CARLSBAD, Calif. - One volunteer group is working to fix a critical pathway to North County beaches.
Bill Wisener has lived in Carlsbad for decades and uses the staircases from the main lot to the South Carlsbad beach on a regular basis.
"They're very busy, these stairways," Wisener said.
On the surface, the stairs may not seem so bad, but if you take a closer look, you will find broken pieces and Wisener said accidents waiting to happen. He pointed to gaps in the wood that would be very easy for a toddler to get his or her foot stuck in.
"[They can] really hurt themselves," Wisener said.
Tourists feel it too.
"They're a little shaky," said Don Gilden, who was visiting the beach with his wife, Joyce.
The boards will be replaced, thanks to the "Adopt-a-Stairway" program and the group Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches.
"They're all 60 years old and the parks department just doesn't have the money," Wisener said.
Wisener is the president of Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches. He likens the group to a booster club for the parks department.
There are 11 stairways in South Carlsbad and San Elijo State Beaches that all need a facelift.
In South Carlsbad, four stairways are now just lookout points. The elements destroyed them over the years.
Wisener said fully rebuilding a stairway could cost up to $400,000. Repairs can be done for about $25,000.
With state budget cuts, Wisener said they need to take matters into their own hands.
"It's frustrating as a citizen … but when you actually work with the state employees, of course, they have no control over the budget. They just have to work within the budget," Wisener said.
Not only will the wood be fixed, but metal posts will also be replaced. Many are worn out with rust and holes.
The group already replaced the top half of the stairway with new boards and increased enforcement, but they need help during their big push for volunteers on the Oct. 5 weekend.
Robin Greene, the superintendent for the San Diego Coast North Sector, says the organization has been extremely helpful over the years, raising money for various improvements at the North County beaches.
Wisener said all volunteers are welcome. Welders are especially needed to help replace the old metal railings.
The event will be held Oct. 5 and 6 at the main entrance to Carlsbad from 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Volunteers will be removing damaged wood and replacing it with new wood. If you'd like to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (619) 804-9164.