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City Heights organization pushing for greater access to Silver Strand State Beach

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Posted at 7:25 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 22:25:47-04

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — San Diego is known for its beautiful coastline, but there are some communities that can't enjoy it as much.

That's why local organizations are working to increase access to Silver Strand State Beach.

The beach stretches from the South Bay to Coronado and is a popular destination for locals and visitors.

"This is a beautiful regional amenity, and we want more people to be able to enjoy it," said Randy Torres-Van Vleck, the Director of Policy and Planning for the City Heights Community Development Corporation.

The organization and other local groups recently launched the Silver Strand 4 All campaign to improve access for underserved neighborhoods.

"A lot of low-income families also live in City Heights, so we want to make sure that as we're doing planning and we're trying to improve public spaces that we're doing it with an eye towards equity," he said.

This includes how people who don't have a car can also get to the beach.

"It took us two hours to get there via transit, so we want to address transit access, walking, and biking," Torres-Van Vleck said.

The beach is open to the public daily, but people can only stay overnight if they have an RV or are group camping on the bay side.

Torres-Van Vleck and others see that as an equity issue.

"For many of us who don't own an RV or can't rent one, then it really becomes a slim chance of spending the night," said Myrian Solis Coronel.

Solis Coronel is the Director of Community Engagement for Parks California, a non-profit working with local groups to enhance how the beach is used.

Parks California recently surveyed what other features like camper rentals on-site and hike and bike options the community would like to see at the beach.

"So far, the feedback has been very positive. People want to spend the night at Silver Strand," Solis Coronel said.

The organizations also want those options to be affordable, so anyone can enjoy more time at the beach.

Parks California plans to present new designs to the state beach using feedback from the survey in October.