Over the years, the Conservancy has been the beneficiary of Joe and Kathy Platnicks' deep affection for the area, which has grown through hiking Burma Road and other trails, drinking in the vast ocean views, and relaxing under the trees at Eagle's Nest.
When they signed up for a donation equal to a quarter-acre to assist the purchase of the area around Portuguese Bend, it was double the largest charitable contribution they had ever made at the time. But they knew it was worth it, because it was a chance in a lifetime to preserve the land that meant so much to them. Normally giving anonymously, they were nevertheless thrilled to be included in the donor recognition site at Del Cerro Park. "Now our grandchildren will be able to see how their ancestors helped to keep the dream alive," Joe and Kathy say, "by preserving this space for all future generations."
The 399-acre Portuguese Bend Reserve was preserved in 2005 and is the largest of the ten reserves that make up the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. As well as providing community-valued recreation, it contains important linkages for wildlife and valuable native habitat for sensitive species.
The Portuguese Bend Reserve consists of rolling hills, five distinct steep canyons and rock outcrops, with coastal sage scrub habitat, a community of intensely fragrant and drought resistant shrubs and flowering plants. Located below and to the east of Del Cerro Park are the areas known as Lemonadeberry Parcel, Eagle's Nest, the Badlands, and the active landslide and dirt extension of Crenshaw Boulevard. Unique features include a pillow lava outcrop called Ailor Cliff after Conservancy founder Bill Ailor.
An August 2009 wildfire burned approximately 165-acres within the Reserve, affecting both native and non-native vegetation and known nesting sites of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and the special status cactus wren. We are actively restoring the habitat and will continue to do so over the next few years through selective weeding, native seed and plant installation, trail repair, and species monitoring to help the burn area recover.
The trail connection between the Fire Station Trail and the Rim Trail in Portuguese Bend Reserve is no longer accessible. This Trail connection is located on private property in the City of Rolling Hills. Please respect the property owner's request and observe posted signs in this area.
Portuguese Bend Reserve Trails Map [PDF: 1.67MB]
Portuguese Bend Reserve Habitat Restoration Plan [PDF:2.75MB]
Portuguese Bend Fire Recovery Plan [PDF: 1.46MB]
Covered Bird Survey Report 2010 [PDF: 3.16MB]
Del Cerro Recognition Site [PDF: 3.85MB] (article in OPEN SPACES, Second Quarter, 2009)