126-Acre Ranch In Moraga Will Be Gateway to 15,000 Acres of Wilderness
MARTINEZ, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–John Muir Land Trust (JMLT, jmlt.org) announces the successful completion of fundraising for the Campaign to Save Harvey Ranch. Receiving donations from thousands of supporters, JMLT raised the $4 million needed to next acquire and permanently conserve the ranch. Covering 126 pristine acres in the hills above Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, the property adds an essential buffer that protects one of the most important wildlife refuges in the Bay Area.
When opened to the public in late spring, Harvey Ranch will become a new gateway through which generations of outdoor enthusiasts can explore the spectacular 15,000-acre wilderness area formed by the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness and the San Leandro Watershed.
“The residents of Lamorinda and supporters across the Bay Area have provided the means for us to achieve another hugely significant win for conservation,” said Linus Eukel, Executive Director of JMLT. “Soon everyone will have a chance to enjoy Harvey Ranch’s spectacular scenic views. Most importantly, we’ve added an additional layer of protection for a vital wildlife refuge. Preserving and keeping wildlife corridors intact is a huge priority as we take action to mitigate the impact of global climate change.”
Virtually all funding came from private individuals and institutions—including an extraordinarily generous $1 million match gift from a single anonymous donor. Large individual contributions helped close the funding gap, including in the campaign’s final months. A $550,000 grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation recognized JMLT’s bold vision to apply landscape level conservation efforts from Painted Rock in the north, to Harvey Ranch and Carr Ranch in the south. In September, the Town Council of Moraga unanimously approved a $250,000 contribution, investing in community health in an area that is widely known for its beautiful setting and its residents who cherish time spent outdoors.
Said Dan Winterson, who manages the Bay Area Conservation Program at the Moore Foundation, “Harvey Ranch is a strategically-located and threatened property, important for both wildlife habitat and water supply.”
Opting for conservation in the face of increasing demand for residential development, long-time Moraga resident Charlene Harvey had long hoped to preserve the beloved refuge she and late husband Jim Harvey have owned for decades. The Harveys are among the conservation icons who have helped to shape the modern Bay Area. Among their many roles, Charlene led the fundraising campaign to protect Crissy Field, and Jim served as director of the California Parks Foundation.
“At stake was the potential loss of untouched land that will now become a gateway to pristine wilderness, a new staging area with trailheads and trail connections, quick access to amazing views and pathways, an enhanced buffer for wildlife, a protected viewshed, and a keystone element of the natural environs of Saint Mary’s College,” emphasized Eukel. “What a wonderful way to start the new year! We are so grateful to the JMLT community for making this possible.”
A property dedication and grand opening to the public is being planned for late spring 2023.
About John Muir Land Trust
John Muir Land Trust (JMLT) protects and cares for open space, ranches, farms, parkland and shoreline in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. In a generation, John Muir Land Trust has become one of the leading forces for conservation in northern California. With more than 3,500 acres protected, many beautiful places in the East Bay are permanently preserved for recreation, wildlife habitat, and spectacular scenic views. JMLT believes that the vitality of our open spaces is essential to the health of our earth, air, water, native plants, and animals — and all of us. jmlt.org
Linus Eukel, Executive Director
(925) 788-7525 mobile; [email protected]