Our Role

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County purchased the Pismo Preserve in 2014 and immediately got to work making visitor-friendly updates to the property. In 2017, we assisted with this effort by supplying a loan to the Land Conservancy so that it could create a paved trail, compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. This new trail will allow wheelchair users, bikers, hikers and horseback-riders to enjoy the Preserve’s coastal vistas, oak studded canyons and coastal streams. On top of this ADA-compliant trail and 11 miles of other newly-constructed trails on the property, The Land Conservancy is constructing a parking lot, picnic shelter and restroom facilities, amenities that will help visitors gain more enjoyment out of Pismo Preserve. The loan also supported another Land Conservancy project in the region: the construction of the Octagon Barn Center, which will serve as a location for community gatherings, meetings and educational programs on the history of agriculture in the county.

“The Pismo Preserve project literally would not be where it is today without The Conservation Fund. The Preserve will serve our community for generations to come, and we are incredibly grateful to the Fund’s team for making it possible.”

–Kaila Dettman, Executive Director, Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County

Our Pismo Preserve loan is one of 360 loans totaling more than $212 million that the Conservation Loans program has granted to our partners.

Why this Project Matters

With its stunning views of the ocean, vast fields and oak woodlands prime for hiking, the Pismo Preserve is a beautiful place to recreate. Increasing access to the outdoors for all people is one of The Conservation Fund’s main objectives, and we are glad that this walkway will provide improved access to this region’s beauty for locals and visitors alike. The Preserve fills a critical need for easily-reachable natural spaces in southern San Luis Obispo County, and it’s estimated that thousands of people each week will visit the site.

Photo credit: Kaila Dettman

In addition, when the Land Conservancy purchased this land, it discovered a previously unrecorded indigenous Northern Chumash cemetery on the property. The Land Conservancy has worked closely with the Chumash to ensure their relationship to this land is honored, and have re-designed their construction plans so that the cemetery is not disturbed. This land also contains important habitat and sensitive coastal streams, making its protection key for California wildlife. We are grateful for partners like the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County for their hard work in conserving natural spaces like these.