Santa Barbara Land Trust Conservation | Midland School

Why Protect This Land

Spring 2021

Under Midland’s conservation easement in partnership with the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County, we protect the unique ecology that makes Santa Barbara County one of the top 35 global biodiversity hotspots. The Jewel flower — one of the rarest annual plants in North America — flourishes atop an outcropping of green Serpentine rock. Hardy chaparral and coastal sage scrub cover the slopes of the property’s furthest reaches. The area’s dwindling blue oak woodland makes a comeback on Midland’s property, helped along by a student-faculty reforestation project. 

The site of Soxtonokmu, the largest Chumash village in the Santa Ynez Valley, can be found at the base of the Serpentine outcropping, in clear view of Grass Mountain’s steep slopes.

Unique geologic features including a 100 million year old fault and four distinct soil types provide a multitude of opportunities for exploration and education. 

Midland’s land is the home of a variety of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and a variety of raptors.  The existence of only one paved road in the area and the expanse of uninterrupted habitat provided by Midland, Sedgwick Preserve (also in partnership with the Land Trust), and Los Padres National Forest ensures lots of available habitat for local wildlife and maximizes the benefits of land conservation. 

As part of the easement, we have the pleasure of opening up 35 miles of trails to the public, allowing the greater community to access this beautiful area that we are helping to preserve. You can help us protect this land into the next century here and find more information about trailheads and trail access here.

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