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Goleta Sets Public Workshop on Ellwood Mesa Trails Improvement, Habitat Restoration

A site walk will also be held to tour the area under review

The City of Goleta is looking for the public’s ideas and input on trail improvement and habitat restoration on the Ellwood Mesa.

A public workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. next Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Ellwood School Multipurpose Room to share possible trail designs, habitat restoration options and a range of ideas to address related issues. The workshop will begin with a 30-minute presentation followed by an open house to allow participants to view materials and have discussions with presenters on the options.

A site walk will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Sept. 8 to tour the area that is being discussed. Meet at the Sperling Preserve parking lot.

The City Council recently approved an agreement with the Santa Barbara Trails Council to begin design and engineering for the Trails Improvement and Habitat Restoration Project. SBTC received a grant from the California Coastal Commission to commence the planning and permitting effort associated with this process.

A project of this nature is identified in the city’s Capital Improvement Program Plan as a future, unfunded project. In addition, the city’s Ellwood Mesa Open Space Plan (adopted in 2004) identifies existing and future trails, including future trail design standards for the Coastal Trail and the Anza Trail.

About the Trails

The California Coastal Trail (Coastal Trail) is a continuous public right-of-way along the entire California coastline designed to foster appreciation and stewardship of the diverse scenic and natural resources of the California coast through a hiking, biking and equestrian trail system. The 1,300-mile Coastal Trail is about 80 percent constructed and is comprised of many different segments over varied terrain, reflecting the great diversity of California’s coastal communities and providing opportunities for public access to beaches, scenic vistas, wildlife viewing areas, recreational or interpretive facilities and other points of interest.

In 2001, the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 908 establishing a mandate for mapping the existing segments and estimating the costs for completing missing segments. One of the missing segments is identified on the city-owned Ellwood Mesa Open Space / Sperling Preserve (Ellwood Mesa Open Space).

The Juan Bautista de Anza (Anza) Trail extends from the Mexican border to the San Francisco Bay. The trail recognizes the route of the 1775-76 Anza expedition to bring more than 240 settlers from Mexico to California. The expedition, an integral part of Spanish foreign and colonial policy to extend its hold upon territories in the New World, brought the influence of the language, customs, traditions and general expressions of Hispanic culture on the early development of California. Part of the Anza Trail is identified on the Ellwood Mesa Open Space and is an alternate route of travel from the Coastal Trail.

— Valerie Kushnerov is a public information officer for the City of Goleta.


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