County board approves new park land in Rancho Santa Fe area

County residents who love to hike and tiny endangered birds got new spaces to stretch their feet and wings recently when San Diego County Supervisors approved adding new park land in the Rancho Santa Fe - 4S Ranch area.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved adding 31.15 acres of land, including sensitive southern maritime chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat, to the Lusardi Creek Preserve.

The new park land will provide protected refuge for the California gnatcatcher — the 4-and-a-half-inch-long, blue-gray non-migratory songbird that is on the federal endangered species list and one of hundreds of birds, plants, animals and habitats protected under the County’s Multiple Species Conservation Program. It will also set aside valuable riparian wetland area as well as southern maritime chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat.

The acquisition will also allow new hiking trails to be created for County residents. The property in the Lusardi Creek Preserve is expected to feature new trails that will ultimately connect with the San Dieguito River Park trail system, a project that will eventually connect a trail system that stretches from Del Mar to Volcan Mountain north of Julian.

— From County News Center