Visitors to Catalina Island are always amazed. Stunning seascapes, charming streets, rugged terrain combined with awesome activities, unique wildlife and a relaxed pace of life mean that verbal descriptions of a vacation here usually include “AH-MAZ-ING!”
What visitors also find amazing is that Catalina Island has escaped the rampant development that covers the Southern California mainland. We’ve escaped the big box stores and the strip malls; the multi-acre parking lots and the multi-plexes; and the shopping malls and the suburban sprawl.
One of the main reasons Catalina Island has been shielded from that development is the foresight of the Wrigley family, which in the 1970s created the Catalina Conservancy, a non-profit designed to preserved Catalina in its natural state in perpetuity. With nearly 90 percent of the island protected by the Conservancy, Catalina’s pristine hills will remain uncluttered by development forever.
Each spring, the Conservancy offers a gala way to give back in the form of the Conservancy Ball, a black-tie extravaganza in the Casino Ballroom that has raised millions of dollars for the organization. Complete with dinner, dancing and a legendary silent auction, the ball is one of the biggest events of the spring. This year, the ball’s theme is Taking Flight, and it will honor the many species of birds who make the island both their home and their stopping point during migration. The 22nd annual Conservancy Ball is scheduled for Saturday, April 1.