Undeveloped coastal properties rank among the most valuable commodities in California, and protecting them is a battle often lost. Carpinterians, however, have triumphed not once but twice, as this week the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County announced the completion of its $7.9 million campaign to preserve the 21-acre Bluffs III property on the east end of Carpinteria Avenue.
The fundraising effort that kicked off 14 months ago received an initial boost from anonymous private donors, then a hefty injection of grant funding and donations from over 1,300 community members that catapulted it to the goal a year earlier than anticipated.
“We are grateful to the many individuals who got involved in the campaign. We received gifts of all sizes—pennies and nickel from students at Canalino School—and from people from all walks of life. The outpouring of support has been tremendous,” said Chet Work, Executive Director of the Land Trust.
The $7.9 million raised allows for the purchase of the property and partially funds an endowment and improvements. Perched above Rincon Point, the land served as a racetrack in the 1940s and 1950s, then a dumping ground for soil moved to make way for freeway expansion in the mid-1950s. Zoned for a resort, the property was graded with highway fill dirt to prep it for future development.
But, as Carrie Mullen of the Land Trust said, the “gutsy little piece of land” resisted repeated development efforts and was slowly recolonized by a few native shrub species. Trails criss-cross the property now and…
click here to read more.