A boulder in the Ramona grasslands
A boulder in the Ramona grasslands. County photo via Flickr

County supervisors agreed Wednesday to spend nearly $1.2 million to add more acreage to a popular recreation spot near the town of Ramona.

The board voted 4-0 to acquire 123 acres for the Ramona Grasslands Preserve. Located north of Old Survey Road No. 97 and east of Bandy Canyon Road, the parcel is appraised at $950,000, according to information on the board agenda, with the Carroll family listed as the owners.

After staff, transaction and land improvement costs, the land deal will cost $1,174,500, according to the county.

After the meeting, Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said the preserve is “turning into a real treasure and it’s a perfect spot for families to enjoy the great outdoors.”  The acquisition will mean more open space and trails for county residents, Jacob said.

“I’m always talking up the beauty of the backcountry, and the Ramona Grasslands is a great example of what makes our region special,” Jacob said.

She added that with the additional land, the 3,600-acre preserve will be larger than the size of Del Mar and Solana Beach combined.

First opened to the public in 2011, the preserve is home to numerous habitats, including wetlands, and animals like the bobcat and golden eagle.

In a related action, the board approved a smaller land purchase of eight acres for San Luis Rey Riverpark, located in the community of Bonsall. The land will be designated as open space and for a potential trail connection. Located south of state Route 76 near the intersection with Gird Road, the property is valued at $403,500 and owned by Ocean Breeze Ranch LLC.

Along with the land purchase and other expenses, the county will spend $484,500, according to the board meeting agenda.

Supervisor Greg Cox, away on an official speaking engagement, was absent from the meeting.

–City News Service