It has been a busy year here at Coastwalk. Our 28th Walks season was a great success. We launched a new website, made huge progress on our Coastal Trail signage program, and hosted a reception in Sacramento to educate the legislature about the California Coastal Trail (CCT). We hosted a panel on Youth and Diversity at the Trails and Greenways Conference, and were awarded a National Park Service Technical Assistance grant. We took many opportunities to educate decision makers and the public about the CCT, and did so many more activities that they are too numerous to mention. Read on for a sampling of the details …
Coastwalk Completes 28th Walks Season
Coastwalk completed its 28th Walks season, and a great time was had by participants. In Mendocino, a little rain didn’t keep spirits down after a quick run by volunteers to a local laundromat for drying clothes. In Orange County, avid walker and longtime volunteer, Mary Helen Briscoe was honored for completing her 14th county. She was joined on the walk by a large contingent of her children and grandchildren. The Sonoma Family Walk was a sell out again this year with informative hikes led by biologist, Peter Leveque, and an overnight at Fort Ross. San Mateo hosted two walks this year, a Classic with a great night of storytelling and singing by Bertha Riley, and an “all women’s” Walk with a mystery author. Watch our web site as we post the 29th season in February highlighting our gorgeous California coastal State Parks.
Coastwalk Launches New Website
Check out our new web site’s look and feel. Coastwalk is thrilled to have improved our digital face! Many thanks to Cliff Bar Family Foundation, and Coastwalk Board President, Gregory Fearon and his wife, Pat Kuta, for their generous gifts in support of this important upgrade. We have great plans for the site’s future, and aim to make it an invaluable information resource for Coastal Trail enthusiasts and those interested in coastal protection. It is newly launched, so keep checking back as we add new resources and news. We plan to list coastal day hike opportunities statewide, as well as information on Coastal Commission hearings and Coastal Conservancy trail projects. Please be patient as we add these features on gradually. We have also just installed a new “cloud based” membership & events software system that will be integrated into our website. This new software will enable us to improve our communications, and better serve our members through online events registration, custom member logins and other features.
Coastwalk Hosts Sacramento Reception
Coastwalk California hosted a reception for the California Legislature in April of this year. The event aimed to educate legislators about the California Coastal Trail (CCT), its benefits to the people of California, and the progress made toward completing the Trail. All members of the California Senate and the California Assembly were invited. Thanks to Assemblymember Michael Allen, the event was held at a reception room in the Capitol basement in Sacramento. California Resources Secretary, John Laird was the keynote speaker, addressing the audience about his long history with the CCT and his love of the Coast. State Coastal Conservancy Executive Officer, Sam Schuchat, also spoke, bringing the audience up to date on the numerous Coastal Trail projects underway thanks to the Conservancy. We were honored to have Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas, several Coastal Commissioners, and many coastal Senators and Assemblymembers in attendance.
Coastwalk Hosts Panel at Trails & Greenways Conference
Coastwalk participated in this year’s Trails and Greenways conference which was held in April. The Conference, which is an annual event put on by California State Parks, had a theme of Youth and Diversity. Coastwalk hosted a panel discussion about success stories in getting youth and diverse communities out on trails. Coastwalk California Executive Director, Una Glass, made a presentation about Coastwalk’s “Family” Walks, explaining the kinds of activities that can be incorporated into a group camping trip that will make it a big hit with kids. Also included on Coastwalk’s panel were Magdelena Ridley of LandPaths and Jamie Cabral of the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority. Magdelena is the Outreach Coordinator for LandPaths, a non-profit located in Sonoma County with a mission to connect people with the land. LandPaths leads hikes and other activities in parks and open space, and Magdelena has enjoyed great success with developing Spanish language outings and attracting Latino families to LandPath’s programs. Jamie Cabral has also enjoyed success in attracting Latino and other underserved groups to the parks in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles County. Many lower income and immigrant communities in the Los Angeles area are not familiar with the wonderful outdoor facilities available in the Santa Monica Mountains so close to Los Angeles’s intensely urban area. Helping kids and families from these communities to enjoy a day in the “wild” has been Jamie’s undertaking, and she has been very successful in her outreach. As California’s population changes, it is very important that we attract new members of our communities to share and steward our precious outdoors.
New Podcasts Featuring Peter Douglas on the Way!
Hopefully, you have had a chance to listen to Coastwalk’s podcast series on our website. Our first two “pilot” podcasts featured Bill Kortum discussing the rescue of Bodega Bay, and John Largier, PhD explaining the importance of the ocean upwelling off Point Reyes to the ocean ecosystem. If you haven’t heard them, go to:
Now, we are very excited to be working on new podcast offerings that feature interviews with recently retired Coastal Commission Executive Director, Peter Douglas. The first one will cover a hugely popular section of Coastal Trail in Monterey, and how that segment of Trail was saved. Keep checking Coastwalk’s website for this and other new podcasts featuring Peter, who for decades, has truly been the California Coast’s most outstanding champion.
State Parks Documentary Covers California Coastal Trail
Executive Director, Una Glass, was interviewed about the California Coastal Trail by a video production company producing a terrific new documentary on California State Parks. The program is entitled CALIFORNIA FOREVER, and will be airing in the Bay Area on KQED TV in April 2012. It will include a segment about the CCT and its importance to State Parks. Be sure to watch out for this great program about our State Parks which are seriously endangered at this time.
