Effort to Buy San Marcos Foothills Receives $1,000,000 Donation
Source: Channel Islands Restoration
The campaign to buy and preserve 104 acres in the San Marcos Foothills that are planned for development got a big boost last week when an anonymous donor gave one million dollars to the effort. The donation was given on condition that the funding will be returned if the coalition of environmental groups are unable to raise the remainder of the money needed to buy the property.
The development was approved by the County of Santa Barbara in 2005, and it consists of eight luxury homes, occurring on 104 acres on the mesa between the San Marcos Foothills Preserve and Highway 154.
Several environmental groups have organized to purchase the property before it is developed, spearheaded by Channel Islands Restoration (CIR), a Santa Barbara based non-profit organization. The group says the development will disrupt one of the last grassland habitats in Santa Barbara County that are important breeding and hunting grounds for many animals, particularly bird species that are in decline.
CIR hopes that the donation will demonstrate that the campaign should be taken seriously. “This donation shows that our community has the capacity to raise the kind of money needed to purchase the property at fair market value” said Ken Owen Executive Director of CIR.
CIR is calling for a socially distanced press conference to occur at the entrance of the property at the north end of Via Gaitero Road on Tuesday October 13 at 10:00 AM. We are inviting our partners and members of the public to speak to the press about the importance of the campaign and what our next steps will be now that seven figures have been raised.