The Trust for Public Land Helps Protects 28 Acres of Ventura River Floodplain
The Trust for Public Land and the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy announced today the protection of 28 acres adjacent to the Ventura River, preserving critical wildlife habitat and land for outdoor recreational use for the community of Ventura.
“For a site zoned for industrial use and cut off from the Ventura community, being able to restore wildlife habitat and public access to the Ventura River will bring tremendous value to the region,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “The protection of this property will provide much needed recreational opportunities to the Westside and North Ventura Avenue communities through public transportation and recreational trail access and will mitigate potential flood damage for surrounding communities.”
“The opportunity to partner with The Trust for Public Land on the acquisition and restoration of this land represents a tremendous boost to the long-standing objective to protect the Ventura River,” said Tom Maloney Executive Director of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. “The Trust did the lion’s share of the deal and we’re happy to have the opportunity to be the long-term owner.”
The property protects designated critical habitat for the endangered southern steelhead trout and southwest willow flycatcher and will also provide multiple benefits to the disadvantaged communities of North Ventura Avenue and the Westside Community of Ventura through enhanced access to the Ventura River Trail (VTR). A public bus stop is located at the entrance of the site on North Ventura Avenue, allowing travelers easy access to the property and the VRT from public transportation.
In 2008, The Trust for Public Land teamed up with the State Coastal Conservancy and Cal Poly Pomona to outline a vision for the Lower Ventura River Parkway. This acquisition is the product of years’ worth of work on the Vision Plan for the Lower Ventura River Parkway; a holistic planning document focused on transforming the river from its current industrial use, to a publicly accessible parkway with recreational and restoration priorities.
The protection of lands along the Ventura River, including this project, compliment and contribute to California’s goals laid out in the 30×30 plan to protect 30% of the state’s land and water by the year 2030. These plans support the commitment of funding for the property acquisition by the California Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Natural Resources Agency for.
As mapped out in California’s Climate Smart Lands Strategy, long term success for mitigating climate impacts relies on strategies including protecting and creating abundant native plants, green infrastructure, and urban parks. This project combines community greening of river corridors, building green stormwater infrastructure, urban forest planting and maintenance, and native plant restoration of sage, grasslands, and riparian areas, kelp, eelgrass, oak savannahs to offer smart climate solutions through land management.
The partners will collaborate on the habitat restoration and public access of the Ventura River Parkway. Thanks to this effort and vision, the communities of North Ventura Avenue and The Westside Community of Ventura will also have enhanced access to a larger network of trails along the coast, linking Omer Rains Trail with Ventura County’s 9-mile-long Ojai Valley Trail, creating a nearly 20-mile network of multi-use trails from the Pacific Ocean along the Ventura River and to downtown Ojai.
“This property needs restoration to fully provide ecosystem benefits like stormwater protection, recreation and habitat. We look forward to partnering with The Trust for Public Land on the comprehensive restoration of the property,” said Tom Maloney.
The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy was founded in 1987 and is dedicated to preservation of the views, wildlife habitats and watersheds of the Ojai Valley. This acquisition adds to the roughly 4 miles of river frontage the organization has protected.
The Trust for Public Land’s Central Coast Program encompasses almost 400 miles of coastline, from Santa Cruz to Ventura counties. Since 1985, TPL has protected more than 35,000 acres throughout the region, including landscapes along the historic Big Sur Coast and the biologically rich Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
About The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy protects and restores the open space, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and views of the Ojai Valley for current and future generations. Tens of thousands of users recreate on OVLC preserves every year. To support OVLC visit www.ovlc.org.
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