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Grant funding enables initiatives in Placerita Canyon Natural Area

Posted: July 11, 2013 1:22 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2013 1:22 p.m.

With more than $570,000 in combined grant funding by the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and the State of California Habitat Conservation Fund, the Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce two initiatives that will yield immeasurable benefits in the beautiful Placerita Canyon Natural Area.

The projects – riparian habitat restoration and establishment of a Golden Braille Trail for the visually-impaired – enabled by the funding are meant to help preserve habitat in Placerita Canyon and expand opportunities for all people to enjoy natural beauty in Los Angeles County.

With a $200,000 grant from the State of California Habitat Conservation Fund and $300,000 provided by Supervisor Antonovich, the Placerita Canyon Riparian Habitat Restoration project will help protect and preserve the delicate ecosystem of the Placerita Canyon Creek, which is crucial to the survival of diverse native species found near the vital water source. It will accomplish this in large part by creating a buffer zone to prevent trail users from negatively impacting the habitat – an initiative that will include installation of two bridges and raising of the trail. Plans also include planting of native riparian species that have been lost, and removal of non-native species.

Thanks to a $45,000 State of California Habitat Conservation Fund grant and $28,500 from Supervisor Antonovich, the Department will develop a Golden Braille Trail along the last 1/8 mile on the existing Heritage Trail at Placerita Canyon Nature Center and Natural Area. The Golden Braille Trail will include several features: installation of an orientation area, with benches and Braille signage describing the trail; audio elements; curb guides allowing the visually-impaired to independently navigate the path; planting of fragrant and brightly colored (for low-vision visitors) native flora; high-contrast and Braille interpretive signs and interpretive opportunities through self-guided signage; and strategically placed points of interest to encourage a memorable experience.

In total, the Department of Parks and Recreation is contributing more than $80,000 in in-kind labor toward the completion of both projects.

“Once completed, these initiatives will further establish Placerita Canyon Natural Area’s standing as one of the region’s most beautiful and accessible natural destinations for generations to come,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Russ Guiney. “We are so grateful for the foresight of Supervisor Antonovich and the State of California, whose generosity and deep commitment to our natural areas is making these exciting projects possible. The Department takes great pride in the ongoing efforts of our grants team and subject matter experts, whose hard work continues to provide us with new opportunities to protect the County’s natural assets and expand the ways in which the public can enjoy them.”

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