The last Save Mount Diablo Board meeting of the April 1, 2021–March 31, 2022 fiscal year was on March 9, 2022. It was also the first time in two years that we held an in-person Board meeting. For the past two years, the Board meetings had been done virtually via Zoom.
Way back in March 2020, we were wrapping up a hugely successful fiscal year in terms of accomplishments with our Strategic Plan goals. We ended the year deep in the black with substantial revenue generated. The pandemic was also starting to become very visible in our area by March 2020.
Two Years Ago: Facing Major Challenges
The new fiscal year then started on April 1, 2020, and it was clear that we would be facing some major challenges. Those challenges grew beyond the pandemic in the coming months; they included social unrest, numerous businesses (including nonprofits) going out of business or laying off staff, and other problems.
Despite all the darkness and fear at that time, we had a clear direction, detailed in our Strategic Plan, and a positive, grateful, supporting, and can-do team environment.
Not Just Surviving, But Thriving
When that fiscal year was wrapping up in March 2021, it was clear that our team had not only survived the first year of the pandemic but thrived—and risen above the darkness and challenges—to deliver another successful fiscal year in terms of important Strategic Plan accomplishments and another year completed deep in the black.
Starting the new fiscal year on April 1, 2021—the pandemic was still raging and loads of people and businesses were hurting. Would we have the endurance as a team to succeed again in the new fiscal year amidst so many ongoing challenges?
Despite the continuing anxieties and fears all around us, we again started a new fiscal year with good and clear strategic direction, and a positive, grateful, supportive, and can-do team environment. We also started the fiscal year with added confidence knowing we had succeeded in the prior fiscal year amidst historic challenges.
At Save Mount Diablo’s recent March Board meeting, the last Board meeting of the April 1, 2021–March 31, 2022 fiscal year, we could all proudly see that yet again, despite many challenges, we would complete the fiscal year with huge accomplishments and complete the fiscal year deep in the black.
Our Team Has Accomplished Incredible Things
Over the past two years, despite the pandemic, we’ve accomplished many incredible things. Here are just a few:
- We completed our $15 million Forever Wild Capital Campaign, protecting 1,681 acres and creating important funds like our Stewardship Endowment Fund.
- We expanded our geographic area of focus further south into Mount Diablo’s sustaining Diablo Range, all the way to San Benito County, and launched a project to popularize the entire 200-mile Diablo Range.
- We acquired a perpetual conservation easement from the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association, protecting almost 154 acres on Mount Diablo.
- During the darkest days of the pandemic, we lit the Mount Diablo Summit Beacon every Sunday night and rested it on Monday morning for a year to bring hope to our communities.
- We purchased and protected Smith Canyon, a potential future eastside entrance to Curry Canyon and Mount Diablo State Park.
- We expanded our free Discover Diablo hikes and outings to include bilingual hikes and rock-climbing and mountain-biking events and our offerings from 24 to 36 per year.
- We took action to help American kestrel populations recover in the Mount Diablo region.
- We discovered rare fire poppies in the SCU fire footprint, and detected American badgers making a comeback in our area.
- Per our Climate Action Plan, we launched a project to plant and protect 10,000 native trees and plants in 10 years and have planted and protected nearly 1,200 so far.
- We and our partners saved Tesla Park from off-road vehicle use and had it designated as a state park for more protections.
- We taught a new land conservation course at CSU East Bay for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.
- We won a major legal victory against Seeno/Discovery Builders to protect Pittsburg’s hills above the Thurgood Marshall Regional Park that we advocated for over many years.
- We convinced CEMEX to donate 101 acres in the Black Point area to Mount Diablo State Park.
- We opened our Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve to free group use for educational purposes—the first of its kind in Contra Costa County.
You Are an Important Part of Our Team
Great and positive teams, with clear strategic direction, can do amazing things—and thankfully we have proven we are such a team. You as a Save Mount Diablo supporter are an important part of our team.
It has been such an honor to work with you all—and I will be forever proud of, and grateful for, how our team not only survived the past two fiscal years amidst historic, global challenges, but thrived and successfully advanced our land conservation mission.
So, cheers and thanks to you and the rest of our team Save Mount Diablo!
Top photo by Al Johnson / Hiking at our recently opened Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve.