PARKS – GOOD NEWS

Canyonlands gets major funding
New release 5/11/2011, from sdcanyonlands.org
The San Diego City central region, specifically the City Heights Canyons Loop Trail, will benefit from a grant of $365,ooo from Prop 84 funds. The Canyonlands project has been a major push over the past decade or so, and has seen big success in getting many of our neighborhood canyons and trails cleaned up and revitalized, with help from the various new Friends of groups.  This new grant will see the Canyons Loop Trail link 90 acres of canyon open spaces and provide five miles of nature trails. Specifically Manzanita, Hollywood, Swan and 47th street are the canyons affected. For specifics and info about getting out on and helping with these trails, check the web site (above).

Key land buy done on Volcan Mountain 
New from San Dieguito River Park 5/3/2012
Volcan Mountain, lying just north from Julian, is the easternmost piece of the San Dieguito River Park’s 55-mile Coast-to-Crest Trail,   This 10,000+ gem was originally the Rutherford Ranch, and intended for development. With a major push it became part of the River Park. Another key segment, the 420-acre Russel Ranch was linked to it and in 2009 was subdivided for development. The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, a key player since the start of the park, went into high gear. They brought TNC – The Nature Conservancy – onboard and they came up with the initial activity to get that land set-aside as a nature preserve. Also the Conservancy raised $250,00, which provided TNC with evidence this could really happen and the ranch was purchased.

It wasn’t done yet  tho and the Conservancy continued their fund raising and persuasive efforts, leading to Cal Fish & Game taking over the property by reimbursing TNC. Now that transfer to Fish & Game is done, adding this key segment to the fabulous Volcan Mountain Nature Preserve.  If you’ve not hiked up Volcan, put that on your must-do list as it’s a great trek up with fine view along the way.   Great work Team Conservancy.

Back Country Land Trust adds another preserve
From their Fall 2008 Newsletter
BCLT announces it has signed a Letter of Intent to donate 481 private acres of McAlmond Canyon near Potrero as a forever preserve. Valued at $1M, and with (a) funding from a grant from the resources Legacy Foundation Fund and (b) assistance provided by The Nature Conservancy. Location is near Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area in San Diego County and management will be done by BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Yahoo BCLT, keep on pluggin’!!!

This donation is actually Phase 2 of a series, with Phase 3 to add another 250 acres in Potrero Valley Road area. BCLT has been a major player in getting threatened land switched over to invaluable nature preserves, with Roberts Ranch (about 800 acres) and Oakridge Nature Preserve in Crest (3,000 acres) prime examples. And, yes they welcome donations from the public; contact them via their website (see SD Outdoors Orgs at top)

Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) added hiking aids
Probably San Diego’s most climbed peak is Cowles Mountain. It’s a good workout and the views are fine (on clear days). Once there you can get oriented and informed about what you’re looking out at by checking the pair of panoramic kiosks. Problem is those scene have gotten pretty faded. Per the MTRP News (fall/winter 2008), the two kiosks were replaced with new ones, with better materials and new photos. So what better reason than to make that trek up there. Also if you go from the primary entry (Navajo and Golfcrest), you’ll pass by a major installation of new wooden rails, courtesy of Boy Scouts and other volunteers.

If you haven’t visited the MTRP Visitor’s Center, or taken the kids there, this is a good time to get there. It’s a first-rate structure, designed to blend nicely into the environment (so well it received an Orchid a few years back in the annual architectural awards event). You’ll find educational exhibits, nature photos, a library with the best view in the city, and a store with interesting nature products (some good holiday gifts there, including Outdoors San Diego: Hiking, Biking & Camping.). Across Junipero Serra Road is the Oak Grove Trail, an easy one-mile loop through a variety of foliage. There now is a new picnic area and table to help you relax and absorb the beauty around you.  For info call the Visitor Center at 619-668-3281 or visit their web site (above topic list).

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