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That’s a lot of land – and most of it (12,000+ acres) has been protected in the past ten years.

During our first 30 years we protected two properties that have become defacto public parks (Antonelli Pond and the Byrne-Milliron Forest), one large ranch (Circle P), another property (Glenwood Preserve) that will be open to the public soon, and a dozen smaller properties.

Then, in 2008, after Terry Corwin became Executive Director, the Land Trust started moving at warp speed, protecting 27 properties, including the following –

  • Morgan Sandhills Preserve (188 acres) in 2008
  • Borina farmland (534 acres) in 2008
  • Porter/Cooley farmland (458 acres) in 2009
  • Watsonville Slough Farm (485 acres) in 2009 and 2010
  • Star Creek Ranch (1,200 acres) in 2012
  • San Vicente Redwoods, with our partners, (8,500 acres) in 2014
  • Wildlife Crossing lands (444 acres) in 2014 and 2017

The Land Trust spent more than $40 million protecting 44 properties over the past 40 years – and 95% of that $40 million was invested the past ten years.

Up until 2011, very little donor money was needed to protect properties like our Watsonville Slough Farm. During the preceding decades California voters approved a series of bond measures that included substantial funds for state agencies like the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Coastal Conservancy – major funders of many of our projects.

As state bond funds were spent down, conservation non-profits like the Land Trust had to supply increasing amounts of “match” to get grants. That match comes from donors – and they stepped up to the challenge. From 2008 to 2011, donors contributed 3% of the capital costs. Since 2011, donors have contributed the majority of the funds to protect these lands – as the chart above shows.

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Stephen Slade is the Executive Director at Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. He has more than 40 years non-profit experience in fundraising, communications, and management – and a deep passion for the lands that make Santa Cruz special.

Find out more about Stephen Slade…

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