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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  
April 16, 2009

For More Information, Contact:
Melissa Figueroa (916) 651-4011    


SACRAMENTO - The State Senate Thursday voted to approve legislation to provide for creation of a regional park and open space district in Santa Cruz County.  SB 211, authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and co-authored by State Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Santa Cruz) is sponsored by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

“Santa Cruz County is something special,” said Simitian. “I’m hoping we can provide a framework for folks in the County to preserve and protect the County’s resources on a lasting basis.” And, Simitian added, “Not just the extraordinary open space and waterways, but the agriculture and working lands that give the County its character, and provide an extraordinary quality of life.”

Open space advocates want to form a countywide regional open space district with a directly-elected board of directors. Senate Bill 211 will allow the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to initiate the formation of a regional park and open space district within the county. Santa Cruz County voters, however, will ultimately vote to either approve or deny formation of the district. 

“Senate Bill 211 will allow Santa Cruz County to have our own discussion about the creation and funding of a potential open space district,” said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone. “Other larger Counties have been able to move forward in a similar manner and now we will have the same opportunity.”

“This is the vital first step towards local control of land conservation in Santa Cruz County,” said Terry Corwin, Executive Director of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. “This legislation will give the people of our county the ability to decide if we want to create a special district to permanently protect the lands that make our county special.”

To learn more about SB 211, please visit