Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos have received a boost of $3.5 million in funding from the state, secured by state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, which will support much-needed maintenance and capital projects, the organizations recently announced.

“We appreciate this show of support for our mission and commitment to sharing the diverse stories and culture of the people of California,” Rancho Los Alamitos’ executive director Pam Lee said in a statement.

In late spring this year, both historic sites jointly requested a total of $4 million ($2 million each) from the state to address public safety, accessibility and restoration of the Ranchos’ historic adobes, farm buildings, gardens and grounds.

According to Alison Bruesehoff, Rancho Los Cerritos’ executive director, not only will the award (about $1.75 million to each site) fund crucial preservation and deferred maintenance needs, but it will also go toward future projects such as digitizing archives for community purposes and working toward opening up 100% of the adobe structures to the public—at Rancho Los Cerritos, currently about 66% is open to the public, she said.

The funds will also support improving signage as well as fire suppression and protection, Bruesehoff said.

“One of the things that we’re really committed to is: Anything we do with these funds will benefit the community,” she said.

Both historical sites aim to shed light on the evolution of the Southern California region through public tours, educational programming, and relevant cultural experiences using authentic buildings, grounds, and artifacts.

“We have a very shared history, but we tell different stories,” and the funds will allow both spaces to continue to share their stories, Bruesehoff said. “There aren’t many cities that have two historical Ranchos, or a Rancho period, so you need to make sure both of them are preserved.”

For more information about Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, please call (562) 206-2040 or visit www.rancholoscerritos.org; for the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation, please call (562) 431-3541 or visit www.rancholosalamitos.org.