By SDCN Editor
Sacramento, CA–California State Parks announced the selection of 12 local park projects that will receive grants totaling $2.8 million from the California Habitat Conservation Fund Grant Program.
The competitive program, funded by the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990 (Proposition 117), aids local agencies in the protection, restoration, and enhancement of wildlife habitat to maintain California’s quality of life.
“About 40 percent of the estimated 5,500 plant species found in California are found nowhere else on Earth,” said State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “With funding from the California Habitat Conservation Fund, local, state, and nonprofit organizations can work toward California’s 30X30 initiative that seeks to protect and restore biodiversity, expand public access to nature, and mitigate and build resilience to climate change.”
In October 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued the Nature-Based Solutions Executive Order N-82-20, advancing biodiversity conservation as an administration priority and elevating the role of nature in the fight against climate change. As part of this executive order, California committed to the goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and coastal waters by 2030.
“These exciting projects serve as a great example of how we can conserve and protect our natural resources, combat climate change, and provide better outdoor access to all Californians,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “These improvements, championed by innovative local partners, will help ensure that natural areas will thrive for generations to come. I’m proud to see that state funding will be used for such an important purpose.”
Grant awardees by county include:
Mount Olympus County Preserve: $200,000 to acquire approximately 460 acres to expand the Mount Olympus County Preserve in the unincorporated community of Rainbow.
Kumeyaay Valley County Park: $500,000 to improve Kumeyaay Valley County Park by removing invasive species and implementing restoration, maintenance, and monitoring projects to restore habitat near the San Diego River.
Hayward Area Recreation and Park District – Foothill Trail: $720,000 to improve Foothill Trail within the Carlos Bee Park and Foothill Corridor to Grove Way in the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District by constructing an approximately 7,150-foot trail, a bridge, and interpretive signage.
East Bay Regional Park District – Riggs Canyon Gateway-Finley Road Ranch Acquisition: $300,000 to acquire approximately 767 acres within the Finley Road Ranch property in East Bay Regional Park District north of the unincorporated community of Tassajara.
Kern County Parks and Recreation Department – Kern River Pathways – Moving Education Outdoors Program:$74,809 to Kern County’s Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the White Wolf Wellness Foundation will provide a four-week outdoor education program called “Project Kern River Pathways: Taking Education Outdoors at Camp Okihi” for underserved communities in Bakersfield.
City of San Fernando – Nature Adventure and Discovery Camp Program: $42,895 to coordinate educational, interpretive, and recreational activities through a Nature Adventure and Discovery Camp Program at the University of California, Los Angeles UniCamp (Camp River Glen) and North Valley Family YMCA (Camp Whittle).
North Tahoe Public Utilities District – Pam Emmerich Memorial Pinedrop Trail: $132,901 to improve Pam Emmerich Memorial Pinedrop Trail in the town of Tahoe Vista by constructing a trailhead, shade structure, interpretive signage, bike racks, and drinking fountains.
Inland Empire Utilities Agency – Discover the Environment and Water Program: $200,000 to provide an educational program for people to experience a wetlands park firsthand through the Discover the Environment and Water Program including field trips, an Earth Day event, busing sponsorships and an on-site educational trailer at the Chino Creek Wetlands and Educational Park in Chino.
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department – Twin Peaks Open Space: $350,000 to improve Twin Peaks Open Space in the city of San Francisco by constructing a switchback trail with fencing, wayfinding signs and an access trail with a low retaining wall.
San Luis Obispo County Parks and Recreation Department – Discovering the Environment through Education and Recreation (DEER) Program: $131,799 to provide a series of events including the annual Outdoor Discovery Festival, interpretive and promotional activities offered at the Mid State Fair, on-site camping activities for non-profit youth groups, and educational programs offered with partners, such as enhancing salmon habitat at locations including Lopez Lake Recreation Area, El Chorro Regional Park, and Santa Margarita Lake.
City of Morro Bay – Franklin Riley Park: $20,000 to improve Franklin Riley Park in the city of Morro Bay by constructing an approximately 3,500-square foot ADA trail with approximately 1,000 square feet of native plants, interpretive signage, and an art installation.
Santa Cruz County Parks Department – Quail Hollow Ranch County Park Trails: $210,000 to improve Quail Hollow Ranch County Park near the city of Felton by constructing an approximately 0.5-mile hiking trail connector, an approximately 1.5-mile loop hiking trail, benches, and interpretive signage.
California State Parks’ Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) develops grant programs to provide funding statewide for local, state, and nonprofit organization projects. Since 1964, more than 7,400 local parks throughout California have been created or improved through OGALS’ grant funding. Since 2000, OGALS has administered over $3.8 billion in grant funding throughout California.