The 20th Anniversary

Celebrating 20 Years of Preservation, Restoration, and Education

The Habitat Authority celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014 as a government park agency. With the community’s support over 3,800 acres are managed as the Puente Hills Preserve by the Habitat Authority. During the past 20 years the Habitat Authority has 1) purchased 1,888 acres in the Puente Hills, 2) conducted restoration of 179 acres of native habitat, and is in the process of restoring an additional 30 acres (209 in total), and 3) has conducted outdoor educational programming for over 13,000 people from local communities. See the below Timeline of Milestones for more information about our accomplishments.

 

Anniversary event supporters included donations from:

 

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Anniversary Activities:

Photo Contest: Thank you to all who participated. Click here to see the winners and all who submitted photos.

 


Essay Contest: Thank you to the almost 100 participants! Winners will receive an award certificate and prize. The winning essays are featured below, and will be displayed at the September 27th anniversary celebration. Also, 1st place winners will receive certificates for one-year family membership at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (good until June 30, 2015). Membership benefits includes: Free admission to the Garden, special admission offers at nearly 300 other botanical gardens, and discounts at Grow Native Nursery, the Garden Gift Shop, special events and classes. A value of $75. Environmental Steward Award winners will receive a 6-pack of admission passes to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Congratulations to the three 1st Place Winners:

Also, congratulations to our three Environmental Steward Awardees:


Preserve Passport: Thank you to all that participated.

 

 

TIMELINE OF MILESTONES

1994
  • Joint powers agreement creating the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority (Habitat Authority) was signed by member agencies.
1996
  • First wildlands acquisition, Powder Canyon, 517 acres in La Habra Heights.
  • First wildlands acquisition in Hacienda Heights, 63 acres located at the end of 7th Avenue.
  • Entered into agreements with the City of Whittier and Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to manage these agencies’ preserved wildlands.
  • Hired Rangers to manage the hills.
1997
  • Established a nine-member Citizens Technical Advisory Committee (CTAC) made up of representatives from the communities of Whittier, La Habra Heights, and the unincorporated areas of Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights in Los Angeles County.
1998
  • First habitat restoration project in the hills began (15.7 acres, Arroyo San Miguel). Habitat restoration eliminates non-native weeds and replaces or restores vegetation to its natural state of native plants. This process increases the biological diversity of the hills increasing the health of the ecosystem as a whole.
1999
  • Completed first Jr. Ranger Program, an outdoor educational experience offered at no cost to local schools and community groups.
2000
  • Hired first staff member, full-time Executive Director.
2002
  • Constructed and opened (on March 9) the Arroyo Pescadero Trailhead, Whittier. Entrance gate was designed by Whittier Cal High School students. Project construction was funded by Los Angeles County Proposition A.
2003
  • Constructed and opened (on March 29) the Powder Canyon Trailhead in La Habra Heights, providing parking and a horse riding ring for recreational enjoyment.
  • Hired staff Ecologist to help manage preserved wildlands based on ecological principles.
2004
  • On May 12 the Habitat Authority celebrated its 10th anniversary as a public agency.
  • Hired third staff member, Administrative Assistant, to join management team.
2005
  • Constructed and opened (on September 22) the Hacienda Hills Trailhead at the end of 7th Avenue, with entrance gates designed by Los Altos High School students. Partial funding for creation of a bioswale was provided by the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, CA Proposition 40.
  • Hired fourth staff position, Park Interpreter, to lead education and volunteer opportunities.
2006
  • In partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and California State Parks, the Harbor Boulevard Wildlife Underpass was opened, ensuring the habitat linkage between Chino Hills and the western Puente Hills and enabling a more ecologically selfsustaining Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor. This is the first purpose built wildlife underpass built in Los Angeles County.
2007
  • Adopted the Preserve’s Resource Management Plan and Trails Plan to guide all of the Habitat Authority’s preservation efforts and identification of optimal trails.
  • Approved the Docent Training Manual, funded in part by the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy in cooperation with the California Native Habitat Endowment Fund.
2008
  • With the assistance of the National Parks Service’s Conservation and Trails Recreation Program, developed maps for all Habitat Authority trails for ease of public access and use. They are found at all trailheads and on our website, www.HabitatAuthority.org.
2009
  • Launched the Hills Alive outdoor educational program based on state science standards that is available to local schools, therefore doubling outreach efforts.
  • Held first training session in the spring and again in the fall for volunteer docents to assist with outdoor education programs.
  • To date, 12 biological studies or surveys, and 7 other research reports about the hills have been commissioned by the Habitat Authority.
2010
  • Held first training session in the spring for volunteer Trail Watch patrol to act as rangers’ eyes and ears.
  • Re-dedicated the Hacienda Hills Trailhead to past Board of Director Vice Chair, Barbara Lee Fish.
  • Hired fifth staff position, Naturalist, to lead hikes and assist with education and volunteer opportunities.
2013
  • Total land purchased to date by the Habitat Authority is 1,888 acres, costing the Habitat Authority over $30.3 million. Total preserved wildlands managed in the Puente Hills are over 3,870 acres.
  • To date, approximately 209 acres of habitat restoration has occurred or is in the process of occurring in the Preserve.
  • To date, approximately 6,800 participants from local communities have completed the Jr. Ranger Program.
  • To date, we have had over 6,850 participants in the Hills Alive, Lil Explorers, Into the Wild, docent-led Public Hikes, and other educational outreach efforts (these programs began in 2008 and 2009).
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