The Louis Robidoux Parkland and Pecan Grove (LRPPG) is a 40-A property located along the Santa Ana River in unincorporated Riverside County. Prior to April of 2017, the property was managed by the Riverside County Regional Parks and Open Space District (RCPOSD), during which time on-site features including a public trails system, historic pecan grove, indigeneous bedrock mortars, and the adjacent Sunnyslope Creek served as the backdrop for a suite of conservation-focused public education and outreach programming. In the spring of 2017, budget concerns forced closure of the Parkland (then known as the Louis Robidoux Nature Center), as RCPOSD searched for an alternative site manager able to reinitiate activities at the site.
In May of 2019, site management was awarded to the then-Louis Robidoux Nature Center Consortium, a collaborative of partners consisting of 501c3s Huerta del Valle and Sunshine Haven Wildlife Rehab, and government agencies including Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, Orange County Water District, and the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. Under an agreement with RCPOSD, the partners completed extensive rehabilitation of the existing education center on site; held community meetings to solicit public opinion on best next steps for the property; and created a series of long-term goals for return of site function and benefit focused on the surrounding community. Unfortunately, a fire on Halloween of 2019 stopped forward progress with extensive damage to the site, including complete destruction of the education center building.
In the fall of 2020, the same collaborative group was re-awarded the right to manage the renamed Louis Robidouix Parkland and Pecan Grove (LRPPG) for a period of 25 years with two optional fifteen year extensions. Since the contract update, partners have been working to advance individual and shared site goals within the common objective of return of site function and benefit to the community. Major areas of focus have included:
- Removing dead and dying trees damaged by the 46 fire and replanting more than 60 native oak and sycamore trees adjacent to Sunnyslope Creek, and initiating planning for large-scale habitat uplift benefitting Creek function including habitat suitable for the Santa Ana sucker.
- Establishing a native garden, trails, and shaded seating for visitors with more than 200 plants, with plans for ongoing expansion in 2023-24
- Extensive pecan grove and site-wide tree surveying and documentation; completion of tree maintenance focused on increasing public safety and site tree health
- Overall site infrastructure improvements, including creating an on-site caretaker area; removing property trash; extending and repairing the Riverview Dr fence; adding an informational kiosk and side-wide signage and segments of protective fencing.
- K-12 education development including Second Saturday community events, site workshops, 2022 Stewardship Day, and pilot site field trip in the spring of 2022 with Patriot High School
- Master Planning: in progress community-led site planning, to result in prioritized actions over the next five and 25 year periods.
As of summer 2023, partner focus remains on site uplift and community involvement! Please check the home and events pages on this website for upcoming site events and volunteer opportunities. We have met many of the surrounding neighbors and look forward to meeting more of you and hearing your thoughts on best next steps for the site in the coming months.