Press release from Green Diamond:
Last week the California Natural Resources Agency announced successful grant applications, including awarding $3,877,928 to create the McKinleyville Community Forest.
Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said “We are excited to award these grants to support organizations and local governments that are committed to expanding and improving access to the outdoors.”
The funds for this grant were made available thanks to Proposition 68, which was passed by voters in 2018. The 553-acre tract is located along the eastern boundary of McKinleyville and lies south of Murray Road, extending to near Hunts Drive. The property is currently owned by Green Diamond Resource Company.
“We are very excited that we received the grant for the community forest. This will be a wonderful asset for the enjoyment of our residents. Much thanks to our staff that worked with The Trust for Public Land and Green Diamond to make this happen,” said former MCSD President Mary Burke.
Pat Kaspari, MCSD General Manager added there is still more work to be done. “We will need to finalize the purchase agreement with The Trust for Public Land and will be working with adjacent landowners to secure additional access points and parking areas. We look forward to engaging with the community to help design the trail system and address the other challenges of this exciting project.”
The Trust for Public Land’s California Senior Project Manager John Bernstein noted: “The Trust for Public Land has helped create community forests across the country and this project builds on that legacy and will provide McKinleyville with access to parks, forests and open spaces, while ensuring the property will be preserved and protected from development. The Proposition 68 grant process is highly competitive and we are grateful for the state’s investment and are thankful to MCSD and Green Diamond for their partnership in making this project a reality.”
The tract is currently commercial timberland and has been actively managed by Green Diamond. “We recognize this tract serves as the backdrop to the McKinleyville community and is uniquely situated to provide recreational opportunities for hiking, biking and horse trails immediately adjacent to the center of McKinleyville. There is also the opportunity for continued forest management by the Services District on portions of the property,” said Jason Carlson, General Manager and Vice President for Green Diamond. Carlson also noted that Green Diamond is continuing to work with The Trust for Public Land to secure a conservation easement on the majority of the remainder of the McKinleyville Tract that would prevent any future subdivision of the property.
About the Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.