Update on the Pismo Preserve

Volunteers and members of the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo have been working tirelessly to get the Pismo Preserve ready for public use; a remarkable, large parcel of oceanfront land that will be filled with miles of running, hiking and biking trails. With an expected Fall 2016 completion date, we know that all of us were getting excited to start exploring soon!

However, the Land Conservancy has recently released a updated schedule for the completion of the Pismo Preserve, with a more gradual opening that will be implemented in phases. The new official opening is now expected to be Fall 2018, with docent-led hikes until then to tide residents and volunteers over.

This change doesn’t reflect how hard the volunteers have been working, as they’ve been focused on the Preserve project for two years. However, during the design process, unanticipated requirements came about, raising the cost and time needed for the project to be completed. This delay, however, shows how dedicated The Land Conservancy is to make sure that the Preserve is opened right, rather than on time, which is admirable.

As Kaila Dettman, The Land Conservancy’s Executive Director, said: “There are no shortcuts to creating and operating a park that is safe, sustainable, and sensational for all.” She also explained that the Land Conservancy would love to open the Preserve tomorrow, but they have an obligation to everyone involved to do it right, emphasizing how special the property truly is.

Here’s a video of the amazing Preserve, showing us what we have to look forward to:

So, you might be wondering what else has to be done… The land has been purchased, and the trails are completed, thanks to the work of hundreds of tireless volunteers. Additionally, the conservation of species and habitats has been discussed with the appropriate authorities. The answer is: most of the remaining projects have to do with accessibility and safety, in keeping with city and state codes. The Land Conservancy must construct directional signage and maps for visitor safety and emergency response, a one-mile ADA-accessible trail so that people of all physical abilities can enjoy the land, a sidewalk and retaining wall that promotes safe access, and of course, water efficient restrooms.  There is a lot of work to be done, and it is estimated that the project will take around 4.8 million to complete.

Until the official opening in 2018, there are still ways you can enjoy the Pismo Preserve. As mentioned earlier, there will be docent-led hikes and bike rides, so that residents can enjoy the Preserve without threatening it. These will be available by the end of 2016. And as soon as Spring 2017, the Land Conservancy will host “open days,” where visitors can sign in at the front, explore the trails without a docent, and sign out when leaving. For now, docent-led hikes and mountain bikes are offered a couple times a week, but only for Land Conservancy members. You can become a member by making a donation.

What can you do to help? If the prospect of the Pismo Preserve, with miles of pristine trails and expansive coastal views, makes you excited to try them out for yourself, then be sure to join the effort with the Land Conservancy! Find some information about donating or volunteering here, under the tab “Ways to Give”. If you make a donation, you’ll automatically become a member of the Land Conservancy for a year!  Another great opportunity to donate to the Pismo Preserve is by booking direct at a Martin Resorts accommodation this September. Martin Resorts will be donating $1 for every direct booking this month in an effort to help preserve and maintain this amazing piece of land! This is an easy and simple way to help out the project, so don’t miss out on the chance to help Martin Resorts and the Land Conservancy ensure this beautiful area can be enjoyed for years to come!