Apr 25, 2014 9:35 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News
Nipomo high school students are stepping up their community involvement to help bring about the Pismo Preserve.
"There aren't many things in this area other than the beah to do for young people, so it'll be a really great opportunity for us to have something to do on the weekends instead of just staying in the house," Jenna Clift, a member of Nipomo High School's Conservation Club.
The club has partnered with the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County to help raise $11.7 million to buy 900 acres in Pismo Beach to turn into public hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails.
The students say they became involved because conserving the land will help their community.
"It's something that will draw in people from our community and bring in visitors, so that of course generates our local economy," Connor Merrill, VP of the Conservation Club, said.
"It would be so easy for a hotel or something to come in and develop the land and make it private so the public can't get onto it anymore. It would just be tragic to see that beautiful landscape be developed," Clift said.
The Parks and Recreation Commission recommended giving $1.1 million to the project Thursday night. The County Board of Supervisors will have to approve the funds on May 20.
The Land Conservancy is looking to raise the rest of the funds from state agencies, local government as well as the public by July 1 to buy the land. If successful, they hope to open the Pismo Preserve in spring of 2015.
Both Clift and Merrill will be at an open house the Land Conservancy is hosting to help educate the public and train community members to rally the public. It's on Saturday, April 26 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the Veteran's Hall in Shell Beach.
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