Our ACE California Branch is located in the beautiful of Santa Cruz, California, just a short walk from the famous Boardwalk. Our ACE California crews spend a lot of time working on projects that transcend the state, but every now again we also get the opportunity to do something in the locality of our regional branch location.
De Laveaga Park lies within the city of Santa Cruz, providing local residents with the opportunity to get out into a wooded area and enjoy recreational activities including a network of trails, ball courts, a playground, and picnic areas. As such, this is a a very popular recreation area with a lot of joggers and dog walkers. DeLaveaga Park offers a mixed environment of redwood groves, oak woodlands, mixed forests and grasslands that hosts a variety of wildlife including deer, coyote, bobcats, and mountain lion.
The park is named for the park’s generous benefactor, Jose Vicente De Laveaga. Born in Mexico and schooled in Europe, DeLaveaga settled in San Francisco with his parents in 1868. A successful businessman, he acquired numerous landholdings, and in 1892 his love of nature led him to purchase over 500 acres on the eastern edge of Santa Cruz, building a hacienda in what is now known as DeLaveaga Park.
The trail project at De Laveaga Park was brought to ACE by the city of Santa Cruz, and was completed during September 2015. Our Corps Members, led by ACE Crew Leader Trevor Willits, installed two staircases in order to improve trail access and provide safer hiking and jogging conditions for trail users.
This was a fulfilling project for Corps Members as the stairs were made out of reclaimed logs and natural material that was sourced close to the project. The crew were able to transform this reclaimed wood into a rustic looking staircase, helping to mitigate future trail erosion and also preventing people from seeking out ‘social trails’, causing damage to the flora and fauna.
ACE California crews were grateful to be a part of the City’s beautification of a local park, and to create sustainable trail access for the people of Santa Cruz.