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Santa Cruz County Parks & Recreation Digest


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Community Leader Says the Outdoors Can Feel Scary, Non-Inclusive

Esabella Bonner, the 27-year-old who founded Black Surf Santa Cruz, tells Lookout Santa Cruz that although she grew up in Santa Cruz, she didn't consider entering the ocean until two years ago.

(June 16, 2022) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Bureau of Land Management Issues Seasonal Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions for lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office, which covers San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey and western Fresno counties. These restrictions are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order.

(May 25, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Bureau of Land Management Looking for Council Members

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking nominations for positions on its California Desert District Advisory Council, Central California Resource Advisory Council, and Northern California District RAC.

(May 17, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Peninsula Nonprofit Keeps 80,000-Plus Acres Green

Every day, scores of residents and visitors in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties take in views of the natural landscape, hike on nearby trails and enjoy the outdoors in spaces protected by Peninsula Open Space Trust.

(April 17, 2022) → Read the full Mountain View Voice report
Visiting a State Park? Use Your Library Card

Residents can now use their library cards to check out day passes for free access to more than 200 state parks. The move is part of a collaboration between California State Parks and the California State Library to provide more equitable outdoor access for all Californians.

(April 7, 2022) → Read the full report
No Protest Raised Against Opal Cliffs ‘Privates’ Going Public

The Local Agency Formation Commission of Santa Cruz County formalized the public takeover of a small private Opal Cliffs park. According to Executive Officer Joe Serrano, no objections were filed against the move.

(April 6, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Rail Trail Virtual Open House Set for March 31

Members of the public are invited to a Zoom presentation on Coastal Rail Trail Segments 8 and 9, which will extend along the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line corridor, from Beach Street/Pacific Avenue to the east side of 17th Avenue.

(March 24, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Crews Prepare to Build Trails at San Vicente Redwoods

In 2011, four onprofit partners—Sempervirens Fund, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and Save the Redwoods League—began revitalizing San Vicente Redwoods alongside the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. Soon work will begin on a public trail system.

(March 9, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Capitola Moves Forward on Park Project

In a space located on Wharf Road, a new park is set to be built this fall. The Capitola Public Works Department plans to go to bid in the next few weeks, said Public Works Director Steve Jesberg.

(Feb. 9, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Public Access Could Come Soon to ‘Privates’ Beach

One of Santa Cruz County’s most controversial independent coastal parks is about to come under public control. The board of a local jurisdictional boundary oversight agency has approved the dissolution of the Opal Cliffs Recreation District, located between Pleasure Point and Capitola.

(Feb. 9, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
REI Comes to Santa Cruz

Sporting goods co-op REI is opening a new location in Live Oak with 51 employees. But some in town are skeptical about a new big-box store.

(Nov. 5, 2021) → Read the full Lookout Local report
Scotts Valley Considers Contracting Out Recreation Services

At a special joint study session with the City Council and the Scotts Valley Parks & Recreation Commission, the idea of contracting out some of the programs took center stage.

(Nov. 1, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
Scotts Valley Strengthens Access to Glenwood Preserve

At its most recent meeting, the Scotts Valley City Council deliberated on issues related to the Glenwood Open Space Preserve, strengthening its contract amount with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and increasing access to this large recreation outlet.

(Oct. 14, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
Covid-19 Relief Dollars Will Help Heal Ramsay Park

The city of Watsonville plans to pump $22 million in local, state and federal funding into its largest park to fund the construction of facilities for multiple uses and a rebuild of the Watsonville Nature Center.

(Sept. 15, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
Monterey Bay Birding Festival Folds

After 16 years of drawing birders from around the globe to Watsonville, the Monterey Bay Birding Festival has reached its end—another casualty of the pandemic.

(Sept. 10, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
New Book Explores History of Big Basin State Park

After 10 years of research and interviews, retired professor Traci Bliss has published “Big Basin Redwood Forest: California’s Oldest State Park,” a book that focuses on the efforts of women in the early 1900s to preserve the redwoods.

