A wedge of land overlooking Solana Beach and nearby coastal wetlands has narrowly escaped development for years. A joking conversation followed by a check for a million-plus helped secure it as a park for good.
For years, California’s state park system, while storied for its size and diversity, has been plagued with budget crises. The problem hit an all-time low in 2012, amid a scandal over millions in hidden funds and 70 parks closing. Now a third-party commission is stepping in to clean up the mess, funded by six major state foundations.