The California State Parks Foundation is hosting improvement projects at two parks in Santa Barbara County—environmental improvement projects—on the occasion of the 14th Annual Earth Day Restoration and Clean Up day. El Capitan State Beach and La Purisima Mission State Historic Park are the lucky beneficiaries this year, along with 34 other parks statewide.

The project at El Capitan will involve the installation of a drip irrigation system, as well as the planting of several native plants, including seven oak trees, and the repainting of screens and benches. At La Purisima Mission, the historic aqueduct, about ¾ of a mile long, will be cleaned.

As state parks continue to receive cuts in their budgets, volunteers are vital for the success of these initiatives, which aim to keep state parks clean and safe for the public. “The Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup events are a tremendous opportunity for communities to volunteer to beautify and preserve California’s state parks and learn about environmental stewardship of our parks,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation, in a press release. Started in 1998, the foundation consists of 120,000 members who aim to protect and improve California’s state parks. The independent nonprofit has played a key role in improving the overall conditions of state parks, according to Goldstein, contributing close to $5.9 million worth in park maintenance, such as fence installations, trail restorations, graffiti removal, and beach cleanup, with help from an estimated 70,812 volunteers.

Individuals and groups interested in participating can register at the California State Parks Web site. Both events are set to begin at 8:30 a.m. and last until 1 p.m.


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