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Environment

Nonprofits encouraged to register for Give BIG

givebiglogoThe Community Foundation serving the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside is currently accepting online applications from nonprofits that would like to participate in Give BIG San Bernardino County. Give BIG San Bernardino County is an exciting 24-hour event to increase philanthropy in San Bernardino County through online giving on Nov. 29. The goal of the campaign is to raise much-needed funds for nonprofits serving the residents of, and visitors to, San Bernardino County.

Nonprofit requirements include one year of nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, have a physical location within the County of San Bernardino zip codes, or provide itinerant services in the County of San Bernardino. National nonprofits are welcome if a local chapter serves the County of San Bernardino.

To submit an application, please visit www.givebigsbcounty.org. To learn more about the campaign and upcoming training, visit Give BIG San Bernardino County on Facebook (GiveBigSanBernardinoCounty), Twitter@GiveBigSBCounty, or visit our website at www.givebigsbcounty.org. For assistance, call The Community Foundation at 909.644.6221.
Thanks to funding and support from the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors and the contributions of generous sponsors, Give Big San Bernardino County is providing valuable training to nonprofits in the use of social media, cultivating relationships with donors, developing a communications plan, and raising much-needed funds from online donors. These online donations provide critical funding to help nonprofits in San Bernardino County not only address poverty but also other challenges the county residents face in the areas of education, health, the environment, public safety, family and youth services. Give BIG San Bernardino County also provides donors with an online giving platform, whose donations help to improve the quality of life for all through recreation, the arts, and more.

Environment Element Group takes step toward preservation

Joshua Tree WildflowersThe Countywide Vision Environment Element Group on Wednesday prioritized what additional research is needed to develop a comprehensive approach to the preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in San Bernardino County.

The Group selected as its next steps:

  • The creation of a countywide inventory of conservation lands in the county and establishment of a system for tracking new conservation land acquisitions
  • The completion of a detailed analysis of where threatened and endangered species live in comparison to known conservation lands to identify any gaps in protection of those focal species

This was the fourth time in the past year that the Group consisting of experts in environmental protection, land use, infrastructure, utilities, business and regulatory agencies has met to develop a plan for how to best balance habitat preservation and conservation with expected population and economic growth.

Dudek, an environmental and engineering consulting firm hired last year by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), has been assisting the Group with the creation of a framework and plan for developing a regional conservation approach.

The additional research tasks chosen by the Group were among the potential next steps suggested by Dudek. The Group decided it needed the information from the countywide conservation lands inventory and habitat gap analysis to better understand the benefits and limitations of possible conservation approaches.

The Group will request financial assistance from the County of San Bernardino and SANBAG to complete the research.

In December and January, the Group reached agreement on a set of policy and biological principles to guide future preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in a way that is beneficial for the health of the environment, the economy, and the citizens of San Bernardino County.

Last year, Dudek staff collected information about existing conservation efforts throughout the county. They provided the Environment Element Group with their insights from their interviews of officials with cities and towns, the County, regional planning and infrastructure entities, environmental protection groups, resource conservation districts, state and federal regulatory and resource agencies, including:

  • Some municipalities have addressed habitat conservation by designating lands as open space, adopting hillside protection ordinances, and preparation of individual habitat conservation plans.
  • State and federal wildlife agencies would like to see a connected and comprehensive approach to habitat conservation.

Anyone with valuable insights into conservation planning efforts anywhere in the county is encouraged to contact Josh Lee at SANBAG – jlee@sanbag.ca.gov.

Portion of Santa Ana River Trail receives $3.4 million in funding

SANTA ANA RIVER TRAILThe California Coastal Conservancy Board on Thursday approved $3.4 million for construction of a portion of the Santa Ana River Trail in San Bernardino County.

Once completed, the Santa Ana River Trail will be about 100 miles long and will connect the Inland Empire from the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach. Once complete, it will be one of the longest urban recreation river parkways in the United States.

The $3.4 million will be used for the construction of Phase 3 of the trail from Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino to California Street in Redlands. This trail segment consists of a paved bikeway – a shared use path that is physically separated from any street or highway and may be used by pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users, and other non-motorized users.

The funding is part of the Proposition 84 bond that allotted $45 million to the Santa Ana River Trail, giving each county $10 million towards their segment of the trail. The California Coastal Conservancy Board is the administrator of these grant funds.

Once accepted by the Board of Supervisors, the County can begin working on construction documents, permits and then construction of the next 3.8 miles of the trail. After completion of Phase 3, there will still be 11 miles of the trail to compete which could take approximately four more years.

To view a map of the Phase 3 segment, click here.

SANBAG, Vision project highlighted for environmental initiatives

VisionLogoSan Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the Countywide Vision project’s collaboration on effective climate and clean energy planning were highlighted in this article published by the Sustainable City Network.

“SANBAG became the focal point for a lot of the communication and a county-wide vision of the future,” said Steve Smith, director of planning for SANBAG. “In many ways, it paralleled work going on at the same time in the state legislature, focused on greenhouse gas reductions and sustainability, with an emphasis on regional responses.”

The Countywide Vision project’s environmental initiatives include a greenhouse gas reduction plan for 21 cities, a countywide habitat conservation framework, an active transportation program that features a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan, a home energy renovation opportunity program, transit-oriented development initiatives at six commuter rail stations, and a freight strategy for goods movement and air quality, Smith said.

SANBAG presented the work of the Countywide Vision at the 100th International City/County Management Association Conference held last month in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Read more from the Sustainable City Network here.

 

 

 

Environmental group meets on balancing preservation, growth

Environment EG mtg 140924Today, the Countywide Vision Environment Element Group consisting of experts in environmental protection, land use, infrastructure, utilities, business and regulatory agencies met to discuss draft principles for how to best balance habitat preservation and conservation with expected population and economic growth.

