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Input Sought on Use of State Park Funds

September 19, 2000|PAUL M. ANDERSON

The new district superintendent for Ventura County's state parks is looking for help spending an extra $2 million in park money that voters approved in March.

Richard Rojas, head of the state park system's Channel Coast District, said Monday that he will ask residents for ideas about the parks. Rojas started his new job last month.

Funding for state parks has rebounded in the last couple of years as the state's economy improved, Rojas said. He has his own ideas on how to spend the money, but Rojas wants to have a public meeting in the spring or summer to discuss what the community wants.

"People might say they want more shops on the beaches, but I'd like to go through the process to have the community help me determine what's best for the parks," Rojas said, adding that he may ask some city leaders in the park district to help finance some capital projects.

He added that he wants to reach out to young people, as recent surveys have shown a variety of reasons why they won't visit beaches or parks.

"A lot of kids are not aware we're there or they're afraid of the parks. They might think the ocean's dangerous," Rojas said.

Some kids just can't make it to the parks because their parents don't have cars, Rojas said. He added that he will lobby local transportation officials to expand bus routes to state parks.

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