB, has picked up the slack to support projects that improved North County’s parks over the last year.
FCCSB held its annual meeting Nov. 18 to review and assess their accomplishments and fundraising efforts since the group formed in 2009. Board members have been meeting regularly since February of this year.
“It may seem like not a lot has happened, but once I had a chance to compile a list of the achievements, I was able to reflect on the sheer quantity of the things we managed to accomplish this year,” President Kevin Dyerly said.
Dyerly highlighted several milestones for the group, including the near completion of Pelican Point, a raised platform rented out for weddings and educational events to generate funds; securing co-op association status by the state; beach cleanups; and successful events like Christmas in July and Beach Fest.
“We raised a lot of money from recycling at the campgrounds and Christmas in July,” Dyerly said. The group has doubled its funds in the bank, while also spending more than $10,000 to compete various projects. “Now that has to last us the next six months.”
California State Parks Interpretive Director and FCCSB board member Laura Ohman discussed scheduled events for 2011 that could raise funds and awareness for the group, like several scheduled Earth Day activities and the countywide Creek to Bay cleanup.
Fundraisers help Ohman continue her educational programming and other projects, many of which have been supplemented by FCCSB since its inception. The group’s contributions have helped her purchase craft supplies and organize various events.
“We did 51 beach clean ups this year — all but three were in this sector,” Ohman said. “We picked up 4,261.7 pounds of trash with the help of almost 2,600 volunteers.”
Moving forward, FCCSB members hope to increase their fundraising efforts, especially with the failure of Proposition 21 in the recent election. California residents voted against the ballot measure, which would have increased vehicle license fees by $18 to generate money for state parks.
“The only good thing about Proposition 21 not passing is that our headquarters is now starting to look at partnerships and grants,” California State Parks North Sector Superintendent Brian Ketterer said.
In addition to FCCSB’s contributions, Ketterer is working on securing grants to help with large-scale projects around the parks. “We are in a very ugly state of ‘what now?’”
For more information about the nonprofit Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches organization, visit www.fccsb.org.