Volunteers sought for ‘Earth Day Clean-up’ at San Pasqual State Park

Volunteers and sponsors are being sought for California State Parks Foundation’s 19th annual Earth Day Restoration & Cleanup at San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park and 39 other state parks.

This work day will be held this Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. — 1 p.m.  There will be a welcome and brief remarks at 9 a.m. Besides the San Pasqual park, other area parks include San Elijo State Beach; Torrey Pines Natural Reserve and Beach; Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Carlsbad State Beach.

Volunteers will remove weeds and graffiti, clean up shoreline, plant native vegetation, fill eroded trails, repair boardwalks, install solar lights, and more.  With continued budget restrictions at state parks, volunteers will complete projects prior to the busy summer season to help keep parks clean and safe for all to enjoy.

The Times-Advocate interviewed Senior Park Aide Tim Downing, volunteer coordinator for San Pasqual State Park. The park commemorates the Battle of San Pasqual, which took place in 1846 during the Mexican American War.

Earth Day is sponsored by the California State Parks Foundation and corporate sponsors such as Oracle, Microsoft and Starbucks. The 41 state parks will receive grants and funds and volunteer support for facility maintenance. “Because of budget cuts we rely on volunteers to fill in that gap,” said Downing.

“Earth Day is very important,” said Downing. “We have less than 20 volunteers for San Pasqual. It’s not just a historical park to maintain but also the trails and weeding to do around the building. It’s a lot of work. We have one monument trail that runs from the museum, up the hill, to an overlook of the Safari Park and down to the monument that is right off the Highway 78.” This trail is about a 1.5 mile ‘round trip.

Editor’s Note: For many years the bronze plaque has been missing at the battlefield monument, probably stolen for the metal. However, recently the state restored the plaque, using an acrylic made to look like bronze, including a bronze-like patina. The state will be doing a ceremony to mark the restoration of the plaque at some date yet to be announced. 

“We are hoping to get volunteers to do two projects,” said Downing. “What we are focusing on is painting that needs to be done around window sills. We will be stripping and painting a fire retardant paint around the window sills. We’ve had those fires go through and they have always bypassed us. But the window sills are wooden and there is better paint than there was twenty years ago when the museum first opened.”

The second project will be trail maintenance on the trail that goes from the museum to the monument. “We’re trying to keep those weeds down after all the rain that we’ve had,” he said.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Downing at this email address:  Tim.downing@parks.ca.gov/

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