The Trail Companion
Proposition 12 Grant to Fund Arastradero Preserve
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
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
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
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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