The draft principles were developed by Dudek, an environmental and engineering consulting firm hired earlier this year by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to complete a countywide habitat preservation and conservation study.

The study will help develop a recommended comprehensive structure and approach to the preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in a way that is beneficial for the health of the environment, the economy, and the citizens of San Bernardino County.

During the past several months, Dudek staff has collected information about existing conservation efforts throughout the county.

Dudek staff provided the Environment Element Group with their insights from their interviews of officials with cities and towns, the County, regional planning and infrastructure entities, environmental protection groups, resource conservation districts, state and federal regulatory and resource agencies, including:

  • Some municipalities have addressed habitat conservation by designating lands as open space, adopting hillside protection ordinances, and preparation of individual habitat conservation plans.
  • State and federal wildlife agencies would like to see a connected and comprehensive approach to habitat conservation.

Dudek staff also presented 15 draft policy and biological principles for habitat conservation to the Environment Element Group for its feedback, including:

  • Increase certainty for both the preservation/conservation of habitat as well as for land development and infrastructure permitting.
  • Recognize that San Bernardino County needs to have a growing economy to be able to afford the acquisition and ongoing management of habitat. Conservation efforts should complement the managed growth, economic development and population growth anticipated by Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).
  • Recognize that participating in a more comprehensive approach to conservation planning will be voluntary, but that participating in the more comprehensive approach will provide benefits for most of those participating.

Dudek staff will incorporate today’s input from the Environment Element Group into its analysis and its development of a recommended conservation framework and strategies.

The Environment Element Group will review Dudek’s recommendations later this year before a final report is provided to the SANBAG Board of Directors.

Anyone with valuable insights into conservation planning efforts anywhere in the county is encouraged to contact Stephanie Standerfer at Dudek – sstanderfer@dudek.com.

View the Countywide Habitat Preservation/Conservation Framework Presentation.

Environment Element Group initiates countywide habitat and preservation study

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Today, the Countywide Vision Environment Element Group consisting of experts in environmental protection, land use, infrastructure, utilities, business and regulatory agencies met to discuss the initiation of a countywide habitat preservation and conservation study.

The study will help develop a recommended comprehensive structure and approach to the preservation and conservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in a way that is beneficial for the health of the environment, the economy, and the citizens of San Bernardino County.

Dudek, an environmental and engineering consulting firm hired by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to complete the study this year, will facilitate the Group’s input into the creation of conservation strategies.

Dudek will collect and evaluate information about existing conservation efforts throughout the County over the next several months.

The Environment Element Group will act as ambassadors to the study by providing feedback to Dudek, assisting with gathering data and reports and reviewing documents produced during the process.

Anyone with valuable information about historical and ongoing conservation planning efforts anywhere in the county is encouraged to contact Stephanie Standerfer at Dudek – sstanderfer@dudek.com.

View the Conservation Study Presentation by Dudek here.

Transforming communities through collective impact discussed at City-County Conference

partners in progressCity, county and local government leaders convened in at the 14th Annual City-County Conference in Lake Arrowhead on March 24-25 to discuss unique ways to collaborate and bring innovative ideas to meet challenges in our communities.

The conference themed “Partners in Progress” began with a presentation on the benefits of collective impact in solving society’s complex problems.

Collective impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success, said Jennifer Splansky Juster, director of the Collective Impact Forum at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm.

Juster highlighted the use of collective impact used in by officials in New York state who were struggling with recidivism of  their juvenile offenders. By tapping state resources in the areas such as mental health, housing, and corrections, the state reduced the number of juveniles in state custody by 45 percent.

This model has been used across the country to tackle some of the most serious social issues, including the education system in Cincinnati, malnutrition in low socioeconomic status communities, substance abuse in teens, and childhood obesity.  This model holds promise as a successful approach to the Cradle to Career goal of the Countywide Vision.

healthymuralSan Bernardino County Director of Public Health Trudy Raymundo led a lively discussion about healthy communities using artists who drew a mural showing what healthy communities look like based on a wish list received from conference attendees.

Their answers ranged from clean air, to a general plan that promotes diversity in housing amenities, to bike and walking paths and recreation centers.

Barbara Alejandre, assistant to the County Superintendent of Schools joined San Bernardino County Director of Preschool Services Diana Alexander to talk about education’s role in the economy of our region.

Education is an excellent investment in a region’s overall economic vitality, and improves social, environmental, and cultural factors as well. The Countywide Vision Cradle to Career Roadmap was developed to bring all sectors of our community together to support every child’s path to the workforce.

Already underway in the Colton Joint Unified School District are Community Cabinets of educators, parents, community members and business leaders working together to develop concrete goals -such as reading by third grade – to help children excel in school and build the skills necessary to sustain themselves into adulthood.

Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford and the County’s Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux discussed County government’s roles and responsibilities and how those duties relate to a county’s incorporated cities.

devereauxcitycountyCounties have four basic functions: provide municipal services in unincorporated areas, provide the backbone infrastructure, provide health and human services and law enforcement and justice.

Cities and counties have major differences in function and they are not the same in structure and legal abilities, Devereaux said. However, cities and counties can find ways to collaborate and work with each other on major issues to reach common goals.

The conference was sponsored by the County of San Bernardino, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

 

SANBAG awarded environmental grant

coloradoriverIn support of the efforts of Countywide Vision Environment Element Group, Southern California Association of Governments has awarded a grant to San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) for creation of an inventory of existing species and habitat preservation efforts throughout the county and development of strategies for future coordination of conservation efforts. SANBAG plans to hire a consultant to assist the Environment Element Group pending availability of the $50,000 grant funds. SANBAG plans to support the project with $20,000 in matching funds and $20,000 in staff support.

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