Conserving land is sometimes the work of generations. In 2017, the Land Trust and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden joined forces to preserve Hay Hill, 88 acres of important wildlife and plant habitat—but efforts to conserve Hay Hill began more than a decade before. In 2005, longtime Garden supporter Ann Koepfli, recognizing the conservation value of her family land given increasing urban development, gave the Hay Hill property to the Garden. For the next ten years, the Garden owned and managed the property in a manner consistent with its mission, preserving the unique scenery and open space valued by Ann Koepfli and those who call Santa Barbara County home.
Motivated by a desire to support the Garden and see the land permanently protected, John Gabbert, a Garden supporter and Trustee, decided to buy the protected property in 2017. Mr. Gabbert renovated and expanded one existing residence while the vast majority of the property’s coastal sage scrub, live oak woodland, chaparral, and grassland remain untouched and wild.