Important Milestone Reached on Carmel River FREE + Lots of Events!

We are wrapping up “Thankuary!” with gratitude to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors for certifying the Carmel River Floodplain Restoration and Environmental Enhancement (Carmel River FREE) project’s environmental impact review document earlier this week! Additional thanks go to all our supporters and the community members who attended the meeting, and to the team at Monterey County, our co-sponsors on this project. This is a huge milestone!

Carmel River FREE is not only a flagship project for Big Sur Land Trust, it’s a flagship project for the County and for our project partners. It will save the County millions of dollars in traditional flood control measures. It will create a mosaic of natural habitats as well as an agricultural preserve. It will facilitate public access to the outdoors at the doorstep of one of the greatest park complexes in the state. It will serve as an outdoor classroom for sharing the story of this land and its indigenous peoples. And it will provide a much-needed measure of resiliency in the face of climate change.

The Land Trust holds much of the land within the project footprint east of Hwy 1 – 128 acres. We will be taking on the responsibility of adaptively restoring much of this landscape once project construction is complete. To that end, we set up a Carmel River FREE Stewardship Fund and we are happy to report that we have reached our goal of raising $2M in private funds to support this future work. Not only is this good for habitat restoration efforts, but it represents the critical investment of community members in this project.

And so our final “thank you” goes to our amazing donors who contributed to the Carmel River FREE Stewardship Fund. We could not do this work without you!

For more information, be sure to read the Monterey County Weekly article and the Carmel Pine Cone article.


Carr Lake Community Volunteer Planting Day

Saturday, February 8
10:00AM – 1:00PM
Carr Lake, Salinas

Our community volunteers are planting and caring for trees and perennial native plants. This thriving and ever-expanding garden is helping to sequester carbon in the soil which can help lessen the effects of climate change. Want to be part of the solution? Join us at our next community planting day on Saturday, February 8th! Learn more and register here.


Art Show Opening 

Convergence: Carr Lake Ecology & Community
Opening: Wednesday, February 19

6:00PM – 7:30PM
CSUMB Salinas City Center

We are excited to collaborate with California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB)’s Salinas City Center, Arts and Culture on this exhibition! The show is free and will run through early August. Free “First Friday” events will be held in March, April, May, June, and August. Learn more here.


Volunteer Open House

Thursday, February 27
5:30PM – 7:00PM
BSLT Office, Monterey


With Big Sur Land Trust, your energy, time, curiosity and passion are put to good use to care for the lands you love throughout Monterey County.

Please join us at our Volunteer Open House to learn how you can contribute your skills, to get inspired by stories from current volunteers and to sign up as a volunteer for one or more of the opportunities we will have throughout 2020. RSVP here.


Purchase Tickets for An Evening with Richard Louv 

Friday, March 6
7:30PM – 9:00PM
Hidden Valley – An Institute of the Arts
Carmel Valley


Join Big Sur Land Trust for an inspirational evening with Richard Louv, best-selling author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Learn more and purchase tickets here.


Race for Open Space

Saturday, April 11
7:00AM – 10:00AM
Marks Ranch, Salinas

This year at the Race for Open Space, BSLT asks you to run in the name of conservation. Run to inspire others to care about the places that are special to you. Run for the lands you love. Learn more and register to participate here. 

Not a runner? Consider being a volunteer to help create a moment for people to connect to themselves, to each other and to the beauty of nature at Marks Ranch. Learn more and sign-up to volunteer here.

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