Big Bear Lake, CA, March 22, 2016 – 32 acres, which include lakeshore and the old drive-in movie site has been purchased by the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust. In two separate land deals funded by the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust purchased a total of 32.3 acres of critical meadow and wetland habitat on the south shore of Big Bear Lake. The site features several unique endangered plant species, most prominent being the Bear Valley checkerbloom — found only in Big Bear Valley. Equally important, the acquisition protects a vital patch of open space in this well-known populated part of the community.
The Land Trust feels that keeping visually attractive open space in a community is the best way to not only protect overall ecological integrity but also to enhance livability, celebrate the unique character of a place, and boost overall property values. Meadows and wide- open views of the lake particularly help to uplift everyone’s spirits.
In coordination with the Big Bear Valley Education Trust, SBMLT’s current plans are to convert the old Spencer Real Estate office on Metcalf Meadow into a children’s education and nature center. Depending on fundraising capability, a decision will be made whether to keep and restore the existing building or to tear down the aging structure and replace it with an all new upgraded facility. The surrounding meadowland area will be enhanced with interpretive trails and informational displays for the children as well as the general public.