Although 8,850 acres, pr 62 percent, of the more than 14,000-acre Chino Hills State Park burned in the Blue Ridge Fire, a group of volunteers who work to enhance public awareness of this natural resource has a lot to be grateful for. 

The Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association (CHSPIA) holds educational and interpretive activities to enhance visitor experiences and show how important it is to maintain and restore the park's natural habitat.

Board member Eric Johnson, who also serves on the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council, said a $5,000 grant was received from the California State Parks Foundation to provide extra staffing  that was needed due to the pandemic.  The funds were used to hire a part-time maintenance aide to make sure the bathrooms were kept clean and safe, he said.

The board also received a generous donation from a park user who said she had been using the Rim Crest entrance for years without paying parking fees and the donation was meant to make up for it. 

Also, just this month, popular interpreter Ian Bernstein returned to the park after almost a year and the board is glad to have him back, Mr. Johnson said.

The fire helped expose areas where old barbed wire fencing is still up from the days cattle grazed on the rangeland, causing injuries to wildlife.

Visitors are being asked to mark locations and report it to parks staff at the kiosk. To donate to CHSPIA or to volunteer, visit chinohillsstate park.org, click on "about" and "CHSPIA."

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