With help from an online survey, California State Parks officials are exploring different camping options for low-income San Diegans at Silver Strand State Beach.
As per a report, they’re working with local organizations like City Heights CDC to spread the word.
“There’s no way for folks to stay there overnight to camp there unless you have access to an RV, so we see that as an equity issue. Not a lot of folk can afford RVs, to own or rent them,” City Heights CDC’s Randy Torres-Van Vleck said.
The survey is part of a study called Lower Cost Coastal Overnight Accommodations. State officials aim to ease the process for families with low or moderate incomes, youth-serving groups, and other organizations with limited opportunities to camp at the state beach.
“Whether it’s financial barriers, transportation, economic barriers, or just geographically where they’re located, they may live here and have never experienced the beach before,” Urban Surf 4 Kids executive director Roxanne Avant said.
“Just because they don’t have the means to be able to safely experience or even get to the beach.”
Avant said that the survey asked about nontraditional approaches to camping.
“It does address an area that’s focusing on the financial costs. It asks the survey taker: ‘Do you need gear? Do you need tents and sleeping bags?'” Avant said.
Camping is currently available throughout the year in RVs or trailers. Tent camping is offered at two campsites from June to August. The new plan could include cottages, trailers, and hike and bike camping.
“We see it as a multipronged strategy,” Torres-Van Vleck said.
“We want to create those local experiences where communities like City Heights can have a park to go to, canyons to go to. But we also want to open up those regional assets like Silver Strand and Pacific Beach and other places via transit, walking, biking.”
According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Silver Strand State Beach offers camping, swimming, surfing, boating, water-skiing, volleyball, and picnicking opportunities. Park facilities include four large parking lots, which can accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles.
This story originally appeared on KPBS.