Most Recent Land Projects & Partnerships
Bringing the San Ysidro Oak Woodland Back- Better than Ever
As of September, we are happy to say that the Land Trust’s contribution to the clean-up has been completed and we will continue to help with restoration as needed. With the help of our engaged community, we look forward to the impact this property will have on the next generation of Santa Barbara kids. For more about the history of this project, read below.
Starting in February, Land Trust staff worked closely with the Ennisbrook Home Owners Association in Montecito to strategize ways to clear mud and flood debris from the 44-acre San Ysidro Oak Woodland. This open space running along San Ysidro Creek, owned by the Ennisbrook HOA and conserved by the Land Trust, provides the community with opportunities for bird and butterfly watching and hiking trails that wind through groves of ancient oak and sycamore. The area was heavily impacted by the debris flows on January 9th; nearly all of the easement was inundated with mud, rock and debris from the destroyed properties uphill. The adjacent neighborhood of Glen Oaks and the Randall Road area were the hardest hit areas in all of Montecito.
The Land Trust was successful in attracting nearly $200K in FEMA funds to support restoration of the San Ysidro Oak Woodland. The Ennisbrook HOA pledged additional funds to match and augment the cleanup effort and we are excited that many members of the community were also engaged in supporting the effort. It was through extremely quick action that the Land Trust was able to solicit these funds as the close of the FEMA granting period for mitigation funds was in early March.
In June, the Land Trust welcomed enthusiastic crews from California Conservation Corps (CCC) and Cal Fire for heavy-duty cleanup work and restoration. CCC spent more than a week removing piles of dirt, tree limbs, and other debris. You can see the dramatic improvement in this video of Land Trust Conservation Manager, Graham Wesolowski. Funding from FEMA and the Ennisbrook Homeowners Association helped the Land Trust bring the woodland back better than ever.
Click here for KEYT article, June 30, 2018.
We are so grateful to the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade! They immediately took on a huge portion of the work needed at Ennisbrook. These volunteers and their leadership were the first to understand the needs of the trees and were the first to contact the Land Trust and Ennisbrook HOA with an interest in helping the beloved open space.
The Ennisbrook easement is a special place. Over the years, it has come to be known by neighbors and locals as the “100 Acre Wood,” reminiscent of the Winnie the Pooh tales. This property has shaped the lives of many generations of kids and offers a unique recreation experience in the heart of Montecito. As part of the original Ennisbrook development approval in the late 1980s, a conservation easement restricting development along the creek was granted to the Land Trust and a public trail easement was granted to the County of Santa Barbara. The property is owned by the Home Owners Association of the Ennisbrook development and today the trails are managed and maintained by our partners at the Montecito Trails Foundation.
Rincon Bluffs Preserve
In 2016, the Land Trust launched an ambitious $7.9 million campaign to purchase Rincon Bluffs Preserve (originally Carpinteria Bluffs III), a small but important portion of the larger Carpinteria Bluffs area that overlooks Rincon Point. Carpinteria Bluffs III is one of the last remaining undeveloped coastal properties between the western edges of Goleta and the Ventura County line. Aside from the sections already protected, the rest is virtually all developed.
Just over one year later, in partnership with the Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs, the City of Carpinteria, the County of Santa Barbara and more than 1,300 community members, the Land Trust successfully raised the entire $7.9 million needed to complete the purchase, initiate restoration, and ensure the long-term maintenance of the Carpinteria Bluffs III property.
With the successful purchase of the 21 acre Rincon Bluffs Preserve property, over 2/3 (73 acres total) of the entire Carpinteria Bluffs open space is protected from development in perpetuity for the public’s enjoyment. By the end of the year when all private and public/government grant funding is provided into escrow, the property will be conveyed to the City of Carpinteria for long-term stewardship.
To see more about the first Caprinteria Bluffs project, visit here.