The East Bay Regional Park District board decided Tuesday to acquire 362 acres of land in the San Ramon Valley that will connect two popular East Bay parks.
The parcel, which was part of the former Wiedemann Ranch on the western edge of San Ramon, will connect Bishop Ranch Open Space Preserve and Dublin Hills Regional Park, protecting some San Ramon Valley hills from development and linking sections of the popular Calaveras Ridge Trail, EBRPD officials stated in a press release.
The land will become a part of the Bishop Ranch Open Space Preserve, which will double the park's size to about 800 acres.
The park district purchased the property from the Wiedemann family for about $2 million. The EBRPD board of directors voted unanimously to approve the purchase.
"When you look west from the Valley, you'll see the park district has been stitching together parks that preserve the ridgelines. There's Las Trampas, Bishop Ranch, Dublin Hills and now this. This is the missing jewel in the necklace," said EBRPD board member Beverly Lane, who represents the San Ramon Valley.
Funding for the property purchase will come from Measure WW, a $500 million bond which Contra Costa and Alameda counties' voters approved in 2008 to preserve wildlife habitat.
The Wiedemann Ranch was founded in the 1860s when Christian Wiedemann, a German immigrant, purchased hilltop land for a cattle ranch. Overall, he collected 4,000 acres, and his descendants operate the remaining property.
"It's an extraordinary piece of property, and it's just beautiful in the spring," Lane said. "This is a very significant and positive addition to the San Ramon Valley."