In the backyard of Cassie Jones’ lovely home located in the hills of Rancho Palos Verdes sits a generous fig tree, abundant with a seemingly endless supply of perfectly ripe fruit. Cassie, who sits on the board of directors as the executive vice president of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC), graciously offers her figs to houseguests as well as clever neighborhood critters. Cassie’s homegrown fruits have even made an appearance at one of the PVPLC’s popular Pastoral events.
This year’s Pastoral event, which takes place on Sunday, October 9 at Terranea Resort, “is a fundraiser and a friend-raiser in celebration of preserving the land on the peninsula,” Cassie explains. The 200-person outdoor dinner “that Terranea has been gracious enough to sponsor,” Cassie adds, will serve food provided by Whole Foods and prepared by Terranea’s executive chef, Bernard Ibarra. Patrons of the dinner will also enjoy an assortment of locally grown wines.
Originally founded by Bill Ailor in 1988, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is committed to maintaining the preservation of untouched open spaces and native wildlife. In cooperation with the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates and San Pedro, the PVPLC has continued to grow, successfully protecting 1,600 acres of beautiful natural lands that enable animals and plants to thrive.
The organization has improved the quality of life for residents of the South Bay for 28 years. In the past year the Conservancy planted thousands of native plants, restoring habitat and offering a wide range of opportunities for people to connect with nature.
“Our commitment to preserve and restore these lands, continued this year with the recent acquisition of an additional 15 acres of protected area, new trainings to expand the number of volunteers assisting with educational activities at our two nature centers and as citizen scientists monitoring wildlife on the preserves,” shares the PVPLC’s Louise Olfarnes. “We added a President’s Advisory Council to benefit from the talent and expertise of leaders in our community including Terri Haack, president of Terranea Resort. We also added a Golden Poppy Heritage Circle for supporters who want to make a legacy gift that will help protect our natural land for future generations.”
This year will feature an exclusive Basque-themed garden-to-table menu by Chef Ibarra, sourced from local artisanal ingredients and taking a cue from his cultural heritage. With his family tradition of cooking using local foods, Chef Ibarra will make a sustainable meal using salt, lemons, rosemary and other herbs found on the resort and in the nearby Catalina View Garden.
The menu will be paired with some of the finest regional wines available. Held under an autumn moon on the Catalina Terrace, the dinner is served alfresco with magnificent views of Catalina Island as the backdrop to this extraordinary event.
“Executive Chef Ibarra and the Conservancy team have created a unique experience that will benefit and support an important cause close to all of our hearts: preserving our natural landscape,” says Terri.
With a strong appreciation for the natural landscape, Terranea Resort has provided important support for the Conservancy’s work to preserve and restore nature on the peninsula. Situated on the coast alongside the Vicente Bluffs Reserve, Terranea sought the advice of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for the resort’s drought-resistant indigenous landscape palette, purchasing 30,000 plants grown in the Conservancy’s native plant nursery.
The California coastal sage scrub habitat at Terranea helps provide sanctuary for local wildlife, including the rare California gnatcatcher and the El Segundo blue butterfly. Terranea also incorporated its appreciation for the natural beauty of the peninsula by decorating the hotel with two creative sources for art: the Portuguese Bend Artist Colony, which created plein air paintings to support the Land Conservancy, and wildlife drawings by the Conservancy’s education manager, Holly Gray.
In addition to celebrating the natural surroundings through these art selections, Terranea works hard to provide information to guests on ways to enjoy nature by providing trail maps and information about Conservancy outdoor volunteer days and selling Conservancy T-shirts in the pointe discovery shop.
Terranea also serves as a site for the Conservancy’s nature-based Impressions Art and Nature Workshops and donates proceeds from Full Moon Yoga evenings and Earth Day celebrations. Adds Louise, “Palos Verdes Pastoral enables us to highlight our partnership by underscoring the important role Terranea plays within our community and with the Conservancy in protecting the spectacular scenic environment on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.”
For more information on the Pastoral on October 9, please visit pvplc.org.
On the heels of the Pastoral, Terranea Resort also invites you to join them for the third annual Celebration of Food & Wine on October 21, 22 and 23. During the three-day culinary celebration, guests will have the opportunity to experience a variety of food and wine events including intimate wine dinners, a luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of Robert Mondavi, specialty seminars led by award-winning chefs, winemakers and advanced and master sommeliers, a Champagne brunch, the Grand Tasting featuring 90 vintners and wineries, guests chefs and more. For a full schedule of events, visit terranea.com/california-food-wine-festival.
Group photo by Kristin Anderson
Pastoral event photos by Lori Lynn Stokoe
Harvest photos by Figlewicz Photography