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Berns Canyon Preserve

Last week, Laguna Canyon Foundation hosted a groundbreaking of the Michael and Tricia Berns Canyon Preserve.

Nestled between Aliso & Wood Canyons and Laguna Coast Wilderness Parks and along Laguna Canyon Road, the Berns Canyon Preserve is on three acres of coastal sage habitat surrounding Laguna Canyon Foundation headquarters at the Massen Greene House.

The light-on-the-land renovation designed by Terremoto Landscape will feature a utility terrace for Laguna Canyon Foundation’s conservation work and a gathering terrace for volunteer events and community chats. Priscilla’s Garden will allow visitors to stroll through native roses and unique native habitats.  The site also features a circular deck for exploration and experiential learning and trail spurs with beautiful views.

Using as many natural and recycled materials as possible, Terremoto’s approach is to let the land speak.  Stumps of reclaimed wood serve as gathering areas, paths are lined with natural rock, and boulders serve as seating areas and places to climb.

The groundbreaking was attended by Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf, supporters of Laguna Canyon Foundation including the Draper family (funders of Priscilla’s Garden), Barbara and Greg MacGillivray, Joe Hanauer, Teddie Ray, Terremoto Landscape, Beneville Construction, Barranca Landscape. Laguna Canyon Foundation’s Executive Committee and staff.

“It’s been such an honor to work with Michael and Tricia to help our shared vision come to life in the Berns Canyon Preserve.  Their dedication to our environment, our open space, and to our community is evidenced in this amazing space.  We couldn’t ask for a better team, from our donors, to our architects to our contractors, in creating this doorway into our wilderness,” said Executive Director Hallie Jones.

As the Berns addressed the crowd, Michael quoted William Butler Yeats, “’Think where man’s glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends.’”

It is the love and friendship of all involved that will continue the work of preserving and protecting our precious open space.

Photos by Erika Herrera