Tuesday, February 2, 2010

VHC Land Donation

Ventura Hillsides Conservancy Receives Third Land Donation

This donation builds on 2 other donations near Foster Park that will help preserve the floodplain in the long-term vision to create a 'River Parkway.' Protecting the floodplain from future development benefits water quality, habitat and public access.

Press release Ventura, CA (January 25, 2010). The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy is the recipient of a third donation of land to add to its conservation holdings. The gift came from Ventura County residents Donald Moore and Gary Moore.

The parcel, consisting of approximately ½ acre, is adjacent to the two parcels donated to the Conservancy in 2009 by the Waldo Trust. The Moore and Waldo properties are located between the Ventura River and the Ventura River Trail to the south of Foster Park.

Donald Moore, who lives in Ojai, and his younger brother, Gary Moore, who lives in Ventura, donated the scenic riverside property that they inherited from their parents, Leslie Moore and Neva Moore. The family chose to give the acreage to the local land trust to ensure that it would protected as open space, said Donald Moore. Gary Moore added that he was pleased to give the lush riparian area to the Conservancy because “it should be protected from development.”

Like the Waldo Trust parcels, the Moore property is a remnant of a larger lot that once fronted Ventura Avenue, and was created from the old Rancho Santa Ana subdivision. As children, the brothers recall living in a house on land that is now part of the Ojai Freeway (State Route 33). They have fond memories of playing in and around the Ventura River. “It was a vibrant neighborhood” says Gary Moore. “It was a great place for a kid to grow up. I spent most of my early childhood in the river bottom and climbing the nearby hill. I rolled through so much poison oak that I basically became immune to it. I also remember that there were no leash laws back then and everyone seemed to have a dog running around. It truly was a special place.”

When the state built the Freeway in the 1960s, large portions of the Moore, Waldo, and neighboring properties were taken through eminent domain, leaving a string of remnant parcels along the riverside west of the State right of way. The remnant parcel donated by the Moore family had remained in the Moore family’s ownership since that time.

The Moores were very pleased to have found an organization that will hold and care for their family’s property. “We know the property is in good hands now, and that is comforting to us” says Gary Moore. “I encourage other owners of Ventura River land and hillside land to donate to the Conservancy. They are our local protectors of open space land, so we all should support their mission.”

In the news: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/jan/29/resorting-the-river-parcel-by-parcel/