The Golden Hills CSD would like to keep the Nature Park as "natural" as possible.

Jill Barnes Nelson / Tehachapi News

Grant opportunities could be available for the Golden Hills Nature Park. To that end, the Golden Hills Community Services District is forming an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the possibility.

“I talked with someone from the state about grants and she said a committee that documents the needs and other partnerships has a better chance of getting grants,” said Director Marilyn White, who also serves on the Lands Committee. “We had a chance to apply for one at the deadline, but we couldn't get everything completed on time."

The next grant cycle is for 2017-18, she said, and applications need to be sent by next March.

Although the new Nature Park doesn't allow motorized vehicles, White said they would try for an Off-Road Vehicle grant.

“This grant would be for barriers to keep those types of vehicles out of the park,” she said. She showed pictures of damage done by OHVs in several areas of the park.

“The tire tracks are right by signs that say no motorized vehicles," White said. “That gives us points toward applying for a grant. Partnerships with the Kern County Sheriff's Departments and others also give us added points.

“Having the Ad Hoc puts everything in writing, gives us a timeline, and makes us accountable,” she said. “And we can keep our options open to our needs over the next few months.”

White and her committee member Director David Shaw have been working with General Manager Bill Fisher on kiosks that will show the trail system and the general rules.

“The kiosks probably will be 8 by 4 feet, with a plexiglass front,” Fisher said.

The district also is working on putting vertical posts along the trails to note which trails someone is on, distances and trail connections.

“It's been nice to see lots of people on the trails,” Shaw said. “I've seen kids on bikes, walkers, people on horseback all enjoying themselves.”