Wyss Foundation Supports Effort to Improve Recreation and Access in Newly Designated San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
SAN DIMAS, CA – The Wyss Foundation and a cohort of other philanthropic foundations today announced they have together committed $500,000 to a new fund that will provide immediate support for recreation and habitat restoration projects in and around the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, which is being designated Friday by President Obama.
The Wyss Foundation is joining the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund, the California Community Foundation, and The California Endowment, along with other foundations, to establish the San Gabriel Partnership Fund to support projects identified by communities surrounding the monument to upgrade recreation areas and facilities, improve community access, clean up rivers, and restore natural habitats. The fund will be managed by Resources Legacy Fund.
“Too many Los Angeles area families lack access to park and recreational opportunities. The designation of the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument is a noteworthy step in making our communities more livable and ensures that for the 17 million people living within an hour of the monument, there is nearby open space for family picnics, hiking, and other recreation activities,” said Hilda Solis, County Supervisor elect and former U.S. Secretary of Labor.
The San Gabriel Mountains represent 70 percent of the open space accessible to one of the most densely populated urban regions in the United States, while the range’s river systems provide more than one-third of Los Angeles’s drinking water. By supporting the improvement and enhancement of regional communities’ access to recreation opportunities within and around the new monument, the collaborating foundations seek to ensure that the monument and its forests, rivers, and parks continue to serve the needs of greater Los Angeles families, businesses, and communities well into the future.
“The President’s designation of this monument and the creation of this supportive philanthropic fund are important for the protection and enhancement they provide to resources that are vital to the communities of Southern California. New philanthropic and public funding will also have a vital role to play in ensuring that Californians can access the health and recreational opportunities these lands provide,” noted Michael Mantell, Resources Legacy Fund President. The National Forest Foundation has also made a commitment of $3 million for a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Fund. The NFF has already raised $850,000 for the fund, which will be used to respond to community priorities and support restoration and stewardship of the new National Monument.