A $15,000 grant from outdoor retailer REI will help maintain trails in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, which borders Laguna Beach.
“We have seen a dramatic increase in the park’s use over the past 10 years,” said Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Max Borella, estimating that 200,000 or more hikers, bikers, equestrian and dog walkers use the park’s 30 miles of trails. “With this use comes trail erosion, rutting and trail widening, which exasperates trail user conflicts, makes the trails less safe and reduces habitat. In addition, there is an increase of user conflicts every month which we would like to reduce.”
Specifically the funds will be used to expand LCF’s volunteer presence in Aliso and Wood Canyons, work with park rangers to help coordinate trail maintenance projects and conduct outreach about safe trail practices. “We need to empower park users to protect it and become better stewards of the land. Having a safe and sustainable network of trails is paramount to this effort,” he said.
“REI grants support volunteerism for legacy projects in Orange County. These projects will continue to inspire people to stay involved in supporting our wilderness areas,” said Lyndie Bradshaw, an REI spokeswoman.