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Solana Beach Uses $1M Donation To Help Preserve Open Space

A seaside patch of land gets a new name and a more secure future thanks to a gift.

A three-acre patch of open space in Solana Beach has a new name and a more secure future.

The land has been a battleground between environmentalists and builders for years with numerous proposals to develop the open space parcel along highway 101.

Photo by Erik Anderson

Harbaugh Seaside Trails, which was previously known as Gateway Park, in Solana Beach is shown on Jan. 13, 2015.

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy biologist Doug Gibson has fought to keep the land as an open space.

Gibson said it is one of the last undeveloped coastal parcels in Southern California.

"Some of the hardest habitat for us to acquire are these sort of upland buffers to the wetlands," Gibson said. "The bigger buffer you have to a wetland the more valuable that wetland is to the species that exist there. So this offers a very wide buffer to the San Elijo Lagoon.

Gibson said a gift of just over $1 million will change the name of the park from Gateway Park to Harbaugh Seaside Trails.

Local groups are pledging to work to restore the open space.

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