California Coastal Conservancy Awards Grant for Purchase of Mindego Hill

April 25, 2008

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) received word last week that the California Coastal Conservancy approved a grant of $7.5 million toward the purchase of Mindego Hill, 1,047 acres of scenic ranchland just west of Skyline Boulevard near La Honda. POST coordinated efforts by public and private agencies as well as local donors and expects to piece together the hefty $29.4 million cost of securing the property.

“In October we announced plans to raise money to save this signature Peninsula property,” says POST President Audrey Rust. “Since that time we have gathered $6.5 million in private contributions. By adding public funds from the Coastal Conservancy and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and private foundation money from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we will match this generous outpouring of local gifts, roughly 3-to-1. Only by reaching consensus about the importance of this project will POST be able to reach such an ambitious goal, quickly, in tough financial times.”

Success is in sight. In March the board of directors of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) approved spending $15 million to acquire Mindego Hill from POST. The role of MROSD is crucial to a successful outcome not just in terms of financing the purchase but because this public agency is equipped to manage the property for the long term.

With the Coastal Conservancy grant, MROSD and POST make a major step forward toward securing the necessary funding to complete the purchase and transfer of the property.

Mindego Hill has been a top conservation priority for POST since the organization was founded in 1977, but the opportunity to purchase the former cattle ranch did not materialize until now. In the future, public trail connections will be opened between Mindego Hill and adjacent MROSD property at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. Connecting properties adds to their recreational value while enabling POST and MROSD to protect wildlife corridors and watersheds, natural features that often cross property lines. Springs, ponds, quiet creeks, wooded hillsides, open meadows and dramatic views extending to the Pacific Ocean are among the many charms Mindego Hill will offer when opened for public enjoyment.