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Free state park passes can be checked out at public libraries across the county

San Diego-area libraries have free California State Parks day passes
San Diego-area libraries have free California State Parks passes for vehicle day use that can be checked out. Pictured is a runner on one of the trails at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
(John Gibbins / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego-area libraries have free California State Parks passes for vehicle day use that can be checked out

San Diego-area libraries have free California State Parks passes for vehicle day use that can be checked out like a book.

Library card holders can place a parks pass on hold through the library’s online catalog, and then pick it up at the library and borrow it for a certain number of days. For example, the Oceanside Public Library lets patrons borrow the pass for seven days; each library has its own time limit. The pass can be used at more than 200 participating California state parks.

The California State Library Parks Pass is valid for entry of one passenger vehicle with up to nine people or a highway licensed motorcycle.

The free pass program began in April at libraries across the state as part of a pilot collaboration between California State Parks and California State Libraries.

“The library is all about increasing access to great services and information and this new service does just that,” said Marie Town, a principal librarian at the Oceanside Public Library.

The program has been a big hit in Oceanside, where the Civic Center Center Library currently has 25 passes in use and there are 18 additional holds on them from patrons waiting to get a pass. But because of its popularity, the pass cannot be renewed.

“It benefits our community and provides increased access to our beautiful beaches and parks, locally and throughout the state. It has been a popular and wonderful new service,” Town said.

To get a free county library card, which is required to check out passes and library books and other materials, visit sandiego.gov/public-library/services/lending/librarycard.

For more information on checking out a pass from a San Diego County library, visit parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30806 or visit your local public library in person or online, even if it is not part of the County Library system.

If you don’t know where your local public library is located, visit library.ca.gov/branches.


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