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SDG&E Pledges $20,000 To Palomar Mountain State Park

San Diego Gas & Electric has pledged $20,000 to help keep Palomar Mountain State Park open, it was announced today.

The utility responded to a fundraising effort by the nonprofit Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park, which is trying to keep the area open following state budget cuts.

State funding was due to expire on July 1. Campsites at the 1,862-acre park were closed last October, but re-opened last month thanks to other donations.

Rick Barclay, chairman of the nonprofit, said the SDG&E contribution will allow the group to expand educational programs.

"The grant will also move us forward by helping underserved children in the community visit the park and learn about nature and stewardship for the environment,'' Barclay said.

"These are kids who otherwise would probably never experience the natural beauty of a place like Palomar, and that gets back to the original vision of the state park system, to make sure everyone has access to California's natural and cultural wonders, such as Palomar," he said.

The nonprofit is waiting for the state parks director to sign an agreement to defray the costs of keeping Palomar open via charitable donations, Barclay said.

The area offers a trout-filled pond, hiking trails and views of the Pacific Ocean.

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