Giving Thanks for Mount Diablo

Experiential environmental service project work at SMD’s Mangini Ranch property. Part of a Conservation Collaboration Agreement: Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School (JMIS), Bedell Frazier Investment Counseling, LLC (Bedell Frazier), and Save Mount Diablo (SMD). Participants: students, instructors and chaperones from JMIS, Bedell Frazier staff, SMD staff and volunteers, and Judy Adler with Judith F. Adler & Associates. Nov. 9, 2017. Photo credit: Al Johnson

CONCORD/WALNUT CREEK, CA – In honor of Thanksgiving 2017, Save Mount Diablo (“SMD”), Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School (“JM”), and Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, LLC (“Bedell Frazier”) signed a Conservation Collaboration Agreement on November 6, 2017 so as to give thanks for the Mount Diablo area, our beautiful natural bounty. 

“The parties to this Agreement are demonstrating that we do not take for granted our beautiful Mount Diablo. To expedite our time-sensitive land conservation work for the Mount Diablo area, Save Mount Diablo is reaching out to students and other leaders to join the cause. We all have a major stake in what our future environment will be like, especially young people. We are grateful for the leadership, long-term vision and philanthropy demonstrated by Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School and Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, LLC for entering this Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Save Mount Diablo this Thanksgiving season,” said Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director. 

The Conservation Collaboration Agreement has three basic parts: First, the staff of SMD will provide in-class educational presentations regarding land conservation of the Mount Diablo area to the participating students of JM at their school and also to the employees of Bedell Frazier at their office on November 7th.   

Second, on November 9th, SMD staff will teach and lead the participating students of JM and the employees of Bedell Frazier in an outdoor, experiential environmental service project at one of SMD’s conserved properties which will also include a mini solo on the land for each participant where they will do a contemplative journal writing exercise about why they are thankful for nature.   

Finally, in an act of educational and participatory philanthropy, Bedell Frazier will generously provide SMD memberships for all of its employees while JM will raise funds so that its participating students can become members of SMD through SMD’s youth membership program.  

Moraga School District Superintendent Bruce Burns is pleased that JM is stepping up to give thanks for Mount Diablo because, “It is imperative that children have the opportunities to experience, play and enjoy the outdoors as they will more likely appreciate and safeguard nature when they become young adults.”

“Today more than ever, students learn about global environmental issues which are daunting and can leave them feeling small and powerless. It is vital that we bring students’ learning to the outdoors in a way that allows them to take action and be a part of local solutions and Save Mount Diablo’s Conservation Collaboration Agreement program gives the students that opportunity,” said JM teacher Dawn Lezak.

Regarding why his company is giving thanks for Mount Diablo, Michael G. Frazier, President of Bedell Frazier, stated, “As a Moraga resident and a Walnut Creek small business owner, I am proud to help support the kids of JM and Save Mount Diablo and give thanks to this unique landscape we call home. Bringing my staff with the students to Mount Diablo will increase awareness and trigger a new appreciation for its relevance and natural beauty.”

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 

Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School 

JM has a mission to prepare students for the future, to develop a life-long love of learning, to provide a positive and safe environment for learning, to provide positive development of self and to provide opportunities for students to be constructive and contributing members of the community and society. Learn more at 

Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, LLC 

Bedell Frazier is a local investment counselling business that focuses on investment management, financial planning, smart money and giving back to the community. Learn more at 


Media Contact:  

Caleb Castle, Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo 

Phone: 925-947-3535 x17 | Email: 


Press Release & Media Assets in Dropbox:  


Photo Credits:  

1st Image – (From left to right), Bruce Burns,  Superintendent of Moraga School District,  Dawn Lezak, Teacher at Joaquin Moraga Middle School, Mike Frazier, President & CEO of Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, LLC, and Ted Clement, Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo pose with the new Conservation Collaboration Agreement that they have just signed. Photo credit: Joanne McCluhan.  

2nImage – JMIS students participating in an environmental service project during SMD’s first Conservation Collaboration Agreement, which was signed last year for Thanksgiving, 2016. Photo credit: Ted Clement.  




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