Giving Thanks for Mount Diablo this Thanksgiving Season

News Alert


November 8, 2018


WALNUT CREEK, CA—According to a new report, The Path Ahead, “Today, kids spend less time outside than prison inmates, with the average child playing freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day.”

This report, commissioned by the REI Co-op, notes that the average American now spends about 95 percent of their life indoors. It further reports that we are becoming an “indoor species” which comes with consequences: “Our health and well-being may suffer. And the less we value our outdoor spaces, the less likely we are to protect them.” As the famed English broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, said, “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”

The findings of this report confirmed Richard Louv’s earlier groundbreaking work and documentation of “Nature Deficit Disorder” in our young, wired generations. The Path Ahead makes it clear that the long march indoors is not inevitable, and that we are at a crossroads. To counter this trend and give thanks for the Mount Diablo area this Thanksgiving season Save Mount Diablo (SMD), De La Salle High School (DHS), California State University, East Bay (CSUEB), and sponsor Progressive Asset Management (PAM) signed a Conservation Collaboration Agreement recently.

“We are grateful for the leadership demonstrated by De La Salle High School, California State University, East Bay, and Progressive Asset Management by entering this Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Save Mount Diablo so we can educate and connect our young people to the beautiful Mount Diablo natural area to help ensure this incredible place is taken care of for years to come,” said Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director.

The Conservation Collaboration Agreement has three basic parts. For the first part, staff of SMD provided educational presentations regarding land conservation of the Mount Diablo area to the participating students of DHS and CSUEB at their schools and also to employees of PAM at their office.

Second, on November 3rd, SMD staff and naturalist Judy Adler taught and led the participating students of DHS and CSUEB and the employees of PAM in a nature service project, involving the removal of invasive plant species, and interpretive nature hike at SMD’s conserved Mangini Rach property. The outing also included a solo on the land for each participant where they did a contemplative journal writing exercise reflecting on the Mount Diablo natural area and why they are thankful for it.

Finally, in an act of educational and participatory philanthropy, the students will raise money to become members of SMD through SMD’s new discounted youth membership program. PAM generously sponsored the Conservation Collaboration Agreement so that SMD could afford to offer the program with professional conservationists.

Regarding the Conservation Collaboration Agreement, President Leroy M. Morishita of CSUEB stated, “Environmental stewardship has emerged as a central theme in all aspects of university life,” Morishita said, “from the integration of sustainability concepts into our curriculum to our commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040. The development of our Galindo Creek Field Station at our Concord site, and our ongoing partnership with Save Mount Diablo shows that Cal State East Bay can and will serve as an environmental leader for the entire East Bay. We look forward to working with Save Mount Diablo in such important educational endeavors for many years to come.”

“Working on the environmental service project at Mangini Ranch was a wonderful experience for my Biology students. As part of the curriculum for our course, students are required to do field work and an environmental service project. This collaboration with Save Mount Diablo, CSU East Bay and Progressive Asset Management was a perfect fit for us. Upon returning to school, students commented on how much they enjoyed the solo hike as a time to reflect and contemplate their place in nature. This was especially beneficial for many, as they are ‘plugged in’ all the time and don’t have a chance to get out and explore their environment. We are lucky to be living so close to Mount Diablo and its surrounding protected areas. We are grateful to Save Mount Diablo for giving us the opportunity to do restoration work and gaining field experience,” said De La Salle High School biology teacher Henriette Howett.

On behalf of sponsor Progressive Asset Management, Catherine Cartier noted, “We are happy to support and participate in the efforts of SMD. The nature programs and education they offer is a gift to the community. We are hopeful this will expand the network of friends and allies who will continue to share the beauty of the mountain and bring to the forefront a sense of urgency for protecting the environment both locally and globally.”


Save Mount Diablo

SMD is a nationally accredited, non-profit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, and watersheds through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide recreational opportunities consistent with the protection of natural resources.  Learn more at


California State University, East Bay

CSUEB operates a campus in the Mount Diablo foothills, with a mission to serve as a regional steward, to provide high quality education, to present opportunities for innovative, hands-on research, to empower students to make the most of the educational opportunities they have earned, and to develop a life-long love of learning.  Learn more at


De La Salle High School

DHS is a private Catholic high school for young men with the following mission: DHS is a Roman Catholic educational community where students are loved, instructed, and guided according to the traditions of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the charism of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Founder of the Brothers and Patron of Teachers.  Learn more at


Progressive Asset Management

PAM, located in Oakland, California, has been helping people invest based on their values since 1987 believing that environmental sustainability, human rights, and good governance should be part of the investment process.  PAM’s vision is to preserve and protect value, not only for our clients but in the community.  As an organization, PAM feels a responsibility to support the environment and community where it can and to serve as advocates with other organizations.  Learn more at



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Photo captions:

  • CCA_Nov-2018 (Scott Hein).jpg – De La Salle High School students took a moment to pause beneath a beautiful large heritage oak tree during a guided interpretive nature hike on Save Mount Diablo’s conserved Mangini Ranch property. Photo credit: Scott Hein


  • CCA_Nov-2018-2 (Scott Hein).jpg – Participants in Save Mount Diablo’s latest Conservation Collaboration Agreement posed for a group photo after participating in an environmental service restoration project on one of SMD’s conserved properties, Mangini Ranch.

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Media Contact: Caleb Castle, Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo

Phone: 925-947-3535 x17 | Email:



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