Hike, Study, Discover
An opinion by Amanda BerryLandscape Architect and Land F/X Support
The natural land around San Luis Obispo.
After moving to San Luis Obispo, California, I was struck by how much land in the region is dedicated to conservation and parks (and promptly took up hiking!). San Luis Obispo County has been expanding this area, and this article that popped up in a local newsletter really shows what can happen when protected greenspace is a priority.
A new species of spineflower, Chorizanthe aphanantha, was just discovered by an environmental consultant hired to conduct a biological assessment on 154 acres of newly protected area. It’s a great example of why local environmental protection, and assessments of already-protected areas, are so critical. Also, San Luis Obispo County’s public acceptance of increased conservation might not be so high if these reserves hadn’t been opened to the public through maintained trails and recreation opportunities for locals and visitors. It’s a win-win-win kind of policy!
Discoveries like this one in our own backyards are still possible, and we owe it to our future to make sure we understand the ecology that surrounds us. Without this expansion of a natural reserve, this species might never have been found, with legislators making decisions on development absent an understanding of its impact on the local ecosystem. This is a great example to keep in my back pocket for when I’m asked about the importance of preserving greenspace!
Visit the San Luis Obispo website for more information.