Buy and Protect the San Marcos Foothills

Our mission is to purchase the undeveloped property next to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve at fair market value, to protect it forever as public open space, and to restore the native habitat.

Current Status:

$1,045,149 Raised plus $271,838 Pledged

$1,316,987 total!


Led by:

Channel Islands Restoration

The following organizations endorse this effort:


The Santa Barbara Audubon Society The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden More Mesa Preservation Society
Environmental Defense Center Citizen's Planning Association of Santa Barbara County Goleta Coast Audubon

Watch our new video about the property!



Do you have the means to contribute today? Click the button below to guarantee your support. If we are unsuccessful in purchasing the property, we will issue you a full refund.

Can't make an upfront contribution today? Fill out this form including your pledge amount and contact information, so that we can contact you if we're able to buy the property.



Our work in the news:



Click here to see a map of the project area.
So, you thought the San Marcos Foothills were protected? Well, you were partially right. Two hundred acres were protected by the County of Santa Barbara and constitute the San Marcos Foothills Preserve, but the rest was approved for development of single-family homes. Construction of new homes off Cieneguitas Road is being completed right now, and there are 8 more new homes are in the final stages of getting permits to build at the north end of Via Gaitero Road. Each new home would be about 5,000 square feet and would be accompanied by a guest house and associated development. All in all, the 8 new homes would occupy about 24 acres, and the remaining 80 acres would be permanent open space with a dedicated public trail. For more information about the development, click here. The part of the San Marcos Preserves that is about to be developed is what the development advertising calls "the Upper Preserve."

Final permits will soon be issued by the County to begin construction. Yet, there is a chance that the community of Santa Barbara could buy it from the owners, protect it, and add it to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve. We intend to pay the fair market price for the undeveloped land, which we estimate to be $5.5 million. However, we do not have an agreed upon selling price with the property owner. The actual purchase price may be higher. Let’s raise the money together as a community and make an offer to pay fair market value for the undeveloped land. We believe that we need to raise the money by November 1st.

The 104-acre property is currently undeveloped and we want to keep it that way. It provides important habitat for rare birds called white-tailed kites and other wildlife as well as native grasses and wildflowers that depend on grasslands for their survival. From the property there are views of the mountains, Santa Barbara, Goleta, the ocean, and islands.

Please join us and contribute today by clicking here or the button below. All funds that are donated to this effort will be deposited into an account only to be used for the purpose of acquisition of the property. If the effort fails, we promise to return all funds. It will help the effort if you a) donate, b) add your name and the name of your organization as a public supporter of the effort, and c) if you invite your friends to join you.

If you would like to make a significantly large donation - please contact Ken Owen.

Ken Owen
(805) 448-5726
ken@cirweb.org

To find out more about the San Marcos Foothills visit the county website and http://sanmarcosfoothills.com/



Do you have the means to contribute today? Click the button below to guarantee your support. If we are unsuccessful in purchasing the property, we will issue you a full refund.

Can't make an upfront contribution today? You can make a pledge without giving any money! Fill out this form including your pledge amount and contact information, so that we can contact you if we're able to buy the property.


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Entry to the upper preserve
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Dry summer grasslands on the upper preserve
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Grassland after the cave fire, looking towards mountains
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Grassland after the cave fire, looking towards ocean and islands