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photo: adam weidenbach

LOOKING AHEAD: THREE STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

What land should we save? There's no shortage of opportunity. Priority land conservation projects fall into three categories.

Large parcels of desirable wild lands.

  • Examples: Carr Ranch, Almond Ranch.
  • 100 acres or more.
  • Often adjacent to or inholdings within conserved wilderness areas and protected watersheds.
  • Sought for high-end homes and/or commercial development.
  • Huge conservation value due to habitat, species protection, water security, wilderness integrity, and recreation.
  • Acquisition is well-suited for a land trust due to location, complexity, landowner sentiment, or availability of funding.

There are as many as 150 candidate large parcel properties in Western Contra Costa.

Neighborhood parks.

  • Examples: Painted Rock, Stonehurst, Batwing.
  • 100 acres or fewer.
  • Adjacent to populated neighborhoods where opportunities for outdoor recreation are in high demand.
  • May fill out an existing park system or expand a trail system.
  • High recreational appeal, with opportunities for trails, views, and easy access.
  • Have conservation value, but value for recreation is often greater.

There are as many as 800 candidate properties in Western Contra Costa.

Strategic urban projects and former industrial sites.

  • Examples: Pacheco Marsh, Family Harvest Farm, Community Gardens, Contra Costa Goldfields.
  • Can be just a few acres.
  • May serve an urban population or restore a place damaged by commercial and industrial activity.
  • Sought for high-end homes and/or commercial development.
  • Benefits are wide-ranging, e.g., outdoor recreation to an underserved population, employment for emancipated foster youth, or restoration of a salt marsh to a functioning ecosystem.
  • Needs are diverse, from park design and development to environmental remediation.

There is virtually no limit to the number of these we can do.

... for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right”— John Muir

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