Dear Parents and Warner Community members,
There have been a lot of rumors floating around concerning the Warner Springs Resource Center, The Pacific Coast Trail, hikers, and Warner Unified School District. I want to clarify what is going on to the best of my knowledge. Warner Unified owns the property on the Southeast side of Highway 79, where the school is located and we lease the property across the street on the northwest side of Highway 79 from Warner Ranch. This land houses the football field, the kid’s baseball diamonds, 2 portables, and the concession stand. All of this property is considered school grounds. This agreement with Warner Ranch has been in place for many years, and will hopefully continue for many more years to come.
In 1998, we began subleasing part of that property to the Resource Center. The Resource Center and the school has had a good symbiotic relationship for some time, helping each other out with different needs, such as fundraising, and providing wonderful services to the community.
As the PCT has gained more fame and more and more hikers come each year, the Resource Center and school have tried to adapt to the growing pains. The school loves what the Resource Center does for the community and for the visiting hikers. However, with having unknown visitors on what is technically our campus, the school district hasn’t been compliant with some of the rules that mandate it. California Education Code requires all visitors on school grounds to have a background check. We violate this by having hikers and community members on our school grounds during school hours. The school district also carries insurance, and we violate our insurance when we have hikers camping on our property for any period of time and by having them use our facilities. Finally, having campers on this property is in direct violation of our lease with Warner Ranch.
As a school, our top priority is the safety and education of our students. That priority must come first in everything we do. The school does not have a choice and must be compliant with the California Ed. Code, our insurance policies, and our lease agreement.
We love the fact that the PCT goes right beside our school and brings thousands of visitors each year to our beautiful area. We are working with the Resource Center and the Warner Ranch to come up with a solution that works for everyone. Until we figure out a permanent solution we have asked the Resource Center to:
Cease allowing visitors during school hours
Cease all overnight camping on the Property;
Cease all commercial activities being conducted by “2 Foot Adventures,” including removal of the related trailer occupying the Property;
Cease all open fires and use of cooking stoves on the Property.
I have a meeting coming up with officials from the County Supervisor’s office to bring up this issue and hopefully, we can have it resolved soon. We have also been working with the Resource Center and Warner Ranch on other options. The Resource Center will be developing a petition to show how important the resource center and PCT is to our community. Please sign the petition.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me or come to Warner Unified and ask for Dave.
Warner Unified School District
760.782.3517 Ext 217