Raised in Campaign: $3,950,000

PROJECT UPDATE

This project now has funding committed for 40% of its 32-mile length, including $5.8M in Land Trust funds. There is full design and construction funding from the Santa Cruz Wharf to Panther Beach on the North Coast and the trails are expected to be open next year!

We also have design and engineering funds for the last two miles from Panther Beach to Davenport and from the wharf to 17th Avenue. With the approval of $85M in Measure D, we could have most of the Rail Trail built in ten years.

Imagine it – an easy (no hills), safe (no cars), beautiful (ocean views) way to walk and bike around the county.

Imagine it – an easy (no hills), safe (no cars), beautiful (ocean views) way to walk and bike around the county.

What
The Coastal Rail Trail is a 32-mile paved bike and pedestrian path along the rail line from Davenport to Watsonville. Think of it as a road without cars, 8-foot paved with 2-foot unpaved buffer trails on either side. It will link to another 18 miles of unpaved trails.

Why
The Coastal Rail Trail will provide a safe (no cars), easy (no hills), beautiful (lots of ocean views) for people of all ages to get around our county. The trail will run within a mile of 45 schools, 92 parks, and half the county’s population. It will be used by locals and visitors alike – and reduce automobile use, congestion, and air pollution, while providing a safe, healthy way to get to schools, businesses, and parks.

Cost
The estimated cost of the trail is $126 million, which is roughly the same amount spent every year on transportation by governments in the county. Funds will come from state and federal grants, local taxes, and private donations.

Land Trust Role
The Land Trust is raising funds to match government grants – thus helping get the trail built ASAP. We have already committed $3.4 million to match grants building the first segment in Watsonville and 6 miles of the trail along the North Coast. We have pledged additional funds to match future grants, including a pending grant to build the first segments in Twin Lakes.

When
A quarter of the 32-mile trail has already been funded. The first three segments – in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and along the North Coast – are being designed now and are expected to be completed by 2018. Our goal is to have most of the trail built within ten years.

 

10% of donations will go to support core Land Trust Stewardship and Operations.

More about the Coastal Rail Trail Campaign

Rail Trail Agreement – For Now

Rail Trail Agreement – for now

We saw something last week that you don’t often see, in fact, that I don’t…

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Rail Trail Politics

Rail Trail Politics

The Trail Only/Train Never folks took out ads the past few weeks arguing for abandoning…

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Why Things Take So Long

Why Things Take So Long

We got an email the other day complaining that 2020 was too long to wait…

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What If We Don’t Reach $20 Million?

What if we don’t reach $20 Million?

A donor came by our office just before the end of the year to drop…

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What We Did In 2016

What We Did in 2016

2016 was an amazing year at the Land Trust. Here are a few highlights. A…

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Will RTC Abandon The Rail Trail?

Will RTC Abandon the Rail Trail?

The folks against ever having rail service in our county (call them Train Never) are…

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Measure D And The Rotten Apple

Measure D and the Rotten Apple

I got a mailing from the No on Measure D folks (you probably did too)…

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Waiting For Measure P (Perfect)

Waiting for Measure P (Perfect)

I attended the Sierra Club forum on Measure D (the transportation measure) last week. Opponents…

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Opportunities

Opportunities

We have before us the opportunity to do some truly big, lasting things. The sort…

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Widening Won’t Work, But…

Widening Won’t Work, but…

I’ve talked or emailed with several Land Trust supporters the past week or so who…

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Trail Now, Really

Trail Now, Really

  Last week the Regional Transportation Commission of Santa Cruz County (RTC) held their quarterly…

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Partner Shout Out

Partner Shout Out

  One of the things I have been doing the past few months, as the…

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Telling The Dutch Our Bike Dreams

Telling the Dutch our Bike Dreams

Last week we did a presentation for the board of PON, the Dutch holding company…

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A Transportation Compromise?

A Transportation Compromise?

Transportation has long been a polarizing issue in Santa Cruz County. Last week there were…

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Building The Rail Trail Now

Building the Rail Trail Now

This week the public got their first look at plans to build the rail trail…

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Land Trust Approves $1.5M for Rail Trail

Read the press release here.

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The Time It Takes To Get Anywhere

The Time it Takes to Get Anywhere

There’s a new ritual at meetings in Santa Cruz County: talking about how long it…

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Why Save The Railroad

Why Save the Railroad

The Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce outlines why keeping the Rail Option open is a…

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Private Money For Public Benefit

Private Money for Public Benefit

My family moved to California from southern Virginia in 1964. The contrast between a rich…

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Rail Trail: More Q&A

You asked, we answered. Read the extended Q&A: our responses to your questions from the Rail Trail…

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Coming Soon: Cool Events

Coming Soon: Cool Events

  We’ve been working on some cool events for you. Last week, Dr. Chris Wilmers…

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Trail Derail

Trail Derail

Will Trail Now Derail the Rail Trail? The definitive analysis from Hilltromper here.

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Trail Now Or Train Never?

Trail Now or Train Never?

Hilltromper took a look last week at the arguments Trail Now is using against the…

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Why I Love Engineers

Why I love Engineers

I just love engineers. Give them a seemingly impossible problem and they roll up their…

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Who To Believe: RTC Or Trail Now?

Who to Believe: RTC or Trail Now?

