12.17.21 State officials hand off $8 million to preserve Banning Ranch as public park

Excerpted from the Daily Pilot

By Lily Nguyen

The purchase of Banning Ranch remains within reach as conservationists received a ceremonial check representing $8 million Thursday from state officials to help purchase the 384-acre oil field.

The $8 million comes out of the state budget, which legislators secured in June to be put toward the purchase of the property. Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) handed off the check to officials from the Banning Ranch Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land, accompanied by Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley and Costa Mesa Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds.

“Forever protecting Banning Ranch is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” said Petrie-Norris in a statement. “This project will restore vital coastal wetlands, provide unparalleled coastal access for surrounding underserved communities and preserve this jewel for all Southern Californians to enjoy.”