The Foothills Forever team is excited to announce that we have reached our $18.6 milestone to fund the purchase of the 101-acre West Mesa of the San Marcos Foothills. This exciting first phase was made possible by the generous contributions: donations of cash, pledges, & bridge loans by over 5,500 community members! Our legal team is working to complete the complicated transaction so that we can acquire the property—this may take a few days.
As we celebrate the completion of the first phase of the $20 million campaign, we ask those with outstanding pledges to please contact us to make arrangements for payment.
We will soon be moving into Phase 2 of the fundraising campaign, which will fill out the rest of the campaign, where we will be able to retire short- and long-term bridge loans, create an endowment, pay any final costs, and help to restore and steward the land into the future.
The purchase will help create 300 acres of contiguous wildlife habitat, honor Chumash heritage, maintain open space, and provide environmental education opportunities.
We do not anticipate major changes to the land. The West Mesa is being preserved by a community led effort to maintain this grassland open space for future generations to enjoy. Over the next few weeks and months, we will be continuing docent led tours of the property on a regular basis to be announced on our website (FoothillsForever.org), or by reservation. This fall, Channel Islands Restoration will bring sheep in to help control the invasive vegetation.
During this time, we will also be working on the plan for long-term stewardship, this will take some time and will involve community input. We want this process to be public, open and transparent.
Congratulations to everyone involved!
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