The Pismo Preserve conservation effort was awarded $100,000 from the trust of the late Harold J. Miossi, a former San Luis Obispo rancher, public servant, and tireless advocate for both the environment and conservation.
“We are thrilled with the Trust’s decision to support the Pismo Preserve,” said Kaila Dettman, Land Conservancy Executive Director. “This gift is one of the two largest private contributions given to the Project to-date and we are grateful for the Trust’s leadership and vision.”
With the Miossi Trust award and other recent community donations, The Land Conservancy is now seeking $950,000 by end of August to complete its $12 million Pismo Preserve funding goal. Project leaders say that this gap must be filled by local funding sources including two public agencies, major donor charitable gifts, and community contributions.
“I hope others will follow the lead of the Miossi Trust. Community members hold the ultimate power right now in whether the Pismo Preserve project will succeed. The Land Conservancy needs letters of support and attendance at upcoming public meetings with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the City of San Luis Obispo. But we also need private donors to keep giving – both to show a stronger base of community support and to backfill any amount that these agencies don’t fund,” said Wende David, Land Conservancy Director of Development. Agency contacts, meeting dates, and template letters are available here.
The Land Conservancy has secured $11.05 million (including a $4 million pending award from the Wildlife Conservation Board). The remaining $950,000 is expected to come from a combination of sources including the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the City of San Luis Obispo, and private donors.
By negotiating an escrow extension, The Land Conservancy stretched its deadline to the end of August to raise the $12 million required to close the Pismo Preserve deal. Private (The $4M award from the Wildlife Conservation Board will be determined at an August 28 Board meeting in Sacramento.)
With world-class outdoor recreation opportunities for locals and tourists, preservation of sweeping scenic vistas, protection of drinking water and filtration of runoff onto beaches, and as a destination for healthy active lifestyles – the proposed Pismo Preserve project has received no opposition and remains a beloved community project.
As a regional public park, Pismo Preserve will provide many benefits to residents and visitors throughout the county. The project will most significantly impact the 5-Cities Area which is the most densely populated region in San Luis Obispo County, but has no upland trail system for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Further, two communities adjacent to the proposed project – Grover Beach and Oceano – are classified as disadvantaged communities (those having median household incomes at or under 80% of the California Median Household Income of $61,400 according to the 2008-2012 census) and will directly benefit from the recreation, health, and environmental benefits provided by the permanent protection of this open space. As a free amenity for the public which protects air and water quality, the Pismo Preserve will contribute to San Luis Obispo County residents’ quality of life.
PISMO PRESERVE FUNDING BREAKDOWN
$12 million – Total Needed
$8 million Goal – State Agencies
$4,000,000 SECURED –California State Coastal Conservancy
$4,000,000 PENDING – Wildlife Conservation Board (8/28)
$4 million Goal – Regional Government and Local Private Donors, Businesses, Foundations
$2,045,000 SECURED – SLO County Parks, City of Pismo Beach, AG, Grover Beach
$1,005,000 SECURED – Private contributions
$950,000 – Total Funding Gap
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTIONS
San Luis Obispo County – $1,100,000
City of Pismo Beach – $900,000
City of Arroyo Grande – $40,000
City of Grover Beach – $5,000
Regional Water Quality Control Board – To be determined (7/31 Board meeting)
City of San Luis Obispo – To be determined (8/19 Council meeting)