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March 3
1882 - George Campton's Newhall general store explodes [story]
general store


Ken StriplinGet Your Steps in on the Trails!

As the sun begins to set earlier and the days become cooler, this is the best time to get out into nature and enjoy our open spaces. During the past few months, staff and volunteers have been hard at work, creating new trails, enhancing our open spaces and working together to build a trail system that everyone can enjoy.

One of the best parts of our community is the volunteer spirit. From our students in high school to our Elder Crew, residents take pride in preserving our miles of pristine open space and are proud to give back, not only to their City but to the environment. In June, the William S. Hart School District trail crew constructed three miles of new trail in the East Walker Ranch and Lang Station Open Spaces. Their hard work not only helped us expand our recreational opportunities but also equipped the group of 32 students with invaluable hands-on experience for their future endeavors.

Additionally, two local Boy Scouts have chosen the City’s Archery Range in the Haskell Canyon Open Space as the location for their culminating Eagle Scout Projects. The first is building and installing 13 target stands for the Olympic-style range, allowing users to practice their skills on new equipment. The second project is the creation of four puncheon bridges in the Roving Archery Range, on the shooting trail. Puncheon bridges are short-span wooden walkways that allow easier accessibility for hikers and trail runners, but they also help protect the natural ecosystem of the area. Both of these projects will make our archery enthusiasts’ time on the trail that much smoother and enhance their experience in our open space.

Across town, the Gates Family Wildlife Preserve has also been the location of volunteer projects from the Elder Crew and another local Boy Scout. The Elder Crew is about to complete the last section of the Pioneer Oil Trail from the existing pathway to the south, in addition to the four puncheon bridges that were placed over the creek along the route. This trail should be complete in the next couple of months.

In July, the Victor Fire burned 70 acres of mountainside in the southeast area of Santa Clarita, near the Needham Ranch Open Space. With much of the hillside turned to ash, City staff recently planted native seeds in the burned area, timing it perfectly before our last rainfall. These seeds will help bring back native plants to the landscape and help revive the local ecosystem.

Staff has also been hard at work installing signage and paving the trailheads at the Lang Station Open Space. This includes the Lang Station Depot, Sterling Borax and Agua Dulce Canyon Road trailheads. These enhancements will keep our hikers informed and safe while out on the trails.

I hope that our residents take time to enjoy these newly enhanced trials and explore some of the 13,000 acres of open space that surrounds our City. Be sure to also complete the City’s second annual Hiking Challenge. To join this free program, visit city.sc/HikingChallenge2023. For more information on trails or locations, please visit HikeSantaClarita.com.

Ken Striplin is the city manager for the city of Santa Clarita and can be reached at kstriplin@santa-clarita.com.

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