California Latinos Visit North Etiwanda Preserve to Celebrate Public Lands

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – On Sunday, Apr. 28, Hispanic Access Foundation, Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, San Bernardino County Special Districts, Supervisor Rutherford’s Office, Rancho Cucamonga Foothill Preservation Alliance and Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance took 40 congregation members from Fontana de la Esperanza SDA Church to the North Etiwanda Preserve for an educational and interactive hike. This was an opportunity to celebrate the preserve’s anniversary of becoming a protected public land and to witness the importance of protecting our cultural and outdoor heritage.

“From its spectacular views of the valley to its array of wildlife and plants and its connection to our region’s history, the North Etiwanda Preserve offers visitors an incredible and educational hiking experience in our foothills,” said San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “And I’m thankful for all of those in our community who volunteer their time to help clean up and maintain this wonderful community treasure.”

The North Etiwanda Preserve was established as a habitat preservation area on February 10, 1998, when the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors accepted mitigation land from San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) for impacts related to the construction of the 210 Freeway. The North Etiwanda Preserve is part of San Bernardino County’s Special Districts Department, which provides guided field trips that teach youth lessons in ecology, geology, native tribes, conservation, botany, wildlife, and environmental change.

“The North Etiwanda Preserve is a staple of our community, it has been an incredible blessing that the Preserve not only bring people together to enjoy its incredible views, but also to take care of it so generations after us continue to benefit from it,” said Benjamin G. Lopez, Supervisor Rutherford's office District Representative.

Public lands are a key component of our American identity and they weave a narrative of the diverse and complex history of our nation. These places preserve our shared cultural heritage, provide places to recreate and connect with nature, spend time with family and our communities, and significantly contribute to California’s economies. In fact, the Outdoor Industry Association reports that outdoor recreation, which is commonplace on public lands across the state, provides 691,000 jobs and more than $30.4 billion in wages leading to $92 billion in consumer spending and $6.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.

“Our nation’s public lands — whether they are iconic national treasures or local parks — should mirror the greatness of America, embody the spirit of our people, and celebrate our historical and cultural achievements,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “We all share the moral obligation to protect our outdoor heritage and preserve them as a legacy for future generations.”

Photos from the trip are available for publication at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9jgv6hwux3gr7zv/AAAAcDp5_Deql0a2WUE2PHela?dl=0

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