In celebration of Earth Day, Foothills Forever will host docent-led tours of the San Marcos Foothills, 10-11:30 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. April 18. In addition, Channel Islands Restoration will host an interactive pre-Earth Day table at the site from 9:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Tours begin at the end of Via Gaitero Road.

More information at

Foothills Forever is the campaign to purchase and preserve the West Mesa of the San Marcos Foothills, a 101-acre site west of Highway 154 and north of Foothill Road, as permanent protected open space accessible to the public.

An informational zoom meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday April 19 to update the community about this opportunity. Sign up to attend at

“Never before has the community rallied so hard and so fast to raise funds to save open space,” said campaign co-chair Peter Schuyler. “The campaign is moving forward quickly, and we are exploring a new opportunity with a conservation organization.”

“Our task as we navigate this 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.

“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,” said Parra, as Earth Day approaches next week. “These 101 acres feel like 20,000, with wide expansive views and incredible beauty for all to enjoy.” 

“We remain hopeful that the community will continue to rally behind this important project to save the San Marcos Foothills in continuation of our community’s legacy of saving important open space lands for the community’s use in perpetuity.

“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.