by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Harmony Headlands

State Park - California

Harmony Headlands State Park preserves an undeveloped parcel of Pacific coast in California, United States. Located in San Luis Obispo County on Highway 1, the park is the only public access to the coast between the towns of Cayucos and Harmony. Harmony Headlands State Park is open for day-use only. Amenities are limited to a small parking area, portable toilet, and a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) trail. The trail leads through a marine terrace grassland with views of the Pacific Ocean. Volunteers provide assistance and interpretation in the unstaffed park.
https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25735 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony_Headlands_State_Park Harmony Headlands State Park preserves an undeveloped parcel of Pacific coast in California, United States. Located in San Luis Obispo County on Highway 1, the park is the only public access to the coast between the towns of Cayucos and Harmony. Harmony Headlands State Park is open for day-use only. Amenities are limited to a small parking area, portable toilet, and a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) trail. The trail leads through a marine terrace grassland with views of the Pacific Ocean. Volunteers provide assistance and interpretation in the unstaffed park.
Harmony Headlands State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. The pristine and diverse beauty of Harmony Headlands is reflected in its coastal prairie grasses, its wildflower meadows, California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park office at (805) 772-7434. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Harmony Headlands State Park 4500 Highway 1 Cayucos, CA 93430 (805) 772-7434 © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) and its dramatic coastline —  all teeming with life. I n a secluded and peaceful setting along Highway One, Harmony Headlands State Park adorns the stunningly beautiful Central Coast in San Luis Obispo County. PARK HISTORY Native People Human occupation along California’s Central Coast dates back at least 10,000 years. The native people, ancestors to today’s Salinan or Chumash people, lived along the coastal bluffs and further inland. They traveled seasonally up and down stream drainages to take advantage of the various food, shelter, and tool resources needed for survival. European Settlement The arrival of Europeans forever changed the lives of the native people. Recruited into the mission system, they succumbed to diseases to which they had no immunity. Those who survived became part of the labor force that built the missions and later worked on the ranchos. Today the Salinan and Chumash people are working to revive their ancient languages and cultural traditions. The mission period began in 1769 with the arrival of the Portolá expedition. California was then a part of Mexico, a colony of Spain. In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and in 1833 the missions were secularized. Lands formerly owned by the missions were granted to individuals. Rancho San Geronimo, which incorporated part of what is now Harmony Headlands State Park, was granted to Rafael José Serapio Villavicencio (later shortened to Villa), who raised cattle. Rafael’s son, Roberto, continued ranching until the mid-1860s. In 1883, the ranch was acquired by Robert Logan, who in 1901 sold it to Joseph Righetti, a dairyman. In 1912, Righetti sold the property to Armando Storni. The Storni family operated a dairy until the mid-1960s. Chinese Seaweed Harvesting Between 1890 and the mid-1960s, Chinese immigrants harvested seaweed along the San Luis Obispo County coast. They burned competing species of seaweed from rocks in the intertidal zone to allow the favored species, Ulva or sea lettuce, to thrive. The seaweed was harvested, dried and shipped to China by way of San Francisco. Becoming a State Park Private developers eventually bought the Storni Ranch and secured permits to construct up to 12 ridge-top homes overlooking the ocean. In 2003 before any houses were built, the State Coastal Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Board, State Parks, and the Coastal Commission together funded the purchase of the 750-acre ranch with $17 million in voter-approved park bonds. In coordination with the American Land Conservancy, property title was passed to California State Parks to preserve and protect the land in perpetuity. NATURAL HISTORY Habitats Grasslands — Non-native and native grasslands and coastal scrub are the most common vegetation in the park. The San Luis Obispo morning glory, California buttercups, blue-eyed grass, goldfields, owl’s clover, yarrow, coyote bush, and lupine thrive here. The flat terraces of the bluffs are dominated by native purple and slender needle grass, melic grass, wild rye, and California oatgrass. The steep north- and west-facing bluffs have the largest community of native grasslands and coastal scrub in the park. In spring, wildflowers bloom profusely. Scrub — Coastal sea bluff scrub  —including seaside daisy, California aster, goldenbush, lizard tail, coast buckwheat, and sea pink—  grow along the terraces, on bluff faces and in other eroded areas. Some shrubs may be dwarfed by constant wind and salt spray. Rocky outcrops  — Lichen-covered outcrops lie scattered among grasslands and scrub. Ferns, dudleya, Indian paintbrush, miner’s lettuce, golden yarrow, and California sagebrush flourish on outcrops. Wetlands  — In these low places where water accumulates, plants such as sedges, willows, Southwestern rushes, and aquatic pond turtle grasses grow in profusion. Riparian corridors   —These waterside areas are home to ferns, willows and cattails. Ponds  —The manmade

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