Santa Barbara County Trails Council Awarded $15,000 Grant

Funding Will Be Used to Enhance Visitor Experience along the Gaviota Coast

John Wiley

The Santa Barbara County Trails Council (Trails Council) has been awarded a $15,000 grant by the CA Coastal Conservancy to improve visitor experience along a 22-mile length of the Gaviota Coast. The grant will be used to develop maps designed to foster broad community knowledge of coastal recreation opportunities on one of the largest remaining stretches of undeveloped coastline in Southern California. The Gaviota Coast, located in the south of Santa Barbara County, is a spectacular landscape famous for its agricultural, biological, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources.

The maps will be distributed through a community outreach campaign supported by a coalition of nature-focused non-profit organizations including Los Padres Forest Association, which will make the maps available through its retail stores, Nature Track, which provides outdoor nature-focused field trips for Central Coast school age children at no cost to the schools, and the Wilderness Youth Project, which offers outdoor programs for young people from ages 3 to 17. All three organizations will use the maps as an educational tool as well as to help people access and appreciate this remarkable and mostly undeveloped coastal area.

“It is always a challenge to capture the knowledge of one generation and pass it on to the next.” said Otis Calef, President of the Santa Barbara County Trails Council. “Our map of the Gaviota Coast will serve to inspire and motivate a new generation of visitors to experience and protect our coastal resources.”

The Trails Council is one of the three organizations in Santa Barbara County and 52 organizations ranging from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay area that will soon embark on various projects to get people to California’s coast thanks to more than $1.3 million made available by the Coastal Conservancy through its “Explore the Coast” grant program.

“The Gaviota Coast is a spectacular place with abundant wildlife and a unique rural character that evokes California of generations past,” said Sam Schuchat, executive officer of the Coastal Conservancy. “Visitors to the Gaviota Coast will welcome the new information on where to go, what to see, and how to get there.”

Santa Barbara County Trails Council is a non-profit advocacy group that supports nature-based recreation and enhancement of the Santa Barbara County trail system for safe shared use by everyone.

For more information contact Trails Council Executive Director Mark Wilkinson at 805-708-6173.


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