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Winter 2002 - Summary

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The Trail Companion (ISSN 1528-0241 (print); 1094-222X (online)) is the quarterly newsletter of the Trail Center.

Editors:Mary Simpson, Megan Hansen
Layout: Scott Heeschen
Staff Writer: Geoffrey Skinner
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Trail Center
3921 E. Bayshore Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Ph.: (650) 968-7065
info@trailcenter.org

The Trail Companion

Winter 2002

Park News

Proposition 12 Grant to Fund Arastradero Preserve Improvements

The City of Palo Alto was one of a handful of agencies to receive a portion of the Parks Bond Act of 2000's $1.7 million awarded by the state Parks & Recreation Dept. The grant will fund trail improvements throughout the Preserve that were identified in the Trails Management Plan. The City is currently soliciting bids for some of the work, which will include widening, regrading and surfacing portions of numerous trails.

Nature Conservancy Buys Gilroy Hot Springs Property

Henry Coe State park will soon extend westward to include Gilroy Hot Springs. The Nature Conservancy purchased the 240-acre historic property in February to add to hundreds of acres already preserved east of Morgan Hill and adjacent to Henry Coe State Park's western border. The land features good stands of blue oak, black oak, and coast live oak and over half a mile of frontage on Coyote Creek. What remains of the 140-year old hot springs resort area (a California Historical Landmark) will be preserved as well. The new purchase is part of the Conservancy's Mount Hamilton Project that has now safeguarded over eight thousand acres in Santa Clara County.

POST Purchases Driscoll Ranch

The Peninsula Open Space Trust acquired the 3,681-acre Driscoll Ranch in early February. This property stretches nearly two miles from the outskirts of La Honda toward the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and adjoins La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program conservation easement. Audrey Rust, POST executive director, noted in a press release that the ranch provides ideal habitat for mountain lions, as well as the endangered tiger salamander and San Francisco garter snake. Deer, bobcat, American badger, fox and coyote all have been identified on the property, and numerous raptors can be seen flying overhead, including golden eagles. With three creeks, eight ponds and more than 35 springs and wells, the property supports steelhead trout populations and is home to the Southwestern pond turtle and federally threatened California red-legged frog.
      Rust said the resource management plan for the ranch will protect the biodiversity of the property, maintain cattle grazing, and facilitate low-impact recreational activities such as hiking, biking, and equestrian use. Under the terms of the agreement, the current owner, Rudy Driscoll, Jr., will retain a lifetime lease on 300 acres and additional lifetime rights for grazing, pedestrian and equestrian use. POST hopes to eventually transfer the ranch to MROSD or another agency.

Another Bay Trail Gap To Close

NASA and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) signed an agreement in early February to allow the Bay Trail to run through Moffett Field and connect the Mountain View and Sunnyvale segments. The trail will run approximately two miles along the perimeter of NASA's Ames Research Center.
      The 400-mile San Francisco Bay Trail, when completed, will connect more than 130 parks and open spaces around the San Francisco Bay. The 2000-2001 state budget allocated $7.5 million in Prop. 12 funds for Bay Trail projects, ranging from improvements and construction in San Mateo's Shoreline Park to San Francisco's downtown Ferry Terminal area, and planning studies in Solano and Sonoma counties. Menlo Park will complete a study for closing the 0.57-mile gap between the Dumbarton Bridge and Ravenswood Open Space Preserve, which will provide connections to the SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Bayfront Park, and the East Bay via the bridge.


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