Did you know the Santa Ana River is Southern California’s longest waterway? It flows for almost 100 miles from the mountains of San Bernardino, through the basin of Riverside, ending at the beaches of Orange County. This unique river is home to hundreds of different species of plants and animals and boasts a rich cultural history.
Unfortunately however, for many years the developing cities surrounding the Santa Ana River have literally turned their backs on the river. For most, the Santa Ana River has long been viewed simply as a flood control channel, an illegal dumping ground, or simply not recognized at all. The Santa Ana River Trust was founded in 2011 to help address these issues and to inspire new ways of thinking about the river and how it relates to community opportunities and enhanced quality of life. With a focus on Riverside County, we work to develop projects that beautify the Santa Ana River and surrounding green spaces, increase usage of the Santa Ana River Trail, and engage the community to inspire protection of the River for future generations.
Our vision is to revitalize the Santa Ana River as a community centerpiece; a safe place to gather with family, a living laboratory for students to explore, and an outdoor destination for bicyclists, walkers, and even the youngest stroller-riders to enjoy and connect with nature. Through our programs, we are working to deliver much-needed and zero-cost outdoor opportunities for our local community. With the Santa Ana River Trail acting as the backbone to a linear parkway, we are working to provide a safer, more attractive, and accessible way for people to connect with the Santa Ana River. Project actions include installing improved signage, organizing community cleanups, improving trail access points, and constructing a wetlands park.
Since 2011, the Santa Ana River Trust has conducted annual River and Trail community surveys, organized volunteer cleanups, removed trash from the Santa Ana River bed and surrounding neighborhoods, installed access signs to the River and Trail, and created a free trail map for bicyclists and walkers. Click here to find us on Facebook for up-to-date information and photos of our work in the community.