SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Foothills Forever, an environmental coalition working to save a parcel near the San Marcos Foothills Preserve, has reached its fundraising goal.
An official announcement is expected Thursday.
The organization had been raising money to buy back a parcel of land that was set to be developed into housing. Charles Lande, the developer and CEO of Chadmar Group, agreed to halt construction on the approved housing development back in March to let the group and local environmentalists raise enough money to purchase roughly 100 acres of land.
On Wednesday, the date of the fundraiser's extended deadline, the organization announced on its website that it had reached its fundraising goal of $18.6 million. More than 5,500 community members contributed to the fund, organizers said.
The purchase will help create "300 acres of contiguous wildlife habitat, honor Chumash heritage, maintain open space, and provide environmental education opportunities," organizers said.
The environmental group will now work with its legal team to complete the purchase, which they said could take several days.
The organization announced the successful campaign on its website and laid out plans for what it is calling "Phase 2."
"We will soon be moving into Phase 2 of the fundraising campaign, which will fill out the rest of the campaign, where we will be able to retire short- and long-term loans, create an endowment, pay any final costs, and help to restore and steward the land into the future," the message reads.