Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy

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The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is a non-profit organization that is based in Palos Verdes, CA, whose mission is "Preserving land and restoring habitat for the enjoyment and education of all." Founded in 1988, the PVPLC has protected 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) of open space as nature preserves on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.[1]

A trail on the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Preserves[edit]

White Point Nature Preserve[edit]

The White Point Nature Preserve is located in San Pedro and features 102 acres (0.41 km2) of restored coastal sage scrub habitat, hiking and handicap access trails, and a new Nature Education Center overlooking the ocean and Santa Catalina Island.

Defense Fuel Supply Point[edit]

The Defense Fuel Supply Point in San Pedro provides storage for military fuel reserves and is also home to the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis), the “rarest butterfly on earth”. The DFSP mission is a restricted facility which receives, stores, and distributes diesel and jet fuels for military use in California, Arizona and Nevada. Coastal sage scrub is juxtaposed within pipelines and storage tanks, providing habitat for the Palos Verdes blue butterfly as well as the threatened California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica), a small gray bird that is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Linden H. Chandler Preserve[edit]

The Linden H. Chandler Preserve is a 28.5-acre (115,000 m2) property located in Rolling Hills Estates. Owned jointly by the City of Rolling Hills Estates and the Land Conservancy, intensive habitat restoration efforts have added native wildflowers and shrubs to the hillsides. Trails traverse its slopes and grasslands, passing by a recently restored wetland area. The Linden H. Chandler Preserve was created in 1993 through a sale and donation of property by the Chandler heirs, who wanted to see the land preserved in their father's name, who was the founder of Chandler's Palos Verdes Sand and Gravel in Rolling Hills Estates.

Palos Verdes Nature Preserve[edit]

Aerial view of the preserved land on the coast

The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve is the largest of the PVPLC's preserves consisting of approximately 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of rolling hills, steep canyons and rock outcrops, with natural habitat and views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes owns most of the land, which has been acquired over the past twenty years and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy manages the preserve.[2] The preserve is made up of several properties including: Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve, Agua Amarga Reserve, Alta Vicente Reserve, Portuguese Bend Reserve, Forrestal Reserve, Three Sisters Reserve, San Ramon Reserve, Vicente Bluffs Reserve, and Vista Del Norte Reserve.[3]

Lunada Canyon Reserve[edit]

The Lunada Canyon Reserve is a 20-acre (81,000 m2) canyon that was given to the Conservancy by the E.K Zuckerman family in 1992. It makes up part of the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve.

George F. Canyon[edit]

The 36-acre (150,000 m2) George F. Canyon Nature Center is owned by the City of Rolling Hills Estates and operated by the Conservancy. A nature trail passes through one of the largest canyons on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Visitors walk or ride on horseback through willow-riparian and coastal sage scrub habitats, culminating in a view of the Los Angeles basin. The George F Canyon Nature Center provides educational and recreational programs which invite the community to enjoy and learn more about the Canyon. The Nature Center provides a variety of changing exhibits so that visitors hopefully see something new with each visit.[4] Exhibits focus on themes such as butterflies, birds of the canyon, insects, plant habitats, animals and wildflowers. The 36-acre (150,000 m2) space was contributed to the city of Rolling Hills Estates by Robert and Roland Stein, Sandra Stein Haveson and Arthur Hale Sr. in Memory of David N. Stein, Francis H. Stein and Marie D. Hale.

Science and education[edit]

The Conservancy is strong in its effort to save the landscape from past degradation from urbanization, agriculture uses, and the introduction of invasive foreign species. Through their Nursery and Education programs they hope to effectively restore the habitat.

Local partnerships[edit]

Partnerships with local schools provide learning opportunities for many students. The PVPLC has developed an exciting partnership with the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Environmental Science AP class. In 2009, local students helped plant several acres in the Lunada Canyon preserve and then returned to weed their plantings. The PVPLC has worked with numerous Eagle Scouts, Girl Scouts and local groups such as the Lions Club to develop projects for them to help them achieve their awards while benefiting the local environment.

Youth Education Program[edit]

Youth Education programs include a third-grade nature walk program and partnerships with local schools and groups. They have developed a partnership with the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School AP Environmental Science class. This year, students helped plant several acres in the Lunada Canyon preserve and then returned to weed their plantings. The PVPLC has worked with numerous Eagle Scouts, Girl Scouts and local groups such as the Lions Club to develop projects for them. These collaborations help them achieve their awards while benefiting the local environment.

3rd Grade students on a nature hike

Third-Grade Nature Walk Program[edit]

This annual program adapts California's third grade science standards to the local ecology. Every third grade student in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, one private school in Palos Verdes, four San Pedro schools and one Lomita elementary school are part the program. Last year, over 1300 schoolchildren were served directly by this program. The nature walk program consists of a four-part, in-class educational unit covering local ecology, native plants, geology, history, Native-American culture, mammals, reptiles and insects. Lessons are taught by Land Conservancy educators and trained docents, with assistance from classroom teachers. Samples of plant materials, rocks, animal specimens and other teaching aids help students gain a hands-on understanding of the concepts presented.

Activities and fundraisers[edit]

Spring For White Point[edit]

Spring for White Point is an annual fundraiser that directly benefits the White Point Nature Preserve. It starts with a self-guided tour of several homes of different styles to properly reflect the diversity of architecture and landscaping in the San Pedro community. Following the tour, ticket holders are invited to a wine/hors d'oeuvres reception with musical entertainment and silent auction at the White Point Nature Education Center.

Nature walks[edit]

About every few weeks the PVPLC will host a nature walk in one of its many preserves. Their walk leaders help walkers learn more about the Palos Verdes Peninsula such as the birds, wildlife, and plants that live in the canyons and undeveloped areas, and about the unique geology of the Peninsula. All walks are free.

See also[edit]

References[edit]