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Environment and Energy

San Luis Obispo adds 154 acres of open space to city's greenbelt

Courtesy of the City of San Luis Obispo
A view of the Waddell Ranch Open Space.

Area hikers will soon have new trails to trek. The City of San Luis Obispo has closed a deal on a 154-acre parcel on the south side of the Irish Hills Natural Reserve. 

The city purchased the land - called Waddell Ranch - for $1.1 million dollars; funding came from the city’s Measure G revenue and grants from two state environmental agencies, the California Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Natural Resources Agency.

In the works for over two decades, the ranch’s addition is part of a large conservation project between the City of San Luis Obispo, the Trust for Public Land, and the property owner, Duane Waddell of Cayucos.

San Luis Obispo’s natural resources manager, Robert Hill, says the city plans to complete a loop trail connecting the new parcel with the adjacent Irish Hills natural reserve, with views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Credit Courtesy of the City of San Luis Obispo
Courtesy of the City of San Luis Obispo

The ranch property encompasses the headwaters of Froom Creek and hosts rare plants, springs and wildlife habitat. Hill said in a statement the city is extremely proud to be able to complete this long-standing conservation priority “in furtherance of our local land conservation legacy.” He added that the property is a small piece of “old California.”

"We're really excited about it, in a lot of ways it's the capstone piece," Hill said this week. "In some parts of the property, there are already trails that come through the property - some old jeep roads and whatnot. Our rangers are the key people who lead our trail development activity...and if there are more trails to be built...ultimately the rangers and their significant volunteer network would be the ones likely to implement that."  

The land is slated to be open to the public in the spring of 2017.