Mendocino Land Trust

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EV Charging Stations

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

If You Build It, They Will Come 

Thanks to a $498,040 California Energy Commission (CEC) grant awarded to Mendocino Land Trust at today’s CEC Business Meeting, a string of twelve new electric vehicle charging stations in Mendocino County will soon create the beginning of an electric byway.  Mendocino Land Trust is working with California State Parks and the Mendocino Council of Governments to bring these electric vehicle charging stations to the public, in partnership with Visit Mendocino County, Mendocino County Air Quality Management District, the Renewable Energy Development Institute, and Adopt-A-Charger.   Matching funds are provided by the Tarbell Family Foundation, Clipper Creek, Sustainable Solutions Partners and Harvest Market.

Every year, thousands of tourists hit the road in search of adventure in the sweeping landscapes of Mendocino County.  Many drive for hundreds of miles in hope of reconnecting with the wild places of Northern California.  Yet there is an obvious disconnect between being close to nature and the burning of fossil fuels to get there, which is why starting this summer the Mendocino Land Trust and its partners will spearhead an effort to build a series of twelve new electric vehicle charging stations in Mendocino County, ten of which are to be placed in State Parks.

California State Parks is responding to the increasing challenges of climate change with the installation of EV charging stations as part of their “Cool Parks” initiative. Facilitating the expansion and use of plug-in cars not only encourages their use by environmentally conscious visitors, but also allows the general public to see this futuristic technology in action. 

The park units included in this initiative are: MacKerricher State Park, Hendy Woods State Park, Van Damme State Park, Russian Gulch State Park, Manchester State Park, Greenwood State Beach, Westport Union Landing State Beach, Mendocino Headlands State Park, Caspar Headlands State Beach, and Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park.  In addition, charging stations to get to the coast will be placed at the Willits Skunk Train Depot and the Boonville Hotel.

 “Our donors and supporters are saying what a great opportunity this grant represents for the local community and visitors to the Mendocino Coast,” says Doug Kern, Director of Watershed Restoration for the Mendocino Land Trust.  “Not only are we part of the solution to climate change, we’re bringing in new economic development dollars to the area and increasing opportunities for further tourism on the Coast.  It’s a huge, positive win for conservation in Mendocino County.”

"We at MCOG are very pleased to be a partner on this project. It supports both our Regional Transportation Plan and our Zero Emission Vehicle Regional Readiness Plan," said Janet Orth, Deputy Director at Mendocino Council of Governments. "I am meeting more EV drivers everywhere, looking for more places to plug in. Installing these new charging stations will encourage visitors and locals who wish to travel pollution-free to visit Mendocino County's beautiful State parks, also free of EV range anxiety in our wide open spaces."

“This is a fantastic program for visitors to charge their electric vehicles at remote and rugged State Park locations on California’s beautiful Mendocino Coast,” says Loren Rex, Mendocino Sector Superintendent. “We’re particularly happy to be partnering with the Mendocino Land Trust and MCOG to implement this cutting edge project and be part of the solution to climate change.”

The project is set to commence in June and will take about 1 year to complete.  The future of Mendocino County will be even greener for guests and locals alike who can soon spend a day at the beach while charging their vehicles free of charge.   Building the infrastructure to reduce fossil fuels is an important step in keeping our water and air free of pollutants.   

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