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Nature centers feel the crunch

Posted: July 6, 2009 9:53 p.m.
Updated: July 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Two local parks made the list of nature centers in Los Angeles County having their hours cut to save money in the midst of a budget crisis.

Placerita Canyon Nature Center and the ranger station at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area will be closed on Mondays, saving the county $197,000 for the 2009-10 fiscal year, said Kaye Michaelson, special assistant for the county department of parks and recreation.

"We have worked hard to identify the day that will have the least impact on our visitors," she said Monday.

Also on the list of affected nature centers are: Deane Dana Friendship Community Regional Park and Nature Center in San Pedro; Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area in Pearblossom; Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena; San Dimas Canyon Community Regional Park and Nature Center; and Whittier Narrows Nature Center in South El Monte.

There are no jobs being eliminated as a result of the Monday closures, Michaelson said.

Salaried employees will work at other regional offices on Mondays.

Hourly employees, however, will suffer as their Monday hours are being cut, Michaelson said. Both the Placerita Canyon and Vasquez Rocks parks had one hourly worker each on Mondays.

She was unsure how long the Monday closures will remain in effect.


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