Save Mount Diablo gets Christmas present | January 4, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - January 4, 2008

Save Mount Diablo gets Christmas present

Largest grant in history allows 320-acre purchase

Save Mount Diablo announced a $756,100 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the purchase of 320 acres near Mt. Diablo State Park, on Dec. 20. The foundation grant is the largest in the organization's history.

The total price of the 320-acre Irish Canyon property was $1.344 million, and this grant allowed Save Mount Diablo to complete the purchase.

"This is the largest foundation grant Save Mount Diablo has ever received," said executive director Ron Brown. "We're really pleased by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's confidence in our efforts and are taking seriously the incentive they've provided to increase the speed of our work."

The grant includes stewardship funds to lay the groundwork for long-term creek and oak woodland restoration, said Save Mount Diablo representatives. At the same time the grant is meant to encourage the organization to speed up its preservation efforts in the Marsh Creek-Morgan Territory region northeast of Mount Diablo.

"The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its beautiful landscapes," said Helen Kim, chief program officer for the San Francisco Bay Area Program of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

"However, during the next 30 years, an estimated 400,000 acres of open space are at risk from suburban development. The foundation seeks to protect the Bay Area's unique and irreplaceable lands for future generations by making grants for land acquisition and conservation easements. Save Mount Diablo's Irish Canyon project is an excellent example of our efforts."

On the same day that Save Mount Diablo closed escrow on Irish Canyon, it purchased another small property east of Mount Diablo, nine acres it is calling Marsh Creek-I.

"We were able to make this second land deal in less than three weeks," said Brown.

Save Mount Diablo has been preserving lands on and around Mount Diablo and educating the public to the mountain's natural values since 1971. The preserved lands have increased during this time from 6,788 acres to more than 90,000. For more information, call 947-3535 or visit