Ocean Views and Connecting Trails, Forever

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North County’s Harbaugh Seaside Trails Showcases the Dedication of Our Communities in Preserving Open Space

We are saving this view together.

The three-acre Harbaugh Seaside Trails is a testament to community support and passion for saving and enhancing rare coastal open spaces. Our work on the project started in 2011 when we acquired the commercial property with the assistance of community members who generously loaned us $3.75 million dollars to purchase the property.

With the help of more than 1,200 people, including The Harbaugh Foundation, we were able to pay back the loan and work with the City of Solana Beach to have the property designated from commercial to permanent open space.

The late George & Betty Harbaugh. The Harbaugh Foundation was founded by George Harbaugh after the passing of his wife Betty. George wanted to ensure that the family estate is invested to better the lives of others.

Story Poles along Coast Highway 101 were set in place to show the impact a hotel would make on this 3-acre piece of property.

Restoring this land involved removing asphalt that covered a third of the site, and 99% of the invasive vegetation that had taken over the land. There will now be four different plant communities on the property, highlighting the diverse native plants of Southern California. These communities will include: California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum); California sagebrush (Artemisia californica); and pink sand verbena (Abronia umbellate) (link to plant guide). This revegetation will provide habitats for local birds, including the threatened Coastal California Gnatcatcher.

With a fresh start, we are now working to create new features that will allow visitors to better experience the open space and enjoy trail connectivity between coastal cities and into San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. These features include a viewing deck, a donor monument with seating, and a new trail that will lead under the train tracks and into San Elijo Lagoon. The viewing deck will overlook the West Basin and provide sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

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