One of Bakersfield’s scenic sights is getting a big financial boost to its image.
The Kern River Corridor Endowment group has received a $900,000 grant to help restore more than 150 acres of the Panorama Vista Preserve in north Bakersfield.
The Preserve is a 936 acre tract of land that runs along the Kern River from Manor Street to the historic Gordon’s Ferry.
But 60 years of agricultural and industrial development has decimated much of the river landscape.
But thanks to volunteers, it’s slowly making a comeback.
It may not look like much to the casual observer, but when Andy Honig inspects the trees he’s helped plant over the last two years, it’s a sign of progress.
“We got some really nice shoots coming up,” Honig said. “We’ll have a real nice tree.”
And it’s by planting a tree at a time, an acre at a time volunteers with the Kern River Corridor Endowment group hope to revitalize stretches of the Panorama Vista Preserve.
"Our first phase we just finished planting 6,000 trees in a two year period,” Belli said.
The group has been working for the last 15 years acquiring land and planting native plants in the area.
It’s a slow moving project, the trees usually take about five years of irrigation before they can grow by themselves.
But organizers say the project is already having a benefit to the community.
"It adds aesthetics, the plants help clean the air and provide a better environment and provides recreational activities for the community,” Belli said.
The $900,000 grant will help the project move into its second phase, restoring a 159-acre portion of the preserve.
A phase itself expected to take years to complete, but it’s a project organizers and volunteers say will one day restore some of the most beautiful parts of the Kern River area.
With the restoration project going on, the preserve is open to the public for limited, low impact use like walking, equestrians, bird watchers and bicyclists.
For more information, click http://panoramavista.org