Unsigned music acts support themselves on tour by setting up tables selling band merchandise before and after shows. Taking a cue from them, Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve officially struck a deal with the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) on April 25 to set up merchandise tables at the gates of the popular North Coast nature escape.
Starting with weekends, the local nonprofit group plans to post the volunteer-staffed stands at the north and south trailheads of the Bluffs Trail. Proceeds from the sale of the decal-decked apparel items sold at the merch tables will go directly to fund ranch maintenance, pursuant to the contract between Friends and the CCSD.
“This very easily could wind up being a windfall for the ranch,” CCSD General Manager Jerry Gruber said. “We want to make sure that the money that is raised out there goes directly back into the ranch—that it isn’t put into an endowment.”
The contract also contains a few stickler provisions. Volunteers must wear badges identifying themselves to visitors as such and must allow visitors to approach the merch tables before soliciting sales or donations.
“There will be no one accosting anyone else,” CCSD director Gail Robinette said during the board meeting to approve the contract. “We want to maintain the welcoming feel of the ranch.”
The CCSD acquired Fiscalini Ranch in 2000 following a cooperative effort to raise the $11 million needed to buy the property. The agency granted a conservation easement to Friends in 2003.