Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner title=
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner
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Source: Foothills Forever

Foothills Forever, the campaign to purchase the West Mesa of the San Marcos Foothills, has announced that they have met all interim milestones and are in the home stretch to finish the campaign on June 1. Foothills Forever has been joined in their efforts by a national conservation organization.

“We are delighted to have been joined by the Allemall Foundation in our efforts to obtain the property,” stated Peter Schuyler, Co-Chair of the fundraising campaign. The Allemall Foundation recently helped the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy complete the purchase of the Mill Bend Conservation Project in Mendocino County.

“The moment that we learned of the community efforts to save this important grassland open space, we knew we wanted to help,” said Ed Scott, Executive Director of the Allemall Foundation. “We can’t do it alone, but we can help the Santa Barbara community with additional resources, to help meet your incredibly tight timeline.”

Supervisor Gregg Hart praised the efforts of Allemall Foundation stating, “this gives us an increased opportunity to meet the challenge for local residents to save this precious land.”

“Saving the San Marcos Foothills continues our community’s legacy of permanently saving threatened open space lands for the community’s use. The Douglas Family Preserve, Carpinteria Bluffs, Sperling Preserve at Ellwood, and many of the open spaces important to our community, all faced these fundraising challenges,” said Marc Chytilo, an attorney for the campaign.

“We now need angel donors to step up, as well as the wider community to continue to support the campaign. Over 3,500 individuals, businesses, and foundations have contributed more than $7.6 million in cash and pledges to date, plus a short-term loan from Montecito Bank & Trust, to meet the terms of the purchase agreement. An additional $12.4 million is needed before the June 1 deadline, to secure the legacy,” Schuyler explained.

“Our task as we navigate this last and largest fundraising goal to buy and protect the San Marcos Foothills West Mesa is to remember that every one of us can benefit from this land as public open space, and every donation large and small helps us achieve that goal,” said Marianne Parra, a member of the campaign leadership team.

Parra noted that during the week of Earth Day, “It is important that we protect the land in perpetuity for every one of us, toddler to elder, winged, two legs, four legs, eight legs and those who slither. These 101 acres feel like 20,000, with wide expansive views and incredible beauty for all to enjoy.”

Campaign volunteers are providing docent-led tours from 10 -11:30 am every Saturday and Sunday through the Month of May. Tours may also be scheduled through FoothillsForever.org.

To find out more about this once in a lifetime effort, including information on how to donate through the Santa Barbara Foundation, sign up for tours of the property, or register for an informational zoom meeting, go to FoothillsForever.org.

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Julia Laraway May 05, 2021 09:07 AM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

pstarsr: The photo above is indeed taken at the back of the 101 acres. The 200 acres you mention as being "in front" is to the east, not the south of the 101 acres we have the opportunity to buy. Our goal is to preserve the 101 acres of the west mesa and add it to the 200 acres of the current San Marcos Preserve to the East, making a 300 acre public open space preserve.

letmego Apr 26, 2021 10:16 AM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Well, people still work. But with COVID, some people haven't been able to work, so they've been hiking. Those who are STILL working have had a year of not being able to do much of anything except walk outdoors. So, as you've read here, there have been many more people out hiking and exploring our local trails. I can imagine that the idea of losing this space is disturbing.

Even people who have lived here for a long time like me - many of them don't remember the deal that was made all those years ago to save a large amount of space in exchange for building these homes that are planned. (I did remember, in fact.)

Julia Laraway May 06, 2021 10:11 PM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Mr. Munson, what I find incredibly annoying is your unceasing attempts to focus on the fact that Montecito Bank and Trust loaned us money. Have you ever taken out a loan to buy a car and then referred to the car as "yours?" You must, given your need for plain-speaking, proper use of the English Language say, every time someone asks about "Your" car, "No, actually the car dealership/bank owns it for the next five years." We don't actually say that Foothills Forever has raised the money that has been loaned to us. If we did we would be saying that we have raised $11.2 million dollars, with only $7.8 to raise, BUT that is not the case. We have raised $8.8 million dollars, including the MILLION dollar gift we got today. Instead of complaining about how we got a loan, get up to the foothills for a hike or walk, take one of our tours on Saturday or Sunday at 10 am (it would be lovely to meet you in person) and tell all your friends about the stunning place in Santa Barbara that the community is trying it's darnedest to save. Then donate.

