The California State Parks Department announced grants tallying $4.1 million from the California Habitat Conservation Fund Grant Program for projects, including several in Southern California.
Grants were awarded to the following counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Humboldt County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Desert Recreation District, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz County, Sonoma County, Ventura County, Yolo County.
The program is funded by the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990 (Proposition 117), and aids “local agencies for the protection, restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat to maintain California's quality of life,” according to a parks statement.
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Grant awardees are:
City of Oakland
Project: Welcome to Wildlife at Peralta Hacienda:
Uses: Will provide a series of 280 free activities over four years for youth ages 5-21 involving wildlife study and habitat restoration.
Contra Costa County:
Project: McCosker Public Access
Uses: Will construct new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant nature trails, including a creek crossing in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve.
City of Eureka
Project: Camp Cooper Environmental Education & Adventure
Uses: Will provide over a four-year period an eight-week outdoor environmental summer camp for youth.
Project: Classroom in the Canopy
Uses: Will provide an educational program and guided interpretive tours for K-12 students at the Sequoia Park Zoo.
Project: Old Growth New Adventures
Uses: Will construct a 1,600-foot trail, relocate zoo boundaries and install interpretive signage at Sequoia Park.
Los Angeles County:
Project: Peck Road Park Wildlife Area Activities
Uses: Will provide 18 educational events over the course of three years for all community members at Peck Road Park Wildlife Area.
City of Lancaster
Project: Prime Desert Woodland Preserve Trail Expansion
Uses: Will construct approximately 4,500 linear feet of new pedestrian recreational trail.
City of San Fernando
Project: San Fernando Family Hike and Wildlife/Environment
Uses: Will provide eight educational workshops, five day-hikes and three overnight camping trips to children, teens, families and seniors.
Project: Craig Regional Park Lake Restoration
Uses: Will restore approximately three acres of wetlands to include sod and riparian plantings, installing fish habitats, interpretive signage and benches.
Project: Inside the Outdoors - Youth Wilderness Leadership
Uses: Will provide wildlife interpretive field trips and on-campus traveling scientist programs for K-12 students and teachers, plus campus-wide activities at Carbon Canyon Regional Park and Saddleback
Gateway/Irvine Ranch Open Space.
Project: Recreation Outdoor Camp
Uses: Will provide an outdoor environmental adventure and recreation camp program for disadvantaged youth in the Coachella Valley.
Project: Trips for Kids
Uses: Wil provide outdoor mountain biking camps for youth ages 10-17 in the Coachella Valley.
San Diego County:
Project: Nature Explorers Program
Uses: Will provide environmental education experiences and leadership skills to youth ages 5-17 through numerous outdoor activities and community service projects.
Project: Sierra Verde Expansion Acquisition
Uses: Will acquire approximately 76 acres of open space southeast of Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve.
San Francisco County:
Project: McLaren Park Visitacion Avenue Corridor Trail
Uses: Will construct approximately 1,400 feet of multiuse trail with 7,000 square feet of trail surfacing.
Project: Sharp Park Garter Snake Habitat Restoration
Uses: Will restore one acre of habitat with invasive plant removal and native plantings.
San Mateo County:
Project: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Acquisition of Johnston Ranch Uplands
Uses: Will acquire approximately 650 acres of Johnston Ranch Uplands as an addition to Miramontes Ridge Open Space Preserve near Half Moon Bay.
Project: Mindego Ranch Ponds Restoration
Uses: Will enhance approximately 1.09 acres of wetland, including excavation, revegetation and erosion-control measures at Kneudler Lake and Upper Springs in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.
Santa Barbara County:
City of Santa Maria
Project: Ranch to River Outdoor Nature Experience Program
Uses: Will provide field trips for third, fourth and fifth graders at Los Flores Ranch Park and docent-led nature walks for children and families at Santa Maria River Trail and Los Flores Ranch Park.
Santa Cruz County:
City of Santa Cruz
Project: Neary Lagoon Wildlife Refuge Interpretive Trail
Uses: Will replace approximately 480 feet of boardwalk trail and interpretive signage.
Project: Riparian Restoration at Soquel Creek
Uses: Will restore approximately 40,287 square feet of riparian habitat, including removal and replacement of non-native plants with native plants, fencing and interpretive signage.
City of Watsonville
Project: Upper Struve Slough Habitat Restoration
Uses: Will restore and enhance approximately one acre of wetlands.
Project: Cooper Creek Addition
Uses: Will acquire 54 acres, including approximately a half-mile of Cooper Creek as an addition to Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve.
Project: Get Wild: Nurture Your Nature with Pleasant Valley
Uses: Will provide experiential nature-based programs for community members and students (via school field trips), including staff-led nature hikes, classes, activities and special events at Camarillo Grove Park.
Project: Grasslands Regional Park Vernal Pool Habitat
Uses: Will develop and provide an outdoor education program.
Project: Southport Levee Trailhead
Uses: construct a trailhead and ADA-accessible ramp to an existing levee trail.