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This article appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Landmarks, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County’s newsletter.

The Home Stretch – The final months of the campaign

In horse racing, the home stretch is the distance between the final curve of the track and the finish line. In baseball, it’s the distance between third base and home plate. In fundraising, it’s the last few months of a campaign. We’re in the home stretch of the Great Land & Trail Campaign. The home stretch is when you give it your all – because the prize is in sight.

The home stretch is also when you’re returning from a trip and get that “almost home” feeling. When you’re returning to Santa Cruz County, by almost any route, you will pass by some project that is part of the Great Campaign. On Highway 17 you will pass Laurel Curve where we’re working to build a Wildlife Tunnel. Along Highway 1 you’ll pass San Vicente Redwoods, where we’re building 38 miles of trails. If you’re coming from the south on Highway 1, you know you’re almost home when you descend into the Pajaro Valley, where we’re protecting some of the world’s best farmland. As you pass Watsonville, you’re passing our Watsonville Slough Farm where we’re building five miles of trails. And at multiple points along the way, you’ll pass the Coastal Rail Trail, an amazing 32-mile road without cars that will run almost the whole length of our county. Maybe home for you is within a mile of this trail – like half the county’s population.

All these projects, and more, are part of the Great Land & Trail Campaign. They will cost more than $40 million to complete, with half of that coming from government and foundation grants – and half from the people who live and play here. As we enter the home stretch, we have raised $13 million of that $20 million in donations. You can help us reach the winner’s circle or score the winning run, with a donation in these next few months. And then we’ll celebrate with an old fashioned barn dance at our Little Bee Barn – and get all these great projects done!

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