dukemunson May 05, 2021 11:15 AM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

SBsurferlife - You are probably right. But it was an odd turn of the English language that I found humorous and noted. Ms Laraway kept doubling down though with "every milestone reached" and yeah I carried it for longer than was necessary. I do though truly get annoyed when people say things that are intentionally misleading...even when they are in the interest and pursuit of a worthy cause the truth is the best policy.

dukemunson May 05, 2021 09:31 AM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Julia - It’s confusing the English language when you keep saying you reached all milestones of fundraising and then note that a huge portion of it was a loan... that needs to be paid back in a month... so you obviously haven’t raised it (or reached that milestone).

Julia Laraway Apr 26, 2021 04:47 PM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Mr. Munson, how does your quote from the Independent prove your point? We made that milestone, and are moving forward. That spark from the larger community that Mr. Chytilo referenced happened to come in the form of the Allemall Foundation. We DO need more money to get to the developer's requested 18,000,000 dollar price tag. We are continuing to work toward that goal with transparency and vigor. This is something to be commended instead of dismissed. We do need angel donors AND continued support from the thousands of people who share our commitment to public open space. If you really want the remaining 101 acres of the San Marcos Foothills West Mesa to be accessible to the public, as you mentioned in a previous comment, work to make it happen. Take a Geology tour on Saturdays a 10 am, or an informal walk and talk on Sundays at 10 am, take a walk on your own at sunset or sunrise, DONATE, or donate twice, tell your friends about the foothills, take your friends on walks at the foothills, AND at the same time talk to people about the Ortega Pool situation because, as you pointed out, that is a worthy cause as well.

dukemunson Apr 26, 2021 03:02 PM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

This was in the Independent earlier this month:

Now a new target of $5 million by April 13 looms — bringing the necessary total to $9 million — and the Foothills Forever Fund needs a spark from the large-donor community, said Chytilo, who represents the activists, “ideally a $3 million pledge that would kick us into viability.”

https://www.independent.com/2021/04/07/the-quest-for-20-million-continues/

Julia Laraway Apr 26, 2021 01:21 PM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Mr. Munson, we took down the milestones because we passed them and had raised the money. Simple. We have one milestone left. To your other point, the Ortega Pool is absolutely another worthy cause. There is enough money in this town to manage a win for both. Both/and thinking instead of either/or. We can do BOTH.

dukemunson Apr 26, 2021 12:01 PM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Julia - I did read the article... which is why I noted the humor of the announcement. The website as of 2 weeks ago had a “deadline/milestone) of $10 million by mid April. So... I noted the humor in taking down the milestone and then claiming you’d reached all milestones.

As I said in September I hope it happens... I repeatedly though corrected people who didn’t realize that the preserve came from/out of the development, instead of vice versa.

I’m glad people such as yourself are committed to this as it is a net positive for SB... though I’d argue that the Ortega park pool is a bigger need/win for SB if we can get it...

Julia Laraway Apr 26, 2021 10:00 AM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

Ah Mr. Munson, ever the cynic. Did you read the article? We actually DID meet the milestone with the help of the Allemall Foundation. Instead of dismissing the hard work and donations of 3,500 donors (individuals, businesses and foundations) over the last seven months, marvel at the fact that the community has stepped up in literally thousands of ways to make this a possibility. I remember back in September, you saying you didn't think buying the land was possible, and yet this community is proving you wrong, showing what happens when people are committed without reservation to commendable goal. WE CAN DO THIS.

dukemunson Apr 25, 2021 05:40 PM
Foothills Forever Campaign Meets Milestone & Names Conservation Partner

It’s a humorous bit of fundraising PR. They didn’t actually meet their milestone/deadline of 10 million by mid April... they just removed that milestone from the website. So yes... with the milestones gone... they reached all milestones! I truly hope they make it to the full 20, but they are going to need a lot of help... (a little more than 12 million of it!)

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