2019 Impact Report

Sufferfest Beer Co. joined Save Mount Diablo for a stewardship workday out in the field. Credit: @michael.mcsherry

Thanks to your support, Save Mount Diablo has had another year of significant gains in 2019, in its mission to PRESERVE, DEFEND, RESTORE, and ENJOY the Mount Diablo region.



(Land Acquisition)


Concord Naval Weapons Station, a land use project that SMD has been heavily involved in for over 14 years, was transferred in 2019 to East Bay Regional Park District to become Concord’s First Regional Park! Photo credit: Cooper Ogden


  • A Historic New Park. After more than 14 years of advocacy efforts by Save Mount Diablo (SMD) and our many partners, most of the 2,500 acres for the Concord Hills Regional Park was conveyed to East Bay Regional Parks in July 2019 as part of the Concord Naval Weapon Station Reuse Plan. The stunning new park is three times the size of Angel Island State Park!


  • Linking the Diablo Range. We are working with a coalition of organizations and agencies to secure and protect a 50,000-acre parcel that spans four counties and is a vital link in the Diablo Range.



(Major Land Use and Community Awareness Victories)


  • Antioch Initiative. The “Let Antioch Voters Decide: Sand Creek Area Protection Initiative” was adopted by the Antioch City Council in ­2018 after a year of hard work by SMD and our partners. This year, we have had to defend the initiative through litigation with various developers. The court has added our initiative to the Antioch ballot for a vote in November 2020.


  • Brentwood Project: We secured an agreement for the protection of 1,785 acres. We campaigned hard for the passage of Measure L in Brentwood, educating residents about the substantial net conservation gain that Measure L will achieve. Although Measure L failed, we will have secured a 10-year cooperation agreement, involving 1,785 acres of proposed conservation lands that include some of SMD’s highest conservation priorities. Additionally, our relationship with the landowners of these strategic lands has positively grown.


  • Danville Magee Preserve. We successfully negotiated and advocated for conserving 93 percent of the Magee family’s strategic 410 acres. If approved by the voters, the preserve will add two miles of new public trails, protect wildlife habitat corridors, and preserve the scenic hills and ridgelines of the property. The issue has been placed on the March 2020 Danville ballot.


  • Global Climate Strike. In support of youth and their powerful message, SMD worked with our school partners to raise students’ voices through interviews, photos, videos, “human banners,” social media posts, e-news, and other media. In August, when the United Nations issued a new report, Climate Change and Land, describing how open space lands are a critical part of the solution to climate change, we ramped up our messaging to make this connection clear—think globally and act locally with SMD!




(Stewardship and Public Education)


Marsh Creek Watershed in Marsh Creek State Park with Mount Diablo in the background.

Marsh Creek Watershed in Marsh Creek State Park with Mount Diablo in the background.

  • Wildfire Protection. We have completed fire abatement work on all of our properties and have begun coordinating with local fire agencies to share our GIS data.


  • Marsh Creek Improvements. Student volunteers helped us to seed native bunchgrasses in the footprint of a former modular home and planted over 150 trees and shrubs in the Marsh Creek floodplain.


  • Repairs to Wright Canyon Dam. Plans have been implemented to assess the integrity of the Wright Canyon dam and to determine whether endangered species are present. The results will inform our approach to making needed repairs.


  • Volunteers Made a Difference. More than 400 community members joined in to help steward the Diablo wild lands during our various hands-on workdays throughout the year.



(Recreation and Outreach)


Solo time for reflecting on nature. Save Mount Diablo (SMD) Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School (JMIS), and Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, LLC (BFIC). The event was held at SMD’s Big Bend property located at 14350 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton, CA. Participants included JMIS students and teacher Dawn Lezak, BFIC staff, naturalist Judy Adler, and SMD staff and volunteers. Feb. 28, 2019 – Credit: Al Johnson

  • Community Hikes. Thus far this year, we have hosted 19 outdoor hikes for robust groups of all ages as part of SMD’s free Discover Diablo public hikes program.


  • The Next Generation of Conservation Leaders. Two hundred students from 3 local schools have completed SMD’s Conservation Collaboration Agreement program thus far. In November, Antioch High School students will participate in the program.


  • The Science Connection. We heightened public awareness of the Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program with enhanced media attention. We opened the Curry Canyon Ranch field station for its first grant-funded research project. Our 12th annual BioBlitz drew 42 volunteers who identified 359 species on Mangini Ranch, Lime Ridge Open Space, and neighboring lands.


  • Two OpenRoad with Doug McConnell episodes aired in March and April on NBC Bay Area that featured Save Mount Diablo’s Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Joaquin Miller Intermediate School and sponsor Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, as well as a segment on “Imagining a Summit-to-Sea Trail.”


  • Audio Guides. Harvest of Fire, our latest audio guide, made its debut on social media. All of our Audible Mount Diablo guides are now available as podcasts.


  • Art in Nature. SMD co-sponsored renowned photographer Stephen Joseph’s stunning new book of photographs featuring Mt. Diablo. These books will be available this fall.

Join us to save the remaining natural lands of Mount Diablo!

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