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Save Mount Diablo acquires land then turns it over to park agencies.  Before that happens, though, volunteers do clean-up, fence building, trail construction, planting, watering and habitat restoration, creek clean-ups, non-native plant removal, and other work projects.

We need your help with ongoing projects like riparian woodland restoration, oak restoration and native bunchgrass restoration.Visit our hike/event schedule for upcoming workdays or email Jim, our Stewardship Associate.

Restoring Habitat
In Action

Irish CanyonWhat It Means & How We Do It
At its simplest, stewardship means managing property.  For Save Mount Diablo, stewardship means managing, protecting, and celebrating the land.

Each of SMD’s properties requires care.  A newly-acquired property may need extensive cleanup—old deteriorating fencing is cleared away, and any debris that might have accumulated on the property is removed, returning the land to its natural state.  In some cases, fencing is added to protect creeks and ponds to help restore natural habitat.

Members of our all-volunteer Stewardship Committee care for SMD acquisitions, from the smallest (a few acres) to the largest (several hundred acres).  For some larger projects, we invite other volunteers to come out and help (see our DiRT section below). In addition to basic land management, SMD stewards lead hikes through our properties for interested members of the public.

We work in partnership with the public agencies such as Mount Diablo State Park, East Bay Regional Park District, and city and county governments to ensure that these natural lands and habitats will be preserved for the educational and recreational benefit of future generations.  SMD acquisitions may be held for a period of years until state or regional parks are prepared to take ownership.

The East Bay Trail Dogs, a group of volunteer trail-builders, works with us to create environmentally-appropriate trails through our properties.  Trails are designed in consultation with whichever public agency may take ownership of the land so that new trails will eventually connect with existing trail systems.

Get Involved & Get DiRTy
Join Save Mount Diablo's Diablo Restoration Team (DiRT) and help restore properties so they can be turned over to park systems for public access! Volunteers weed, water, plant, clean and build. Whether you are interested in serving your community, getting a workout or just being in the great outdoors DiRT has what you are looking for.

“I love nature and the beauty it provides our world. I was just excited to be out there because, not only did I enjoy a work out (weird, I know!), but it was fun and really relaxing to be surrounded by all that nature.” Michael, Student, Stewardship Volunteer

Contact Jim (925) 947-3535 if you have any questions or email at

Current Projects Details:
Marsh Creek IV

We began to restore the beautiful section of creek running through our Marsh Creek 4 property in 2009 by removing acres of non-native invasive weeds. Later that year we planted 500 native plants to enhance the riparian woodland along the stream. During the winter and spring we visit the property monthly to remove non-native weeds, and we return every three weeks during the dry season to water our natives. We just initiated the second phase of the project where we are creating upland scrub habitat which will attract a unique mix of pollinators and wildlife.

Where: Meet at 3240 Aspara Dr., Clayton CA 94517 – Save Mount Diablo’s Marsh Creek IV property. From Walnut Creek: Head east on Ygnacio Valley Rd. from Walnut Creek, turn right on Clayton Rd. which becomes Marsh Creek Rd. – Aspara Dr. is off the right side of Marsh Creek Rd., 1.5 miles past the intersection of Morgan Territory Rd.
From Brentwood: take Marsh Creek Road west, Aspara Drive is on the left, 5 miles past Deer Valley Road, and 1.5 miles before Morgan Territory Road 

Contact Jim to get on the DiRT email list and find out about upcoming projects at (925) 947-3535.      

Irish Canyon
We need help watering Valley Oaks and California Buckeyes at Save Mount Diablo’s Irish Canyon property – a 320 acre parcel east of Clayton that is not open to the public. Three sites on the property were planted with 150 acorns and Buckeye seeds in 2010 and it is crucial that we help them take root by watering and weeding. Typical work entails carrying 1-3 gallon jugs from a water tank to each of the individual planting sites on a sun exposed hillside with some steep sections. We also remove weeds from within each of the planting areas.

Contact Jim to get on the DiRT email list and find out about upcoming projects at (925) 947-3535.  

Mangini Ranch
The Diablo Restoration Team invites you to help with a native bunchgrass restoration project on Save Mount Diablo’s (SMD) 208 acre Mangini Ranch property. After owning the property for two years we realized native bunchgrass’s were growing in clumps along the bends in Galindo Creek. In 2011  we seeded the area with a few species of bunchgrass and planted oaks and willow stakes to restore the riparian corridor. We’ll monitor growth of the plants, remove non-native weeds and enjoy the beauty of Mangini Ranch.

Contact Jim to get on the DiRT email list and find out about upcoming projects at (925) 947-3535.    

The Mangini Ranch in Concord is an example of how we restore and preserve natural lands.  The 206-acre preserve boasts newly-built trails, protection for Galindo Creek, whose headwaters begin on the southeast corner of the property, and fenced springs to guard against grazing cattle and marauding non-native wild pigs.  For details and some of the history of this iconic Contra Costa County ranch, » click here to read “Breathing New Life into Mangini Ranch”, in the Spring 2008 Diablo Watch.

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