Organizers of a petition drive to keep two parks open in Sylmar netted 150 signatures over the weekend, pitching their cause to picnickers at Veterans Memorial Park.
Enid Jones, president of the Sylmar Woman's Club, said members are gathering signatures to persuade county park officials to keep Veterans Park and El Cariso Regional County Park open.
The two parks are on a list of 72 parks throughout Los Angeles that may close or be abandoned if the operating budget is cut by 25% this summer.
"We were really outraged," Jones said. "These parks are heavily used. In times like these, we need to keep the kids busy."
Jones said Woman's Club and Sylmar Chamber of Commerce members will continue to collect signatures until they meet with county officials May 20 in Sylmar.
Most Veterans Park patrons were surprised by the news that the facility could be closed.
"You're kidding," said Northridge resident Charles Avelar, when told of the possibility. "That's very upsetting."
Sheila Ortega, a spokeswoman for the county Parks and Recreation Department, said the department was forced to suggest the cutbacks to make up for a state proposal to divert $2.1 billion in property tax revenues from county governments to public schools.
Besides parks, the county may be forced to scrap summer swimming programs at 24 county pools and close the beach at Castaic Lake, officials said.