This year we’ve been celebrating a historic milestone in Save Mount Diablo history, we turned 50 on December 7, 2021! To commemorate our big anniversary, we celebrated for an entire year.
To celebrate, we commissioned a series of oral histories, and put on special 50th anniversary–themed events and activities.
We’re also preparing for our next 50 years of accomplishments, and continuing our work protecting critical open spaces. Our 50th anniversary celebrations come to a close this December 7, 2022.
Recording 50th Anniversary Oral Histories
To remember and document our past, we worked with the UC Berkeley Oral History Center at The Bancroft Library to record 12 oral histories.
These recordings will serve as a permanent archive of the stories of 12 individuals who all helped to make Save Mount Diablo what it is today.
The UC Berkeley Oral History Center also dedicated an entire season of their podcast, The Berkeley Remix, to our 50th anniversary. Their special season highlights Save Mount Diablo’s past, present, and hopes for future accomplishments.
Perhaps the best part of our 50th anniversary celebrations was that we made great progress advancing our land conservation mission thanks to our wonderful team including you, our valued supporters.
We’re excited to reflect back on some of our land conservation accomplishments amidst our 50th anniversary celebrations this past year.
Opening Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve
Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve
We opened the first free educational preserve of its kind in Contra Costa County in March 2022, Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve.
A wide diversity of groups have been reserving this beautiful property for their educational activities. They range from plein-air painting groups, to high schools, to homeschooling groups, to hiking clubs, to colleges, and so many more.
The new Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve is just one of many educational initiatives we are undertaking to better connect people to nature.
Protecting Land Parcels across Mount Diablo’s Missing Mile
In 2022, we advanced the protection of multiple parcels of land within Mount Diablo’s Missing Mile.
In October, we secured an option agreement that gives us one year to raise the funds necessary to protect the almost 7-acre Krane Pond property. This land borders Mount Diablo State Park and contains one of the largest ponds on Mount Diablo’s north side.
Earlier this year, we successfully raised the funds and protected the almost 154 acres of land owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association with a perpetual conservation easement.
We are also making progress on protecting the approximate 88-acre North Peak Ranch within the Missing Mile.
After six years of our working with the CEMEX corporation to protect their important 101-acre open space parcel near Mount Diablo State Park’s Mitchell Canyon entrance, we made huge progress.
In February, the company agreed and announced they will donate the land to the state park.
Supporting the Largest Land Acquisition since 2013, Which Will Make Thousands of Acres More Accessible
At our annual Moonlight on the Mountain gala, we announced that we helped East Bay Regional Park District secure an option agreement to protect the highly strategic Finley Road Ranch.
Finley Road Ranch is one of our top priorities and the largest land acquisition (768 acres) we have worked on since we protected Curry Canyon Ranch in 2013. It will make miles of trails and thousands of acres on Mount Diablo more easily accessible to the public.
Defending the Hills between Concord and Pittsburg
Also, in February we won our lawsuit against the City of Pittsburg and the Seeno companies over the proposed 1,650-unit Faria development in the hills between Concord and Pittsburg.
This proposed development threatened a critical ridgeline and views from the new Thurgood Marshall Regional Park, the creation of which we advocated for over many years.
In April, we had to go back to court to defend against a retrial effort by Seeno—and the court handed us another victory.
The City of Pittburg has since canceled its approvals for the proposed development.
Planting and Protecting Thousands of Native Trees and Plants
Our stewardship team continued to work on our 10,000 Trees and Plants project, bringing the total number of trees and plants planted and protected up to almost 2,000!
We’ll be continuing to address climate change through projects like this that sequester carbon and provide habitat for native wildlife for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to You, We’re Succeeding
As we reflect on our accomplishments during this special celebratory 50th anniversary year—and over the last 50—we would like to thank everyone who’s supported Save Mount Diablo. Each and every contribution helped make all of our successes a reality.
We wouldn’t be achieving these tremendous milestones without the support of our amazing donors and the generosity of the surrounding communities.
Thank you to everyone who is helping Save Mount Diablo thrive so we can help protect these priceless Diablo wild lands for current and future generations.
Top photo by Stephen Joseph