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Urban Planning
and Conservation

- Mount Kuchumaa
Conservation Easement
- Tecate River Park Project

- Las Piedras
- Workshops for Children
- Teacher Training Program
- Interpretive Trail
- Summer Camps
- Volunteer Training Program
- Tecate River Clean Up
Cultural and

- Parque del Profesor
- Dia de Muertos,
"Day of the Dead"
- River Through My Eyes
- World Environment Day
- Native American Culture

Celebrating human interdependence with nature.

Fundación La Puerta provides the Tecate border region with solid leadership in land conservation and regional planning. A major objective of the Fundación is to educate and inspire the people of Tecate to respect, preserve and celebrate their immediate natural environment.

Mount Kuchumaa Conservation Easement.

Among its major accomplishments is the first-of-its-kind binational Mount Kuchumaa Conservation Easement protecting approximately 2,000 acres/900 hectares of native plant and wildlife habitat on the U.S./Mexico border and helping to preserve the regional watershed, endangered species, and air quality.

The historic Mount Kuchumaa Conservation Easement agreement, signed in March 2003, is the culmination of years of work by Fundación La Puerta and will preserve the 2,000 acres at the foot of Mt. Kuchumaa—an “exalted high place,” revered by the Kumeyaay Indians for centuries.

This acreage is home to chaparral and coastal sage scrub, an area considered one of the most sensitive and endangered habitats in the planet and one of the 25 Global Hot Spots for Conservation of Biodiversity.

Through creative usage of various tools, such as conservation easements, sustainable urban planning, and  stewardship,  Fundación La Puerta seeks to restrain the sprawling urban development in the area between Tijuana and Tecate. Development on the Mexican side of Mt. Kuchumaa will now be strictly limited, allowing this vast ecological and cultural treasure to thrive for future generations.

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The Tecate River Park Project.

The Tecate River Valley which winds through chaparral and oak woodland beside the foothills of Mount Kuchumaa is a vital part of an endangered trans-border watershed. Within this regional watershed lies the Tecate River, an important tributary of the Tijuana River basin. Once a rich source of clean and vibrant flowing water, the Tecate River has been severely impacted by uncontained residential and industrial development on both the floodplain and within the riverbed. This rapid growth has resulted in significant negative ecological and social impacts, including: destruction of sensitive habitat areas; pollution of soil, air, and waterways; overdraft of the aquifer; and extensive erosion among others.

Fundación La Puerta considers the Tecate River Park Project to be the center piece around which well planned urban development is possible, restoration of the river is attainable and community integration may become a reality. All of this in a context of environmental sustainability. The Fundación spearheaded and fully funded various studies of the Tecate River to determine alternatives to concrete channeling, successfully shifting the mindset of local and state wide planners to accept a more sustainable, eco-hydrological approach. (see Research and Publications for more information.)

A river park is a model for urban and environmental planning that aspires to address the complex problems that presently affect Mexico and other parts of the world in which short term views have put immediate growth first, sacrificing ecosystems and the future viability of the cities.

This Fundación La Puerta project wholly integrates urban, social and environmental considerations, thus increasing the overall value of Tecate and its economy which has successfully maintained its identity in spite of the overwhelming pressures of growth in the border region. Fundación La Puerta has been successful in its attempts to convince the local, regional, and national governments to acknowledge the profound value of creating a Tecate River Park and embrace a living river which will host community parks, recreational activities, and wildlife.

Such a River Park will gracefully provide an environment for both people and nature to prosper. Fundación La Puerta collaborates with various government agencies and private businesses to take the first actions consistent with this project., one of which is the construction of  the River Walk, where families can now walk along the riverbed within the urban center. Fundación La Puerta  has also  made it possible to construct more than 3,800 square meters of wetlands designed to improve the quality of treated wastewater discharged by the City of Tecate’s waste water treatment facility, and help restore the riparian habitat surrounding the Tecate River.

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Tecate, Baja California, Mexico
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