Lead Art LTSCC
Civic Group
Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

Years active: 43

Their story: The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County's mission is to protect, care for, and connect people to the extraordinary lands that make this area special.

They are dedicated to protecting and caring for the lands we love. They protect both working lands, like farms and timberland, and natural lands with high conservation value – safeguarding water supplies, wildlife habitats, and open space.

In 2011 the Land Trust completed a Conservation Blueprint for Santa Cruz County. The Blueprint calls for the protection of 50,000 priority acres in our county and will guide the Land Trust's work through 2035. To date, the Land Trust has protected 14,000 acres by working with willing landowners and land conservation partners.

Fundraising focus: Projects focus on connecting people and wildlife to the nature all around us. Fundraising efforts go directly to:

β€’ Building public trails: The Land Trust builds public access trails to create opportunities for community members to get outside and experience the outdoors. In the next three years, they will build over 31 miles of new trails.

β€’ Protecting unique wild lands and promoting wildlife connectivity: Santa Cruz is home to an abundance of unique and rare plants and animals. Using their conservation blueprint as a guide, the Land Trust protects rare ecosystems like the Santa Cruz Sandhills, which are home to seven species of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. They prioritize wildlife connectivity by building wildlife tunnels and protecting land in key wildlife corridors.

β€’ Protecting farmland: The Pajaro Valley's rich agricultural land is a critical resource for our community. The Land Trust works with landowners to ensure the land in production will remain farmland for generations to come.

Project updates: The Land Trust is working to connect you – and wildlife – to the nature all around us. They are building trails for people, crossings for wildlife, and protecting the wildlands that make this area so remarkable. During the next few years, they will be able to:

  • Complete construction of the Highway 17 wildlife crossing and protect 2,600 acres at Rocks Ranch for a Highway 101 wildlife crossing.
  • Build 16 miles of new trails including the first 7.5 miles of trails at San Vicente redwoods.
  • Care for the 14,000 acres of farmland and rare habitat we have protected.