TPL Celebrates Decade of Conservation Work in Santa Barbara (CA)

Santa Barbara, CA, 7/31/2007: At a recent event in Santa Barbara, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and 100 of its supporters celebrated a decade of successful land conservation in Santa Barbara County. The celebration was hosted by TPL California Advisory Board members Susan Rose and Kim Kimbell and is part of an ongoing series of events sponsored by TPL celebrating ten years of partnership with the community. Other events planned as part of the celebration include the dedication of a donor marker at the Sperling Preserve at Ellwood Mesa, a local concert, a trail building work day, and a tour of the Gaviota Coast which is a focus of TPL’s work in Santa Barbara County.

Susan Rose said, “I had the pleasure of working with TPL to protect 200 acres at the San Marcos Foothills when I was a County Supervisor. Their track record of on the ground results in Santa Barbara has impressed me tremendously. I am proud to be working with them to make sure Santa Barbarans have plenty of breathing room as our communities continue to grow.”

TPL’s first Santa Barbara project was the 70-acre Douglas Family Preserve, the city’s last undeveloped coastal mesa. The community and TPL came together in a heroic effort to preserve the bluff from development, raising $3.6 million in just three months. In February, 1997, TPL conveyed the popular Douglas Family Preserve, formerly the Wilcox Property, to the City of Santa Barbara.

Since that time, dedicated residents and civic leaders have with TPL’s help protected almost 6,000 acres throughout the county. Highlights include El Capitan Ranch, a four-square-mile addition to El Capitan State Beach that created a recreation and wildlife corridor from the coast to the Santa Ynez Mountains; Ellwood Mesa, the West Coast’s largest wintering site for monarch butterflies; Rancho Monte Alegre, a scenic and historic ranch and the county’s largest single property protected with a conservation easement; and San Marcos Foothills, 200 acres of rich habitat for native species and a cherished local landmark.

“Each year, America loses 3 million acres of open space-an area the size of Connecticut. These lost acres include the local fields, farms, and forests that give our communities their special character,” said Reed Holderman, Executive Director of the Trust for Public Land-California. “Fortunately, Santa Barbara County and its residents realize the value of open space and are willing to work to preserve their communities. Together, we have protected nearly 6,000 acres to date. And that is just the beginning.”

TPL is currently working to conserve land along the Gaviota Coast and in the Santa Ynez Valley. Current projects focus on the preservation of the region’s spectacular coastline and critical wildlife habitat.

“Santa Barbara County is blessed with a multitude of landscapes that need and deserve protection, from the coast to the foothills, from coastal recreational lands to the agricultural lands of the Santa Ynez Valley. TPL is excited about our continued work in Santa Barbara County and is looking forward to many more successes in the next decade,” said Kim Kimbell.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to conserving land for people. Since 1997, The Trust for Public Land has protected almost 6,000 acres in Santa Barbara County, preserving coastal bluffs, scenic foothills and habitat for wildlife. Nationwide, TPL has protected more than 2 million acres since its founding in 1972.