Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 5
Trailpaloosa promises food, music, and fun for a good cause
BY AMY ASMAN
There’s nothing quite like taking to the local hills with friends to go on a hike or a challenging trail run. The beautiful scenery and bright California sunshine make fitness activities feel less like work and more like exciting adventures.
A local nonprofit group called Santa Maria Valley Open Space (SMVOS) is a major proponent of preserving natural areas for community recreation.
According to the nonprofit, “urbanization of the valley continues to encroach upon the natural beauty of rolling hills, oak trees, dunes, and interesting wildlife” of Northern Santa Barbara County. While this land is an important resource for ranching, agriculture, home‐building, and oil field operations, SMVOS believes that a local trail system would benefit the community by preserving open space and drawing more outdoor enthusiasts and tourists to the area.
On April 26, the group will be host to its annual daylong fundraiser, Trailpaloosa, at the Newlove picnic area in Orcutt. The popular event will feature live music performed by local bands, an auction and raffles, a reptile exhibit, and a tasty barbecue. Gates open at noon.
“We’ll have trail ’dogs and ’paloosa burgers!” SMVOS member Rick Corbo told the Sun.
“It’s important that we support those in our local community who recreate. We have the least amount of recreation trails in the area,” Corbo said. “The trails are great for overall health and physical well-being.”
Tickets to the event cost $10 and include parking and lunch, as well as access to musical performances and other festivities. The band lineup features the Drive-In Romeos, Amazing Stupifyers, Time Furnace Duo, and Spiro. Nick Nickson of “On Stage Animals” and his Harris’s hawks will also perform flight demonstrations.
All proceeds from the event will go toward the trails. SMVO members are optimistic the money will return to the community in dividends.
“The trail system is more than just a place to recreate; it has a positive and permanent impact on the local economy,” said Luis Escobar, who is a SMVOS leader, as well as a long-distance runner and a high school cross-country coach. “It doesn’t make any sense for local residents to drive to Santa Barbara to ride a bike or to San Luis Obispo to go for a hike or on a walk with [their] dog. Having trail space here allows us to stay home and spend our money in Santa Maria, where we should.”
SMVOS members are currently working with the county, private landowners, and oil companies to implement a well-organized trail system.
Managing Editor Amy Asman loves the great outdoors. Contact her at aasman@ santamariasun.com.