Stairways receive repairs in Carlsbad and Cardiff with some non profit help

June 11, 2013 by Cheryl Getuiza

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk?” Well, a San Diego non-profit has done a lot of talking and backed it up with a lot of walking… on stairs.

The Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches (FCCSB) launched an aggressive campaign to restore some bluff side staircases.

“We’ve only been going a couple of months but we needed something to show for ourselves before we were comfortable going crazy with the fundraising,” said Bill Mahoney, founder and vice president of FCCSB and a California Forward Forward Thinker. “We already raised $6,000. We did two big flights of stairs on one of the tallest and most heavily used stairways and a small section on another stairway already just to show people that the money is going right back into the campaign.”

The Adopt-A-Stairway project will repair nine bluff side stairways at Carlsbad and Cardiff state beaches. They are wooden and more than 50 years old. And, as many of us know, the state parks budget doesn’t have much in it, especially for minor repairs.

“They’re used by about a million people every year, both by tourists and locals as key beach accesses.”

The stairways are key access points and in most cases, the only access to the beach.

“People use the stairways all the time. We are trying to improve them, rather than put a little patch that the state park would normally only be able to do,” said Mahoney.

The repairs are not going to be cheap. On the high side, all nine will cost about $250,000.

“Some are little bit worse than the others, but they’re anywhere between $25,000 to $30,000 a piece to do and we could discover more problems as we start tearing them apart, and we can have another rough winter.”

The price tag is big, so it could not have come at a better time for Carlsbad resident Ken Hays to join the efforts.

“I grew up surfing and I’m trying to teach my kids to get involved in stuff you really believe in,” said Hays.

Hays, a licensed contractor, became a board member and instantly knew where he could help.

“I have 24 employees and I have a company that builds cell sites for towers for various companies. I thought, if we could get local businesses to pitch in on materials then I would match them and would pay for the labor. My guys and I, we go and take a section of the stairs and we’ll repair it.”

The work done by Hays and his crew helps to stabilize the stairs. Now they will “probably be good for another 40-50 years.”

Donations have been coming in, but the organization is nowhere near their goal.

“We’ve been absolutely stunned by the response. We’ve had young couples from outside of the area, who have stayed at the campgrounds once in a while and they’ve been sending checks of about a thousand dollars, which for people in their 20s or 30s is incredibly generous,” said Mahoney.

“One homeless person gave a dollar fifty cause they believed in this project.” said Hays. “It means a lot to many different people, it was pretty cool to see.”

The non-profit is holding several fundraisers. In fact, the Callaway Golf Foundation was impressed with the FCCSB, so it decided to help.

 “People want to help, they just don’t know how to do it,” said Hays.

“These are the wonderful projects where people donate and they see where their money is going,” said Mahoney.

Being good stewards of our environment by stepping in and taking care of the community because the state can’t… that’s what this non-profit is doing.