671 South Oakglen Avenue, Nipomo, CA 93444 dana@danaadobe.org 805.929.5679

Orangutan Outreach Coming to NatureFest at the Dana Adobe

We at the Dana Adobe are proud to announce that Orangutan Outreach will be joining us at the Dana Adobe NatureFest on Sunday, May 21 at 12:00pm. Watch motivational speaker Jean Steel speak out about the importance of environmental conservation and ways to help save the critically endangered orangutans and protect their rainforest home.

Orangutan Outreach is a New York-based non-profit organization whose mission is to protect orangutans in their native habitat while providing care for orphaned and displaced orangutans until they can be returned to their natural environment. They seek to raise funds and promote public awareness of orangutan conservation issues by collaborating with partner organizations around the world.

Visit the Orangutan Outreach website at: https://redapes.org/


SLOPE Paints NatureFest at the Dana Adobe

ART SHOWN: Larry Kappen’s “Dana Adobe,” acrylic.

Join San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment at the Dana Adobe NatureFest, on Sunday, MAY 21 from 12-4pm! Watch how S.L.O.P.E. Members paint treasured spaces in a historical setting. Also be sure to enjoy the new Member Landscape Exhibit that celebrates Central Coast’s beauty & preserved areas now until September 8!

The San Luis Outdoor Painters for the Environment (S.L.O.P.E.) are celebrated painters who create artwork depicting the beauty and uniqueness of California’s Central Coast. They use their art to help protect and conserve local lands for open space, wildlife, and ecologically respectful recreation, ranching and farming.

Visit the S.L.O.P.E. website at: http://www.slope-painters.com/

ART SHOWN: Bruce Everett’s “Buckwheat & Oaks”, original oil painting, 11×17

Watch the magic happen at the Dana Adobe: Nature Walks, Animal Guests, Kids Activities, a Scavenger Hunt, Making Adobe Bricks, Nature Talks, Learn about Solar Cooking, Feeding Birds, Wild & Exotic Animals + Honey & Bees. Heavenly Hot Dogs & Hawaiian Shaved Ice will be available for purchase, too, if you want a snack. Join us on Sun/May 21, 12-4pm at 671 S Oakglen, Nipomo, CA 93444 for an afternoon of family fun at the Dana Adobe!

NatureFest at the Dana Adobe

Sunday May 21, 2017
From 12pm – 4pm
Free Admission

Join us at the DANA Cultural Center for our annual NatureFest. Featured activities include guided nature walks, a scavenger hunt, pony rides, as well as the opportunity to see live animals up close. We will also feature a nature themed art exhibit, informational booths, many hands-on activities, and presentations involving a variety of topics.

Attending organizations & Activity booths include:
  • Happy Trails Pony Rides
  • Zoo to You
  • Natural History Museum Santa Maria
  • SLO County DEER Program
  • Nipomo Firefighters Association
  • Nipomo Native Garden
  • Adobe brick making
  • Solar cooking
  • Bird feeding
  • Honey & bees
  • Nature trading Co.
  • And more to come!

Admission is free while Heavenly Hot Dogs and Hawaiian Shaved Ice will provide food for purchase. Don’t miss this chance to create fond new memories and explore the wonders of nature at the Dana Adobe!

Dave Stamey Concert – at the Dana Adobe July 29

The DANA Cultural Center provides a unique destination to understand life in the California Rancho Era and to discover the stories of those who left their footprints on the land throughout time. The Dana Adobe, and the 130 acres of preserved land, engage the visitor in the site’s ecological and cultural history and reveals how actions over time shape our future.

On the web: www.danaadobe.org

Dave Stamey is one of the most popular Western entertainers working today.  He has been voted six times Entertainer of the Year, six times Male Performer of the Year, and five times Songwriter of the Year by the Western Music Association, and received the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists. He’s delighted audiences in twenty three states, and finds that he prefers this to being stomped by angry horses.

On the web: www.davestamey.com

A song about Captain Dana, the adobe and the pepper trees.  Toda via estoy aqui!

The 100-Acre Success Story

Residents and visitors have enjoyed the panoramic view from the Dana Adobe to the foothills since Captain Dana himself watched vaqueros working cattle from his veranda in the 1840s. Not until the development boom in late 1990s did DANA volunteers begin to worry that this historic view could be lost.  Historians from California State Parks considered this threat in an acquisition evaluation back in 2002,

The potential educational and cultural benefits of preserving this tangible remnant of the state’s history for future generations have been noted many times over the years by many people, but as … the surrounding rural land rapidly gives way to urban development, time is running out.” 

In June of 1999, the 100-acre property in the immediate view of the adobe sold after a century of ownership by the Grisingher family to the Patterson Academy who applied for a General Plan Amendment to build a private school on the agricultural zoned land.  Though the representative of Patterson worked with the community in various design options, there was no practical way such a project could avoid profound impacts to the view and to the property’s agricultural and historical resources. With delays and challenges in the bureaucratic process, the Patterson Academy application was withdrawn and the property was placed on the open market in 2004. In January of 2005, local developer, Dan Pace, entered into an escrow agreement to purchase the property for approximately $2.5 million to develop several homes for his own family.

