The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC, www.rclc.org) , works to preserve for future generations the natural environment and sustainable land use of coastal watersheds from the Navarro to the Russian Rivers, to provide public access to scenic land, and to educate the public regarding the value of our natural heritage. It was created in October 1992 as a local land trust and since that time three public access locations have been opened with financial assistance from the California Coastal Conservancy and a lot of local volunteer effort.
This exhibit is a celebration of these locations with art inspired by any one of them. This is a non-juried show with all art forms encouraged (drawings, fiber art, haiku, paintings, photographs, poetry, sculpture, etc.) Viewers will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite three pieces with small monetary prizes awarded.
A bluff-top panoramic viewing platform overlooks Cooks Beach, which is situated 2.3 miles north of downtown Gualala on the north end of County Road 526 (CR-526). Bonham Trail was improved to make it easy to walk down to the broad wind-protected sandy beach. Much loved by families, this is a beach for picnics, creating treasures in the sand, playing in the (sometimes) shallow pools close to the base of the trail, and viewing the setting sun.
The Gualala Bluff Trail is another jewel in the RCLC effort to provide public access to coastal vistas. With access points between the Sandbar Restaurant and Breakers Inn, the Surf Motel parking lot, and behind the Seacliff Center, this trail provides spectacular estuary and ocean vistas for a quarter-mile stretch paralleling the bluff edge as it winds west of the Gualala commercial district. Visitors have the opportunity to experience Gualala River Estuary wildlife as they wander along the trail, cross several bridges and pause at overlooks. Along with seals and sea lions that frequently haul out near the mouth of the river, sea birds, shore birds and river otters are visitors as well as whales and dolphins beyond the point. Benches dot the trail inviting a longer stop to soak up the beauty. It is a favorite spot to view the Gualala River breaking through the sand changing from lagoon to estuary in winter.
Hearn Gulch provides a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and a close-up look at the dramatic sea stacks and crashing waves below. An improved trail provides access to a sandy pocket beach through which flows a small creek. One notable feature of the beach is the surrounding volcanic rock formation within which is a narrow sea tunnel that, depending on the ocean tide and surf conditions, provides a distinctively loud wave sound echo and water backlash. The fragile bluff area has been protected from vehicles and the native wildflowers have returned to bloom each spring. This access is located along Highway One, 9.3 miles north of downtown Gualala (just north of Iversen Road at Mendocino Mile Marker 10.00).
Artists can submit works inspired by any of these three RCLC protected locations.