(Sept. 2, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
National Forests in California Now Closed to Visitors

With fires roaring across California, the USDA Forest Service is closing all 20 million acres of the state’s national forests to public access for two weeks. The Forest Service said the closure will extend through at least Sept. 17.

(Aug. 30, 2021) → Read the full The Sacramento Bee report
Work Has Begun on Watsonville Slough Connector Trail Project

The first phase of the work at Ramsay Park has begun, with construction expected to run through the end of November. The project will add trails, more shade trees and a new picnic area.

(Aug. 26, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
One Year Later: Rebuilding at Big Basin Redwoods

Twelve months after a massive fire burned 97 percent of California’s oldest state park, the work of clearing and rebuilding has just begun at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Ancient redwoods survived, but facilities were a total loss.

(Aug. 12, 2021) → Read the full The Mercury News report
Appeals Filed Over Plans for Cotoni-Coast Dairies

Some county residents are excited about plans for the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument, but others fear that the plan inadequately addresses visitors’ impacts. Appeals were filed with the Bureau of Land Management by its late July deadline.

(July 28, 2021) → Read the full Santa Cruz Local report
Management Plan Released for Cotoni-Coast Dairies Property

Designated as a national monument by Barack Obama in 2017, Cotoni-Coast Dairies—located on the north end of Santa Cruz County—could be open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders by the summer of 2022.

(July 20, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Scotts Valley’s Skypark Gets a Needed Makeover

Skypark, the community green space that hosted first responders during the CZU Lightning Complex fires, will get a facelift thanks to American Rescue Plan Act funds approved for Scotts Valley,

(July 15, 2021) → Read the full Press Banner report
Watsonville City Council Boosts Spending for Parks, Police

Watsonville city leaders moved toward a city budget that nearly doubles money for parks and rec but also funds an 8 percent increase in the police budget. Final approval will come at the council’s June 22 meeting.

(June 9, 2021) → Read the full Santa Cruz Local report
Art Hike Challenge Spotlights Open Space, Local Artists

A new series of murals are on view at Pinto Lake County Park, encouraging visitors to the park and showcasing local art.

(May 24, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Head of Watsonville Farmers Market Takes Over Pinto Lake City Park

New concessionaire Jesus Madrigal talks about his plans for the park, which include bringing in new offerings such as a farmers market, food truck festivals, and family-friendly activities.

(April 7, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
State of Play: Series Looks at Watsonville’s Sparse Recreational Resources

The National Recreation Association standard for park space in a city is 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. But Watsonville has only 2.25 acres of parkland per 1,000 inhabitants.

(April 5, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
New Pump Track Opens in Watsonville

The Ramsey Park Pumptrack opened in Watsonville. At over 20,000 square feet, the asphalt paved rollers, banked turns and jumps is the newest, and largest, pumptrack in the county.

(March 27, 2021) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
State Parks ‘Uniquely Vulnerable’ to Climate Change

“Every bit of California is going to be impacted by climate change. It’s going to affect every person in the state and every acre of land in the state,” said Jay Chamberlin, chief of the state parks’ natural resources division.

(March 23, 2021) → Read the full Comstock's Magazine report
The Shape of Inclusion

Local surfer Liza Monroy introduces us to custom surfboard shaper Carl Gooding, and his efforts to make the waves more accessible and surfing more accepting.

(March 16, 2021) → Read the full Good Times report
Santa Cruz County Sports Get Green Light

Because the Santa Cruz County COVID rate is currently below the levels stipulated under recently updated State health guidelines, full contact practice and play may resume.

(Feb. 20, 2021) → Read the full The Pajaronian report
Update On Big Basin State Park Restoration

The CZU Complex Fire wiped out much of the water and sanitation infrastructure, and the park road system was badly impacted. It will take time for Highway 236 and the beloved park to reopen.

(Feb. 20, 2021) → Read the full San Lorenzo Valley Post report
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