Monterey Off Road Cycling Association

Follow MORCA

Join MORCA, Habitat Stewardship Project, and BLM for March 30 Ribbon Cutting Event

MORCA, the Bureau of Land Management, and CSU Monterey Bay’s Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) invite the public to a ribbon cutting ceremony for new recreation and habitat improvements on Saturday, March, 30 at 9:00 a.m. along Trail 31 on the Fort Ord National Monument. Parking is available for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Creekside Terrace Trailhead, then participants may hike or bike one-half mile up Trail 31 to the intersection with Trail 72 for the festivities.

“We believe partnerships and inclusion are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands,” said Fort Ord National Monument Manager Eric Morgan. “The trail work and habitat enhancements are interconnected because visitors to the Monument want to see beautiful flowering landscapes as they traverse the monumental paths by foot, hoof and bicycle tire.”

Community partners worked with the BLM to develop the new trail and restore the old trail. Most of the trail work was done by volunteers working with the MORCA after the BLM used equipment to clear the path. The habitat restoration was completed by volunteers working with the HSP using seedlings grown from native seed collected by volunteers during National Public Lands Day in October of 2023. These improvements provide greater public access and help restore and enhance sensitive habitats.

“This new, sustainable route twists and winds along a beautiful canyon where visitors are treated to natural splendor around every turn,” said Darius Rike of MORCA. The new trail winds through rugged terrain offering spectacular views of wildflowers, wet meadows and a vernal pool on the Monument and will be open to hikers, joggers, cyclists, and equestrians.

Since 1996, CSU Monterey’s Bay’s HSP (formerly known as the Return of the Natives program) has worked with the BLM to restore over 250 separate scars on the Monument totaling 190 acres into beautiful, flowering landscapes. The University maintains a greenhouse where seeds are sown and grown into seedlings for out planting.

“Bringing 6th graders from the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) was an adventure,” explained HSP Director Laura Lee Lienk. “Students took a scenic yellow bus drive through the monument and ended up at the bottom of trail 31, they took a hike up and were instructed on how to plant on the site. It is always a pleasure to watch HSP staff work so patiently with the 6th graders and to watch the 6th graders’ faces light up when they plant into the ground.”

As stewards, the BLM manages public lands for the benefit of current and future generations, supporting conservation in our pursuit of our multiple-use mission. For more information, or for special media access to the venue, please contact Fort Ord National Monument Manager Eric Morgan at 831-582-2212 or call the Central Coast Field Office at 831-582-2200.