Ranch Update

Don’t miss chance for a guided walk in the woods on Saturday

Special to The CambrianJune 6, 2014 

While the Bluff Trail on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is the one that people know best, and is definitely most popular with its wide-open ocean views, the trails through the forest offer a more solitary and serene walk. Visitors can walk many different interconnecting trails on both the east and west portions of the Ranch, but some of the most beautiful are in the forest.

There are forest entrances on Trenton just past Warren Road, and on Tipton and Victoria Way where they dead-end into the Ranch. With the recent hot weather we’ve been having, the dappled shade of the forest trails on the preserve are a wonderful place to cool down. Now is the best time to explore these trails and discover the treasures hidden within the woods.

A perfect way to enjoy a walk in the woods is our docent walk from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 7. Local naturalist Al Normandin will lead a pleasant stroll through the forest looking at lichens. Everpresent yet mostly overlooked, general information about lichens' unique characteristics and living strategies will be presented. Bringing a magnifying glass will help to see individual features up close. Reservations are required and can be made at 927-2202 or www.cambriaranchwalks.com.

The forest is what makes Cambria — well, Cambria! Just under 70 acres of our Monterey pine forest system are on the Ranch, so it is important to Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve to protect this portion of Cambria’s larger forest. Because it is in public ownership we have the opportunity and the responsibility to assess and plan for its future.

“The Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Monterey Pine Forest Analysis, Maintenance and Monitoring Program” is nearing completion. Public comment and review of the draft are done and James Allen and Associates will prepare the final document in the coming weeks. It will be available on our website at www.ffrpcambria.org.

Benches on the Ranch are provided through FFRP’s donor recognition program and volunteers are busy working on replacements for two benches and a new one. We received many calls about the “missing favorite bench” at the north end off of the Bluff Trail — please be reassured it is scheduled to be replaced this month. Our “Bench Buddies” (Walt Andrus, Richard Lee, Gil Eastman, Curt Snow and Ramon Reza) have been busy building new sturdy benches to replace the Beaton Family bench and the Angel Bench.

They are also working out a way to minimize the erosion that occurs in front of each bench. Please call our office, 927-2856, if you would like to join this team of creative carpenters or can help with bench placement.

Save the date

A Gathering in the Garden: An evening of live music, wine, appetizers, raffle and auction to benefit the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, in the gardens at Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eton Road. Tickets, $15, are available at the Chamber of Commerce, FFRP office at 604 Main St. (next to Sandy’s Deli), by phone at 927-2856, and at the door.

Great Kitchens of Cambria: A self-guided tour of six unique and wonderful kitchens, each full of inspiring ideas, from 11 am to 3 pm Saturday, July 26. Experience the spirit of Cambria, fabulous food and drink and participate in a fabulous raffle with amazing prizes. For more information, visit cambriakitchentour.com.

Jo Ellen Butler’s column is special to The Cambrian. RanchUpdate appears quarterly. Contact the executive director of Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve at ffrpcambria.org, 927-2856, or P.O. Box 1664, Cambria 93428.

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