Cambrian: Opinion

What your support of Greenspace has done for Cambria

Greenspace, your local land trust, is about to celebrate its 25th year of working to protect and preserve the North Coast Area of SLO County. Celebrations will include special walks, a written history and events at the Creekside Reserve along with educational and fundraising activities.

Thanks to the people who support Greenspace in many ways, here are some things you probably aren’t aware of or are unable to see.

Did you know?

Monterey pines are the most widely planted pine in the world, but the only remaining native forests are in Cambria, Monterey and Ano Nuevo and two small islands off Mexico. The remaining genetic pool is that limited. This is why agencies and organizations like Greenspace are determined to protect the remaining stands.

While 25 years ago about 1 percent of the Cambria stand of pines was under protection, now nearly half the Cambria forest is under various forms of conservation.

Ninety-five percent of the funds for acquisition and improvements to the Greenspace Creekside Reserve and the Cambria Chinese Temple were donated by people like you.

A partnership of The Archeological Conservancy and Greenspace is slowly acquiring undeveloped portions of a Native American village site on Lodge Hill. We joined forces 11 years ago.

According to Greenspace’s analyses, water flowing from culverts into Santa Rosa Creek after the first rain of the season are high in bacteria, probably due to animal waste. This ‘first flush’ is the cleansing of surfaces that haven’t been washed by rain during the dry season.

All in all, the numbers for contaminants are not bad for an urbanized area.

A lucky group of Cambrians are growing their own organic vegetables in a bio-intensive allotment garden that Greenspace inaugurated 17 years ago. For an annual fee that includes recycled water, gardeners raise potatoes, tomatoes, beans, spinach you name it. To claim a plot call the Greenspace office at 927-2866. 

Have you seen?

The 100,000-square-foot retail center surrounding Rabobank? No? That’s because it wasn’t built. Greenspace was among the folks who fought that development on grounds of flood plain protection, habitat loss and unwarranted expansion of commercial space in town. (Mid-State Bank’s donation of land for open space some years later is widely appreciated.)

Houses and a golf course on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve? Didn’t happen. Greenspace was one of the early advocates of public ownership of this treasured open space.

Cambria’s new curved bridge? Just east of Coast Union High School on Ferrasci Road is a trim new span replacing a roadway that was considered one of the worst barriers to fish migration in SLO County. The project was initiated by Greenspace years ago. Other groups joined the effort, and it was completed a year ago by a team of local and state agencies.

Beyond that bridge to the north is a wide terrace along the right side of the creek. Erosion of the bank ate away farmland and despoiled water flowing in the creek. This sizable erosion reduction project was initiated and managed by Greenspace.