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Palomar Mountain State Park Will Stay Open If Private Donations Fill Budget Gap

State parks officials agreed today to keep Palomar Mountain State Park open for the next three years, as long as private donations fill the gap between revenues and expenses.

View of Pauma Valley from Palomar Mountain taken along Nate Harrison Grade Road in Palomar Mountain State Park.
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Above: View of Pauma Valley from Palomar Mountain taken along Nate Harrison Grade Road in Palomar Mountain State Park.

The 1,862-acre park, which was one of 70 due to be shut down in July because of the state financial crisis, is popular with nature lovers because of its trout-filled pond, hiking trails and views of the Pacific Ocean.

Under the agreement approved by state Parks Director Ruth Coleman, the state will operate the facility with paid staff for the next three years, and benefactors will pick up any shortfalls.

Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park, a nonprofit organization, has received donations from around 300 individuals, corporations and foundations to pay for park operations in the next fiscal year. Park staff have been rehired and campgrounds that had been closed last October have reopened.

A fundraising campaign is under way to pay for the following two years.

The Friends of Palomar Mountain group says it is aiming to have the park open 365 days per year, but the actual number could very depending on its fundraising success.

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