Cambria Community – Alese and Bob Bell

Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in Bob Jones Trail, Octagon Barn | No Comments

A large parcel in Cambria came on the market. Many of us wondered what would become of the space. We knew if these five street-to-street lots were developed it could change the atmosphere of the whole neighborhood. My husband and I decided to take action.

Time was of the essence. A group of us got together to share ideas. In the end, the land sold. But instead of being slated for future development, it was purchased at a fair price and joined other connecting properties as a preserved natural area. This isn’t something a group of normal citizens can accomplish so quickly on its own. And, in fact, it wasn’t. We had some help.

We’d heard some mitigation funds might be available through the Cambria Community Services District. A neighbor explained how to apply for funds for a portion of the land purchase. Then we contacted Bob Hill at the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and asked if they would act as the purchaser of the property so that donations could be tax deductable. He was incredible. He really came through for us.

Bob Hill handled all the behind-the-scenes stuff. He gathered the information and handled the paperwork. We knew a portion of the fundraising needed to be done by the community. Our group got to work. My husband, who had quietly helped maintain the property for years, got a more public role now. He was soon organizing events and soliciting donations. Bob Hill tracked our donor list and monitored our progress. We raised the necessary funds within the thirty-day deadline.

Today, we have a gathering spot for both people and wildlife. The deer and wild turkeys enjoy it as much as the passersby. It’s so beautiful. It really fills your heart. It wouldn’t have happened without the Land Conservancy.