With support from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation and REI, native habitat and trails within the Laguna Greenbelt will be getting some much-needed help. The Laguna Canyon Foundation recently received grants totaling $35,000 to support their land stewardship program.
“The funds will strengthen our habitat restoration and stewardship efforts as we continue to enhance and improve the park’s natural and public resources,” says Max Borella, executive director of the Laguna Canyon Foundation. Working with OC Parks, Laguna Canyon Foundation will utilize the grants to support Laguna Beach’s Big Bend restoration project and to provide trail maintenance throughout the parks. “The parks have been open to the public for over a decade and every time we enter the wilderness we affect it. These grants will ensure that we properly address our impacts and that we work to restore impacted areas to a high standard for public access and natural resources,” says Borella.
Gimbel, the founder of the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, which donated $25,000, was an avid runner who loved the outdoors. “I think she would be very happy to know that her lasting legacy will support the trails she loved so much, and that it will allow the next generation to continue exploring and cherishing our remarkable wilderness,” says Derek Ostensen, president of Laguna Canyon Foundation.
REI, the utdoor recreation outlet store, donated $10,000 to LCF’s stewardship programs. “REI and Laguna Canyon Foundation have a proud history in Orange County supporting wilderness areas with National Trails Day projects, and local community donations and grants,” says Lyndie Bradshaw, REI’s local outreach specialist.
“We hope these grants are just the beginning,” says Ostensen, “and that they represent another positive step in linking the local community to this tremendous wilderness areas we have all worked so hard together to protect.”