January 2015

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network $5M grant submitted

In partnership with the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and the California Coastal Conservancy, the RTC submitted a $5M grant application to the Federal Lands Access Program to build 6.3 miles of bicycle and pedestrian trails for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network. The total project cost is $9M.

The trail is an excellent candidate for the grant program since it will provide active transportation, recreation and eco-tourism – all goals that the grant program emphasizes. The grant submitted was for constructing a 4.6 miles rail trail from Wilder Ranch State Park Parking area to Hwy 1 at Laguna Road within the rail line right-of-way, and 1.7 miles of natural surface spurs to access the coast near Laguna Creek Beach and Yellowbank Beach. The project will provide access to the California Coastal National Monument, the BLM’s Coast Dairies property (and possible future National Monument) and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County committed to providing $3M in matching funds and the California Coastal Conservancy committed to providing $1M. California State Parks and the County Public Works Department are providing in-kind matches through construction and/or management.

The RTC will be notified in April if the project made the short list. Final awards will be announced in June. Watch this excellent video produced to accompany the grant by volunteers Eric Thiermann of TheImpactMediaGroup.com and Paul Schoellhamer.