California’s parks are being dragged down by stagnant leadership, inadequate resources and a failure to serve the state’s growing population of young Latinos, according to a draft report from an independent commission created to examine the troubled park system.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the California Department of Parks and Recreation “has not been able to keep pace with the times and now faces significant system-wide financial and organizational challenges,” the report says. “These challenges place at risk the system’s continued viability, as well as the public’s trust and confidence in the Department charged with caring for the state’s natural and cultural resources.”
The report, which will be worked on throughout the year, is scheduled to be presented to the Parks Forward Commission next week.
The parks department has been under close scrutiny since 2012, when it was revealed that agency officials had stockpiled millions of dollars at a time when the state was closing parks because of budget cuts. The department’s director was ousted and a new one appointed with a mandate to refurbish the parks system’s image and operations.
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