Welcome to our Central Coast program page. We’ve tailored our local programs to benefit our core operation areas and to match our expertise. Hopefully, your visit to these pages indicates your interest in both conservation and philanthropy. Please take the time to read about each of our fund programs to find one that interests you and in which you see important benefits. 90% of your donation is deposited directly into a locally managed endowment fund of your choosing. When we find a project (property) that deserves support we are able to use a portion of the endowment to support, fully or in part, the purchase of a the property or the establishment of a conservation easement. Our hope is that our donors will support not only the essence of our programs but also the the enhancement of the lands and species they benefit. If you have suggestions of other projects and that would fit with our philosophy and goals, please let us know. We are also ready, willing, and able to work with you on tailoring your donation(s) to best suit your donor ideals.
At present we have three funds established for the Central Coast region. Here’s a brief description of each:
I. The Central Coast Agriculture-Wildlife Scholarship Fund
Each year, for every $100,000.00 invested in our Agriculture-Wildlife Scholarship Fund, we will award four $1,000.00 scholarships to graduating high school students entering study programs that focus on two primary disciplines:
- Sustainable, agricultural practices, especially programs with a biological basis or
- Conservation biology, especially in the field of land conservation and management
Candidates must show scholastic proficiency in related disciplines (e.g., agriculture, biology, mathematics, etc.); however, awardees will not be ranked on relative scholastic achievement but rather:
- General academic achievement
- Volunteer experience
- A successful work experience related to their chosen field, including working on a family farm or ranch (which may also be on a volunteer basis), and
- Letters of recommendation from professionals in a field related to anticipated academic pursuits.
Awardees will be determined on a competitive basis. Each awardee will be required to submit a completed application accompanied by two letters of recommendation from industry professions, at least one of whom served as the candidate’s supervisor in his/her volunteer or work position(s). The successful candidates will be chosen by a vote of The PCCA Board along with two local professionals working in the field of sustainable agriculture or conservation-oriented biology.
Successful candidates will be able to use their scholarships for tuition and/or academic supplies to support enrollment in a 2-year or 4-year college with a program-appropriate curriculum or in an alternative program with a similar expected outcome of proficiency in the arenas of sustainable agriculture or conservation biology.
II. The Central Coast Land Stewardship Fund
The primary goals of The PCCA’s Land Stewardship Fund are the acquisition of land and easements, development of recreational facilities, and restoration of wildlife habitat AND the raising of funds in order to augment other non-profits, Native American tribes, and local municipalities fulfill their wildland, parkland, and open space acquisition and restoration projects.
The lands and projects we target are instrumental in protecting our water resources & air quality; promoting tourism & healthy lifestyles; guaranteeing places to hunt, hike, fish; and providing the opportunity to recreate and explore close to our Central Coast homes.
Why are these lands of such high priority? Here are just a few reasons:
- Experiencing nature and the outdoors helps to refresh the mind from the mental fatigue of work or academic studies and contributes to improved work and scholastic performance and satisfaction.
- Urban nature, which we find in parks, greenways, and open space areas provides calming and inspiring environments that encourage learning, inquisitiveness, and an alert mind.
- Green spaces – such as greenbelts and parks – provide opportunities for physical activity & exercise, which improve cognitive function, learning, and memory.
- Contact with nature helps children to develop cognitive, emotional, and behavioral connections to a world so near (physically) yet so far (mentally) from everyday life.
- Nature experiences for young AND old are important for encouraging imagination and creativity, cognitive and intellectual development, and social relationships.
- Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in children can be reduced through activity in green settings, thus “green time” can act as an effective supplement to traditional medicinal and behavioral treatments.
- Outdoor activities can help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s, dementia, stress, and depression.
Join our efforts here in San Luis Obispo County to ensure safe areas to recreate; the protection of wildlife and natural landscapes; and contribute to the overall health of our communities . . . and follow these pages to watch our progress.
III. The Central Coast Conservation Easement Fund
There are three primary routes for voluntarily establishing conservation easements:
- Funded Conservation Easements – When the assessed value of the conservation easement is paid for by one or more funding organizations, groups, or agencies – usually due to the presence of sensitive species, declining habitats, and/or location within a migration or other conservation corridor. The landowner benefits from both the direct financial reward as well as additional tax benefits.
- Donated Conservation Easements – When a landowner donates the assessed value of the conservation easement for significant tax benefits.
- Combined Funding Source Conservation Easements – When a property for whatever reason has varying degrees of conservation value such that funding may be available only for a portion of the property.
Donations to The PCCA’s Conservation Easement Fund will be used to facilitate creation of donated easements (scenarios #2 and #3 above), especially to provide the financial support to pay legal & filing fees, document preparation, the cost of parcel splits (often necessary to partition off the residential portion of a ranch or farm for family and heirs to continue to enjoy), and other costs associated with establishing conservation easements over range, pasture, and other grazing lands. This fund may also be used to fund the limited management and monitoring required of conservation easement parcels.
Financial support for this program may be the deciding factor in many a landowners’ decision to preserve valuable lands in their current state for future generations to enjoy. Find out more about conservation easements and especially the Enhanced Easement Incentive on the CE pages of this Web site.