Coastal Conservancy Grant Funds for 100-Acre Quarry Park Fire Mitigation Project in El Granada

Updated Monday, July 12, 2021

The San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) has received a $1 million grant from the State Coastal Conservancy to fund a 100-acre fire mitigation project in Quarry County Park located in El Granada. This is the third project of 2021 in which the San Mateo County Parks Department (Department) and San Mateo RCD will collaborate on forest health and fuel reduction projects to provide ecological and community safety benefits.

Quarry Park is classified by CAL FIRE as a Very High Fire Severity Zone. The park’s 314-acres is covered by dense growth of non-native eucalyptus on steep slopes adjacent to the community of El Granada.

This project builds upon the original 100 acres of fuel reduction work conducted in 2019 as part of the Governor’s 35-High Priority Project list to protect vulnerable populations through fire fuel reduction.  

Community residents could see project activity begin as soon as August in time to help reduce risks for the coming fire season.

San Mateo RCD will manage the grant and contract for services in collaboration with the Department. Department staff will coordinate the work of contractors to reduce or eradicate overgrown vegetation along fire roads and remove hazardous trees to create additional shaded fuel breaks that serve as defensible landscape.

Shaded fuel breaks function as escape routes and enhance the ability of emergency responders to quickly access and slow the spread of fire to residential areas. The process of reducing dense overgrowth of invasive species to create shaded fuel breaks also supports native plant growth and contributes to forest resiliency.

Trees and other plant material will be treated through manual and mechanical methods, such as wood chippers. Although challenging given the steep slopes of the park, most excess vegetation will be removed from the site. Some remaining material will be chipped or cut into small segments and dispersed on site to assist with erosion control and weed suppression. 

The Coastal Conservancy grant and the strong partnership we have with the RCD means we can get this critical work done now.
~ Nicholas Calderon, Parks Director

The Quarry Park project is one of 32 wildfire fuel reduction projects listed in the Department’s Five-Year Wildfire Fuel Management Program that is focused on improving forest health and community safety.  With this grant, 9 of the 32 projects are now funded for this year. “We invested the time and resources into identifying, evaluating and scoping fuel reduction and fire mitigation projects that improve public safety and are shovel ready when funding like this becomes available, said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. “The Coastal Conservancy grant and the strong partnership we have with the RCD means we can get this critical work done now.” 

The San Mateo RCD is a public special district that serves as a local hub for conservation efforts in partnership with landowner and land managers. The San Mateo County Parks Department manages 24 parks and more than 16,000 acres of recreational land throughout San Mateo County. Both entities bring the skills and expertise needed to coordinate projects of this size and urgent nature.  

The Department and San Mateo RCD are partners on two other projects focused on improving forest health and reducing fire fuels across 402 acres in Wunderlich and Huddart county parks located in Woodside.

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