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Mount Diablo - Round Valley
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Big Bend
Size: 51 acres
Location: Marsh Creek

Big Bend is a 51 acre property that has a beautiful 3,100 foot section of Marsh Creek flowing through it. The creek is a critical source of water for wildlife in our mostly dry East Bay and habitat for threatened species like the California red-legged frog. We are working to restore the property’s lush oak woodlands and large floodplain for habitat and cover for wildlife. In the future, this parcel will likely connect to public lands in several directions. The acquisition of Big Bend is an example of how quickly we sometimes need to act to secure a property. It only took  five and a half weeks from board authorization to close.

This drought is a reminder that, despite the mountain’s quick recovery from the Morgan Fire and current display of wildflowers, ultimately we all need water.  That includes sources for water for wildlife which  are hard to come by in our warm dry climate.  But we have added another 3,100 feet to the total of protected creek with the purchase of our newest property Big Bend. Nearly a third of Marsh Creek's 30 miles have been protected, several of which are preserved on our properties. To learn more about our other Marsh Creek properties and our Marsh Creek protection strategy, click here.

The 51 acre property was named for its arcing section of Marsh Creek that will not only provide a water source for wildlife but also critical habitat for threatened species like the Western pond turtle and California red-legged frog which have already been confirmed on the site.  Beyond the creek lies diverse habitat from the floodplain up to blue oak wooded hills. The more types of habitat the land has, the more types of wildlife the land can support. But Big Bend is in transition right now.  The land is just beginning to reclaim its wildness after being the past location of a golf course and densely populated horse pasture.  A lot of the native plants have been cleared out.  Native plants provide food and shelter for wildlife so returning native plants and removing non-native plants that compete for resources are a major step in restoring natural lands.

Because of Big Bend’s history and diverse habitats, Save Mount Diablo says it has high potential to be restored to its natural native state.  The preservation of this property is a great example of why Save Mount Diablo’s work is even more critical today. “We were able to purchase Big Bend in a matter of weeks which allows us to move quickly to protect a property when the opportunity arises and care for the land until the time is right for an agency to bring it into their fold for long term protection and management ,” said Ron Brown Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo.

Until then, you can join Save Mount Diablo for a tour. Please see our Hike Calendar for upcoming dates and opportunities.Save Mount Diablo's properties are closed to the public except by guided tour.

Tilly the Rescued Western Pond Turtle
Tilly the rescued Western Pond Turtle before being released onto Save Mount Diablo's Big Bend property. by Sarah Bettelheim
She found herself in a swimming pool one afternoon in August.  She was injured, trapped and confused.

Tilly is a Western pond turtle, a Species of Special Concern due to extensive habitat loss. She was in rough shape; with multiple injuries and her dented shell was covered in orange spray paint. 

Luckily, she was found, nursed back to health and ready to be released back into the wild.  All the creeks and ponds they checked around Mount Diablo were dry. They called us to see if we had a place.

Because of your support, we had the perfect location: Big Bend, which we protected last year.  It has a big stretch of Marsh Creek and a pond still full of water where other Western pond turtles had been seen.  Big Bend may seem small at 51 acres but it's huge in resources that are important to Diablo's flora and fauna and to Tilly the turtle. She has a home now thanks to you!


Tilly the Rescued Western Pond Turtle released onto Save Mount Diablo's Big Bend property. by Sarah Bettelheim

  Credits | Legal StatementCopyright 2012 Save Mount Diablo. Designed by Alison Martin. Funded by Clif Bar.