May 29, 2014 4:21 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
Efforts to turn a 900-acre ranch above Pismo Beach into a massive public park of sorts got a big financial boost today.
The California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) awarded $4 Million to the San Luis Obispo Land Conservancy. That puts the conservancy at a halfway point of it's fund-raising goal to create the Pismo Perserve.
The Land Conservancy's proposed Pismo Preserve would transform the 900-acre private ranch into a public open space for outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and bird watching.
To successfully create Pismo Preserve, The Land Conservancy must raise $12 million by July 2014. Since it went public with the project in January, The Land Conservancy has raised $5.6 million with a pending request for $4 million from the Wildlife Conservation Board and the remaining $2.4 million expected to come from local government, agencies, and community contributions. The sellers are also contributing $1.6 million toward the effort through a bargain sale.
"The purchase of the 900-acre Pismo Preserve in San Luis Obispo County is the kind of project the Coastal Conservancy loves to support," said Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the California State Coastal Conservancy. "It's a win-win for the everyone and, on behalf of the State Coastal Conservancy Board, we could not be more pleased to be a part of making it happen," he went on to say.
"The community has really come together to support this project. We have had private donations ranging from $2 to $100,000. We had a unanimous vote of support from our County Supervisors who pledged $1.1 million, and now we have secured $4 million from our partners at the State Coastal Conservancy. We are thrilled to share today's news with our community supporters," said Kaila Dettman, Executive Director of The Land Conservancy. "However, there is much work left to do. Our staff remains focused on rallying local residents, businesses, and visitors to personally contribute and to advocate during public meetings."
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