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Army Of Volunteers Supported By Employers Works To Enhance South Coast Nature Preserve

Earth Day is coming up April 22nd, with big events planned for Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.

But, about 150 people got into the spirit this week with the support of their employers, as they spent part of their work days helping to improve a South Coast nature preserve.

They are a team of volunteers taking part in a project to enhance the “Big Rock Nature Preserve,” a scenic section of land along the Ventura River northwest of Ventura.

Derek Poultney, the Executive Director of the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, which is the non-profit group which owns the land, says it’s a project to repair trails damaged by recent storms, remove invasive weeds, and help provide nutrients for young trees.

The crew comes from some Ventura and Santa Barbara County based companies which are part of The Conservation Alliance. It’s a three decade old group of environmentally, and socially conscious companies like REI, Deckers, Patagonia, and Toad&Co.

On April 22nd, which is Earth Day, another set of corporate volunteers, 150 workers from Starbucks stores around the region, will continue work on this project at Big Rock Nature Preserve.

While the focus is improving this scenic stretch of land off of Highway 33 south of Foster Park, the hope is these projects will also help raise awareness about the free hiking and biking trails which are open to the public.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.