Pismo Preserve plan gets boost from local philanthropist

Feb 26, 2014

The hills above Shell Beach are part of a 900 acre private ranch that could be turned into public lands known as the Pismo Preserve.
Credit The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County - video still

An effort to create public access to the hillsides surrounding Pismo Beach is getting financial help from a San Luis Obispo resident.

Richard Alberts says he will match $10,000 worth of community donations made to the Pismo Preserve project between now and April 1, according to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Alberts is a longtime supporter of the organization and was "inspired to do something that would help spur the community into action"

To successfully create the preserve, the conservancy says it needs to raise $11.7 million by August. Most of that money is expected to come from state and regional funding sources, but the remaining $2 million needs to be generated by the local community. Alberts' offer to match donations through March will get the organization $20,000 closer to that goal, if fully successful.

The Pismo Preserve plan involves turning a 900-acre private ranch into public open space by summer 2015.

"We truly have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity right now to purchase this property and create an outstanding park for residents and visitors alike," said Kaila Dettman, Executive Director at The Land Conservancy. "We are confident that our community will join us in safeguarding the Pismo Preserve for the benefit of generations to come."