Rachel Roberts, North Regions Graduate Student Intern, County of San Diego
For more than 30 years the Fallbrook Land Conservancy has led efforts to preserve open spaces in Fallbrook and Bonsall to ensure native habitat and open spaces exist for species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The Conservancy’s protection of these environments allows residents to engage in physical activities such as walking, hiking, and bike riding, all of which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown to improve health and reduce chronic diseases.
Karla Standridge is the Executive Director and Preserve Manager of Fallbrook Land Conservancy and she helps to coordinate the preservation efforts for more than 2,000 acres of permanently protected open space and 950 acres of conservation easements. “On average, more than 3,500 people per month hike or walk on trails such as Monserate Mountain,” shared Standridge.
To get the local community involved in the conservation efforts, the organization held its annual Summer Spruce Up event at the Los Jilgueros Preserve on July 20, 2019. The Conservancy partnered with local schools, other community-based non-profits, and Fallbrook residents of all ages to pick up litter, trim vegetation and remove invasive plants that can overcrowd the native habitat. Volunteers also helped make over two miles of trails safer for people to walk, hike and bike.
“Over 40 volunteers collected trash and helped remove non-native plants so that native vegetation could flourish,” said Heather Welch, an administrator for Fallbrook Land Conservancy. “One of the most inspiring parts of the day was watching our youngest volunteers help out.”
Throughout the day, Fallbrook Land Conservancy staff and board members taught volunteers about native California plants and animals in the Los Jilgueros Preserve and the critical role of protecting open spaces.
“Preservation efforts helped kids learn about stewardship of native habitats,” said Standridge. “It was great to see kids interact with other children and adults in outdoor activities.”
For more information regarding other activities led by the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, please visit fallbrooklandconservancy.org.