Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors

1. long detailed stories on blogspot (here!)
2. short messages on Twitter
3. automated news feeds from CA enviro websites in the right-hand column which change frequently and are not archived by our website (that's why we now have a twitter account to permanently capture the memorable feeds)

Monday, August 9, 2010

East SF Bay Gem is finally saved...

"When Franklin Canyon was saved, it made me want to cry...."

excerpted from:

7/28/2010...the 20-year emotional rollercoaster is finally over. The 483-acre property near Hercules, together with its sister parcel, 702-acre Fernandez Ranch, are forever saved from development thanks to a last-minute gift from the city of Hercules.

..."To say it was hair-raising does not understate the equation," said the trust's director, Linus Eukel. "When it finally came together, we were swinging from the chandeliers."

After trust officials signed a contract for the land in August 2009, staff went on a fundraising tear, collecting grants and donations from individuals, public agencies and private foundations. The East Bay Regional Park District gave more than $1 million. Caltrans kicked in $600,000.
Short of funds

But as the June 25 deadline approached, the trust was still shy of the $2.6 million needed to purchase the property and the $700,000 needed to maintain it in perpetuity.

The deal was about to collapse when the city of Hercules stepped in, offering $200,000 from its Measure WW parks fund, nearly a fifth of the fund's value.

Hercules is usually known more for its friendly hand to developers, not land trusts. But in recent years, the quiet, 25,000-resident community on San Pablo Bay has slowly shifted toward greener priorities. In 2004 voters passed Measure M, which rezoned the Franklin Canyon area to 40-acre minimum parcels. The city is also preserving the 12-acre Chelsea Wetlands area, working on Bay Trail and Ridge Trail connections and opting for more high-density, infill development...

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