Rancho Santa Fe Foundation gives a donation to benefit Ewing Preserve

RSF Association-Foundation
RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen, RSF Foundation Board Chairman Ed Blodgett, RSF Foundation President Chris Sichel, RSF Association board President Dan Comstock.
(Kiersten Dyer)

The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation recently donated $100,000 to the Rancho Santa Fe Association in support of fire safety and brush clearing efforts on the Ewing Preserve. Rancho Santa Fe Foundation President and CEO Chris Sichel passed over the giant check at the March 2 board meeting to commemorate the “trusted and treasured” community partnership in the management of the Ewing Preserve.

“We’re thrilled to award this historic grant from our Open Space Fund to ensure the Ewing Preserve remains a safe and accessible place for all San Diegans to learn and enjoy,” said Sichel in a news release. “Environmental protection in our region is a fundamental part of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation’s goal to support a more resilient and sustainable future for all.”

Last year, the RSF Foundation gifted the Association with the Ewing, a 24.7 acre parcel of eucalyptus forest, limestone and rare plants in the southeast portion of the Covenant, stretching between Linea Del Cielo and Via De Alba.

The Ewing Preserve property was deeded to the Foundation from the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy (now known as the Nature Collective) back in 1984. Since 1989, the RSF Association has maintained the preserve’s trails and managed vegetation removal on the property. Over the years, the RSF Foundation assisted with several tree removal projects with capital from the Open Space Fund.

The Foundation’s contract with the Association stipulates that the property shall forever be used as open space and as a dedicated natural area preserve.

While the property has great conservation and recreational value, the Association’s main goal in the acquisition is fire safety and there are many areas of fire risk in the preserve, with many of its eucalyptus trees dead or dying. The funds awarded will help protect several rare native plant species that make their home in the area by mitigating fire risk.

“The Rancho Santa Fe Association thanks the Foundation for the generous donations of the Ewing Preserve and the funds for fire mitigation on the property,” said RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen in a news release. “We are committed to making our community more resistant to wildfires and the contribution from the Foundation helps us further these important efforts. We are grateful for the long, collaborative relationship with and support from the Foundation.”