Coastal Trail Promoted to Local Government Officials
Coastwalk California Executive Director, Una Glass, was a guest speaker at two separate annual conferences this fall. She spoke first at a luncheon in September for the Coastal Issues Group of the California League of Cities. The audience were all coastal City Council members or Mayors. Ms. Glass discussed the recreational, health and economic benefits of the Coastal Trail, as well as its popularity with the public. She pointed out that it serves diverse communities, and even dogs enjoy a walk on the trail! To sum it up, the trail is great fun and local government’s support of it will yield many benefits. She also spoke in November to the Coastal Group of CSAC, the California State Association of Counties. The audience were all County Supervisors from California’s fifteen coastal counties. Once again, she discussed the benefits of the Coastal Trail and spoke of Coastwalk’s new program, which will be identifying jurisdictional partners who own or operate Coastal Trail segments, and Coastwalk’s desire to identify helpful information/services that it can provide to these jurisdictions. The talks were warmly received, and Ms. Glass promised that Coastwalk would stay in touch as this new program is developed.
Coastwalk Awarded National Park Service Grant
Coastwalk California has been selected to receive a prestigious and valuable technical assistance grant from the National Park Service. The NPS will be assisting Coastwalk in developing a network of California Coastal Trail (CCT) stakeholders under Coastwalk’s umbrella. This network of “Coastwalk Associates” will include local and regional agencies, land trusts, and volunteer-based trail organizations that own and/or manage/support segments of the CCT. With the help of the NPS and the identified Associates, Coastwalk will pinpoint specific annual goals that will advance the maintenance and operation of the existing CCT and promote its completion. Additionally, the NPS will assist in determining the kind of information and support services that will be needed by the Associates to better maintain the CCT, plan for its future and engage the public in its support. Coastwalk will be working closely with its special partners in this project, the State Coastal Conservancy, California State Parks, and the California Coastal Commission.
“Receiving this help from the NPS will have a huge impact on the future of the California Coastal Trail,” said Una Glass, Executive Director of Coastwalk California. “Bringing all the stakeholders to the table on an ongoing basis and providing a forum for regular communication will go a long way toward better regional planning, advance completion of the CCT, and ensure its stewardship. With today’s limited resources, it is imperative that stakeholders maximize the resources that are available through collaboration.”
Coastwalk staff is busy developing a detailed work plan for this exciting new project with National Park Service staff and Coastal Conservancy staff. The project will include outreach to CCT stakeholders throughout California’s coastal counties.
Coastal Trail Signage Progress
Coastwalk continued to make great progress on its Coastal Trail Signage Program this year thanks to funding from the Coastal Conservancy. Since Coastwalk California initiated it’s signage program, over two hundred miles of signage have been installed along the California Coastal Trail. An additional, one hundred seventy plus miles are in the later stages of permitting and approval. Coastwalk has worked with over eighty jurisdictions, agencies, and stakeholders over the course of the program. Although the formation of a Coastal Trail stewardship program falls outside the scope of our Conservancy Signage Grant, it is appropriate to note that one very positive outcome of the program is the relationships that have been built and the infrastructure created that will help make a future CCT stewardship program possible. Coastwalk will be exploring how to initiate a stewardship program with help from the NPS technical assistance team that has been provided to us via our National Park Service Technical Assistance grant. We will also be building on the work products derived from the Conservancy’s investment in the Signage Program, including Coastwalk’s signage data base and maps. This will be very helpful as we form volunteer stewardship teams in the future.
Coastal Cleanup Day – Fun and Educational
Coastal Cleanup Day in Sonoma County was once again a great success, with over 4000 pounds of trash and recycling collected from 14 beaches on the coast and over 10 inland locations. There was a great turnout, with all locations filled to capacity. Coastwalk hosted an informative volunteer BBQ at Bodega Dunes State Beach, with food provided by Whole Foods and prizes provided by REI. Educational games and posters outlined the importance of collecting the smaller pieces of trash, and encouraging volunteers to not be disappointed by the absence of seemingly more satisfying larger pieces of trash on the beaches. We are working with REI and Whole Foods to add even more educational materials for next year, as well as to secure funding for the purchase of reusable buckets and gloves to decrease the amount of trash created by the cleanup.
Coastwalk Has An Intern!
Indigo Bannister from Cardinal Newman High School, a long time Coastal Cleanup Day participant and daughter of Beach Captain David Bannister, is working with Coastwalk on her senior project by updating our “adopt a beach” program and setting up an annual program with her high school.
- Coastwalk staff attended a ribbon cutting in celebration of the Purisma Trail, a gorgeous section of the CCT located in San Mateo County just south of Half Moon Bay. It was inspirational to hear how this section of trail was implemented next to working agricultural fields.
- Staff also attended a tour given to the Coastal Conservancy Board of wetlands restoration projects and Coastal Trail in Southern San Diego County. Both of these projects show that progress continues on the Trail, even in these problematic economic times.
- Coastwalk has also been working with the Sonoma Land Trust to lead periodic day hikes at the Jenner Headlands, a property recently acquired by the Sonoma Land Trust. The views from this property are absolutely spectacular. If you are interested in hiking the property, check our website for 2012 dates or call Coastwalk’s office.
- Coastwalk was in attendance at a Bay Area Open Space District meeting that focused on creative ideas for partnerships in the cause of saving our State Parks. Speakers emphasized that if we are going to keep our parks operating at all, non-profits will need to form collaborative partnerships that provide maintenance and interpretive programs for the Parks. Coastwalk plans to help educate the public about the plight of our State Parks by focusing our 2012 Walks Schedule on coastal State Parks.