The BVAS Ridgway’s Rail Society Fund was established in May, 2014, to support BVAS's efforts to acquire two properties for conservation. It is comprised of BVAS members, individual members of the community, conservation groups, service groups, private foundations, corporations, and public entities.
At its inception, the Fund was dedicated to raising funds to purchase two specific parcels of land, as well as acquiring funds for their eventual restoration and management. The BVAS Board set an initial goal of raising $1 million for the Fund.
By January, 2016, BVAS had raised a total of $1,560,000 to complete the acquisition of the 3.55-acre parcel across the street from the BVAS Nature Center (BV Wetlands Reserve). The funds came from generous contributions from members of the community, $50,000 grants each from Preserve Calavera, North County Advocates, and the Wimberly Fund at Audubon California, and a grant of $1.350 million from the California Wildlife Conservation Board. With this acquisition, BVAS became a landowner for the first time in its 65-plus years of existence.
Meanwhile, BVAS was seeking funding to acquire a second piece of property, in north Oceanside (now known as the BVAS Andy Mauro Nature Preserve). With the help of Land Conservation Brokerage, Inc, BVAS entered into a partnership with the United States Marine Corps; the USMC paid half of the $1.56 million acquisition costs, and all of the restoration and long-term management costs. The CA Natural Resources Agency awarded BVAS $700,000 towards the land acquisition costs. BVAS reached out to the community to fill the funding gap; donations from members covered $40,000 of the shortfall. And CA Audubon's Wimberly Fund ($25,000), North County Advocates ($20,000), and the Malk Nature Fund ($30,000) covered the rest. BVAS closed escrow on the property June 30, 2017.
Now that BVAS acquired both properties, what will the Ridgways' Rail Society Fund be used for?
BVAS envisions that restoration of the BV Wetlands Reserve will be folded into the BV Lagoon Enhancement project; however, we still need funds for current land management activities, such as removal of invasive weeds and trash, erosion control,trail maintenance, and signage. While the Marine Corps is covering the San Luis Rey property restoration and management costs, BVAS will be using our own source of funds for some of the land management efforts, as well as miscellaneous costs.
BVAS continues to raise funds for future land acquisitions. Whether we purchase the land ourselves or assist other organizations in their acquisition efforts, with the ever-shrinking remaining wildlands and native wildlife habitats in North County, it is vital to continue seeking these opportunities for permanently protecting land.
The Ridgway's Rail Society Fund will be used as a means to acquire and manage funds for the conservation-related activities described above. Advocacy for strong protection of wildlands, wildlife habitat, and clean watersheds is another important piece of BVAS's Conservation Mission. The Ridgway’s Rail Society Fund also helps with advocacy-related costs, such as outreach and education, and supporting other non-profits and coalitions with their advocacy efforts.
The Fund will be allowed to accumulate in an investment or interest-bearing account until such time as the appropriate conservation-related opportunities occur. All donors to the Ridgway’s Rail Society Fund will receive official recognition by BVAS.
Conservation Through Education, Advocacy, Land Management, and Monitoring
Buena Vista Audubon
PO Box 480
Oceanside, CA 92049
Tuesday 10 am-4 pm
Wednesday 10 am-4 pm
Thursday 10 am-4 pm
Friday 10 am-4 pm
Saturday 10 am-4 pm