Volunteers clean up at South Carlsbad State Beach

CARLSBAD — Volunteers beautified one of North County’s beaches and campgrounds April 16 for the California State Parks Foundation’s 14th annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup event held at South Carlsbad State Beach.
More than 50 local residents — including families and community service groups — pitched in to pick up trash on the beach, remove non-native vegetation and spruce up
the South Carlsbad State Beach campground’s campfire center.
“The California State Parks Foundation gave us a grant to buy more supplies and complete these projects,” Laura Ohman, state park interpretive director and event coordinator, said.
Event attendees also tended to the campground’s new special events site, Pelican Point, by removing non-native plants and spreading decomposed granite. The site is located on the campground’s north end and was recently completed, Ohman said.
“We’re just putting the finishing touches on this site now,” Ohman said. “It looks really great.”
Members of the Palomar College Fire Club and the San Elijo Sail and Power Squadron donned shovels and gloves to help with the cleanup effort. The groups picked up trash on the beach despite the incoming high tide and vowed to keep working throughout the morning.
“We’re a community service group and when we heard about the event, we wanted to come help out with the cleanup,” R.D. Walker of the San Elijo Sail and
Power Squadron said. “We brought a bunch of people with us too.”
Frequent campers were happy to help with the cleanup effort, hoping to give back to an organization that plays a large role in their family.
The Pendzichs of Oceanside were camping on site over the weekend and made the event a family effort. Tony, Julie and 13-year-old Samantha Pendzich volunteered on several different projects at the Earth Day event.
“We camp here two times a year and think it’s important to give back to the community,” Julie Pendzich said. “We’re native to Southern California and love it here.”
Saturday’s cleanup and beautification event in Carlsbad was one of 36 Earth Day projects funded by the California State Parks Foundation, or CSPF. Major sponsors for the CSPF project include Chevron, Coca-Cola and Virgin American.
Ohman received additional support and funding for the event from Friends of the Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches, or FCCSB, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining state parks and campgrounds.
For additional information about the California State Parks Foundation, visit calparks.org. Learn more about Friends of the Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches organization at fccsb.org.

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