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The Point Lobos Foundation supports a wide range of Point Lobos Natural Reserve programs that maintain the crown jewel of the California State Parks while addressing the critical needs within the reserve.
Since its founding in 1978, the Foundation has raised over $1 million for projects and educational programs which in turn have helped the reserve create more trails, restore wildlife habitat, build a docent center, provide educational opportunities, and support summer programs for underserved.
In 2008 California Parks were faced with a critical budget shortfall. The Point Lobos Association (PLF) began planning for the possibility that the Reserve would be among the State Park units that were ordered closed. The Foundation created a plan that would avoid closure by providing increased operational funding to State Parks through the PLA (PLF). Because of this aggressive plan resulted in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve was able to remain open to the public despite the deep cuts in the State Park budget.
Membership participation and Donor support allow the Foundation to continue to build on present and future successes.
The following are some of the Major Projects that your membership and donations have funded:
- A new and comfortable docent center and administrative office was created by renovating an old storage building at the Reserve. In addition, the Center now provides meeting space for the Point Lobos volunteers and other personnel, houses the docent library and is the home for the interpretive equipment used for educational programs.
- The Foundations funds the needs of the docent group as it continues to provide interpretive and educational services to the public at The Information Station and The Whalers Cabin Museum, and through guided public walks.
- The Foundation funded a month-long 75th Anniversary Celebration at Point Lobos that was enjoyed by hundreds of people.
- The Foundation committed to contribute the increase cost of the map brochure sold by the PLA (PLF) at the Reserve into a special fund, which is expected to generate about $60,000 per year for Point Lobos trail maintenance.
- The Foundation committed $50,000 to an archeological survey for a new easy access trail at Bird Island. Construction will begin in 2011.
- The Foundation funded a pilot project to improve and standardize training for docents who lead school programs. In addition, the PLA (PLF) has committed to fund for two years the major portion of the cost of an individual to administer the programs.
- The Foundation funded the continuation of our school outreach program which brings approximately 5,000 school children (many of them underserved) to the Reserve each year.
- The Foundation provides $34,700 to fully support the docents. This money funds: Docent training to include training for selected docents as certified interpreters with the National Association of Interpreters; maintenance of the Docent Center, the Visitor Information Station, and the Whalers Cabin Museum; provision of interpretive resources such as binoculars, reference books, and audio-visual equipment; and administrative support.
- The Foundation supports the Point Lobos Summer Adventures Program, an environmental camp for youths of middle school and high school age. This program is funded almost entirely from individual donations and grants.
- The Foundation supports a docents led, monthly census of sea otters at Point Lobos; the information is sent to the state and other organizations to assist in the conservation of these animals.
- The Foundation also funds the publication of 30 different brochures that are available to visitors at no charge to aid in their enjoyment and education. These include Welcome to Point Lobos printed in 18 different languages, and educational brochures such as The Southern Sea Otter.
- The Foundation funds the stewardship of trails, habitat (including removal of invasive plants), historical buildings, and other Reserve infrastructure.