DANA board members met with Mr. Pace, and initially discussed ideas for clustering the homes in the northeastern corner of the property, (under existing zoning, he was legally entitled to build three homes across the entire property with secondary residences, and support buildings). The cluster/open-space option was a compromise, but the best option available.   After several weeks of discussion, Mr. Pace sent a message to DANA that opened the door to the complete protection of the property.  He knew that although he would be a good neighbor to DANA, he did not want to be the neighbor who compromised DANA’s vision and so he generously offered to transfer his escrow agreement to DANA. For this community minded gesture, we are forever grateful to Mr. Dan Pace, his brother Scott, and his entire family.

The next three years were a series of quick lessons for DANA (a small non-profit organization–omit) to come up with over $2.5 million.  Fortunately, the same development boom that transformed the small town of Nipomo now helped contribute to the protection the Dana Adobe landscape. The County requires development fees to support a fund for parks, recreational and open spaces, called “Quimby Funds”. The same year Nipomo Attorney Jesse Hill negotiated a settlement with the County to insure Quimby funds from development in Nipomo would return to be used in Nipomo. In December, 2005 with superior leadership from Supervisor Katcho Achadjian and support from parks Superintendent Pete Jenny, the Supervisors allocated one million dollars in Quimby funds toward the $2.5 million acquisition of the 100 acres property adjacent to the Adobe. This funding commitment transformed a hopeful idea into the realm of reality. Still, DANA needed time to raise the rest of the funds to successfully protect purchase the property.

When businessmen Rob Rossi, Karl Wittstrom first toured the Dana Adobe in February 2005 they immediately grasped the imperative of protecting the landscape around the Dana Adobe. In December 2005, Rossi, Wittstrom and Dan Pace agreed to become conservation guarantors by co-signing a loan with MidState Bank (now Rabobank) on behalf of DANA.  On June 2, 2006, escrow closed and DANA went on title as the property owners. Carroll Pruett and Cathy Cachu of MidState Bank provided essential support in crafting the agreement that gave DANA two years to raise the additional funds and to pay off the loan. Without Dan Pace, Rob Rossi and Karl and Cindy Wittstrom’s loan guarantee, and the support of MidState bank. the dream to protect the land would have ended. The next two years turned out to be a cliffhanger.

Several avenues were sought to secure the required additional funding. One promising option involved one year of work with countless meetings with public agencies and elected representatives. It was a huge disappointment when this option fell through just four months before the June 2008 deadline. Fortunately, there were great successes in the process as well.  Land Conservancy Conservation Director, Bob Hill had been DANA’s primary project partner throughout this process. Hill successfully secured $715,000  toward the property acquisition from the Environmental Protection Agency, and $450,000 toward riparian restoration from the Guadalupe Settlement funds for the project.   These allocations secured by Hill provided critical project momentum.  However, still short of funds and with only a few months before the June 2008 deadline, DANA was forced to consider back up options such as partial acquisition. The acquisition was in jeopardy months before the final deadline. If DANA failed to repay the loan with the accrued interest, the property would revert to the bank and limited development could still proceed.

When County Parks Superintendent Pete Jenny brought the Parks Commissioners to the Dana Adobe on a tour of South County area in February 2008, Jenny and the Nipomo Commissioner, Paul Teixeria, helped the Commissions see a golden opportunity. If they were to recommend the additional funds to complete the 100-acre purchase, the property would become permanently protected as county parkland.  This would also free up funds so that the Land Conservancy could apply the $715,00 EPA funds to help purchase the adjacent property around the Adobe, creating a 126-acre public historical park. These same EPA funds would then become the match funding to support a $861,000 grant from the California Cultural and Historic Endowment (about half designated for Dana Adobe building restoration and the other half for the property acquisition around the adobe). Commissioners also saw that this allocation could move forward the Land Conservancy’s fully funded plans to plant 10,000 native trees and shrubs on the creek tributaries, enhancing the habitat and outdoor educational values of the historic park.

Two months later, the parks Commissioners did vote unanimously to support this funding allocation, and one commissioner stated. “There are times when a special project comes along that transcends district or political boundaries, and this is one of those projects”.

On June 3, 2008, the very deadline of the loan, with support from the South Community Advisory Council and Supervisor Achadjian’s leadership, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the $1.7 million allocation; a few days later escrow closed, this time fully retiring DANA’s 2-year loan. The 100 acres became County parkland and will now and forever be a part of the Dana Adobe Historic Park.

Every person you read about in this story is a hero.  Every DANA member, every DANA volunteer and every DANA staff member is a part of the unfolding success story of the Dana Adobe Historical Park.

Come by and enjoy the view, say thank you to one of the volunteers as you walk by. And, thank you for your continued commitment to DANA and for your ongoing support. We need you more than ever for the work ahead!

By Herb Kandel, president of DANA on June 29, 2008