  Below is an email exchange between Brian Peoples of Trail Now and George Dondero,…

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Coming Soon To A County Near You

Coming Soon to a County Near You

  At our first staff meeting of the new year we reviewed what we’ll be…

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Trail, Train, Or None Of The Above?

Trail, Train, or None of the Above?

  I talked to someone after the Rail Trail presentation we did last week. He…

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Rail Trail ASAP – It’s Sooner Than You Think!

Rail Trail ASAP – it’s sooner than you think!

Last week the Regional Transportation Commission voted (10 to 2) to take the first step…

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A No Limits Challenge

A No Limits Challenge

  I’ve been raising money for non-profits for thirty years and I’ve never had a…

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More Good News: Rail Trail And Wildlife Tunnel

More Good News: Rail Trail and Wildlife Tunnel

  More good news last week about getting the Rail Trail and the Wildlife Tunnel…

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Is The Rail Trail Wide Enough?

Is the Rail Trail Wide Enough?

  When I was a kid, we moved to California – taking the train across…

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Campaign Update: What You Gave To

Campaign Update: What You Gave To

We designed the Great Campaign so that you could support all the projects or choose…

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How To Raise $1M Or $20M

How to Raise $1M or $20M

When our Board committed to raising $20 million – to pay for a TON of…

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What About The Rail?

What About the Rail?

At the Campaign Launch Events the past two weekends, the question I got the most…

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Great Launch To The Great Campaign

Great Launch to the Great Campaign

  My inbox if full this morning with glowing messages about our launch of the…

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The Great Land & Trail Campaign Map

The Great Land & Trail Campaign Map

Click on the map for a larger view. This map appears in The Great Land…

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All Systems Go

All Systems Go

  Each week our Board and staff receive a weekly “Minute Update” – a one-page…

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Land Trust Commits Additional $300,000 to Rail Trail

Land Trust Commits Additional $300,000 to Rail Trail Matching Funds for RTC of Santa Cruz…

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Good Trail News

Good Trail News

We got some good trail news last week, for both kinds of trails – dirt…

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Cutting Edge Conservation – Right Here In Our County

Cutting Edge Conservation – Right Here in Our County

A couple things recently brought home, to me, the cutting edge nature of the work…

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A Quarter Of The Rail Trail Funded – Sort Of

A Quarter of the Rail Trail Funded – Sort of

Last week the Feds awarded a $6.3 million grant to build 5 miles of the…

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Bike Stats: If You Build It, They Will Ride

Bike Stats: If You Build it, They Will Ride

There is abundant evidence that when you build safe bicycle routes a lot more people…

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Walking The Line #7

Walking the Line #7

Santa Cruz County’s population density ranks as one of the highest in the state. I know.…

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Abandon The Train Tracks? Think 50 Years Down The Road.

Abandon the Train Tracks? Think 50 Years Down the Road.

We’ve been hearing lately from people who want to abandon the train tracks along the…

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Walking The Line #6

Walking the Line #6

My latest trek on the rail line took me from Seacliff to Capitola. As I…

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The Plunge: $20 Million Campaign

The Plunge: $20 Million Campaign

Last week our Board took a deep breath and voted to launch a $20 million…

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Land Trust Joins County Rail Trail Bid

Land Trust Joins County Rail Trail Bid The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County has…

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Walking The Line #5

Walking the Line #5

This week we “Walked the Line” from Seascape Resort to Manresa State Beach. It was…

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Rail Trail Sticker Shock

Rail Trail Sticker Shock

Last week’s news that the Land Trust had committed $2.5M to match a $12M grant…

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Money Talks And Walks And Rides

Money Talks and Walks and Rides

Last week the Land Trust made another big commitment to getting the Coastal Rail Trail…

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It Takes A County To Protect A County

It Takes a County to Protect a County

                    Each section of our new…

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Walking The Line #4

Walking the Line #4

Every day, there are 32,000 vehicle trips generated from Aptos on Highway 1. That’s a…

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In The Next Five Years We Will…

In the Next Five Years We Will…

Last week our Board approved a new Strategic Plan to guide our work through 2020.…

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BFD: Feds Pony-Up For North Coast Rail Trail

BFD: Feds Pony-Up for North Coast Rail Trail

  We’re pretty excited by today’s news: the Feds approved (qualifiers to follow) approximately $4.4…

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Walking The Line #3

Walking the Line #3

Our Events Manager, Maddie, and I spent another sunny afternoon walking the Coastal Rail Trail…

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Become An Honorary Local

Become an Honorary Local

Last week our Board met to work on new Strategic Plan – a process which…

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Walking The Line #2

Walking the Line #2

Maddie Tyler, our “events queen,” and I took a walk along the Coastal Rail Trail…

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Planning – And Doing

Planning – and Doing

For many people plans are a big yawn, things that waste time and then gather…

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Dear Feds: Help Us Build A Trail From Wilder To Coast Dairies

Dear Feds: Help us Build a Trail from Wilder to Coast Dairies

Last week the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) authorized seeking up to $6 million in a…

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Trails R Us: Coastal Rail Trail Edition

Trails R Us: Coastal Rail Trail Edition

  This week our Board committed $3 million as matching funds for a $5 million…

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Rail Trail Partnership

Rail Trail Partnership

Last week the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the…

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A Road Without Cars: Build The Trail ASAP!

A road without cars: Build the Trail ASAP!

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Landmarks, newsletter of the Land…

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