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Chula Vista Nature Center Could Be Closed


Aired 4/19/09

The Chula Vista Nature Center could be a casualty of an on-going budget crisis. The center offers environmental education programs for visitors and about 15,000 school children each year. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The Chula Vista Nature Center is adjacent to the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on San Diego Bay.

The facility exhibits plants and animals native to the Bay.

But the city proposes to close the center and layoff eight employees.

Nature Center board member Susan Fuller says the center is prepared to accept some budget cuts, but not a complete closure.

Fuller: We're going to ask them to give us an opportunity to give us time to do some fundraising - find some additional funding sources outside of the city to help support keeping the programs going.

Fuller says it costs the city about $650,000 a year to operate the center.

San Diego High-Tech High Teacher James Vavra says closing the center would deprive students of a valuable learning experience.

Chula Vista officials plan to consider the proposal during a budget workshop tonight.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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