The East Bay Regional Park District board has voted to buy a pristine, wooded 260-acre property on the eastern flank of Mt. Diablo that will ultimately help connect thousands of acres of open space, miles of trails, and major wildlife corridors in eastern Contra Costa County.
The property will become an addition to Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, bringing the park's total acreage to 5,320.
Bordered by Mt. Diablo State Park and Morgan Territory, the property is a key piece in the overall efforts to preserve open space in the Bay Area.
"This is an important acquisition for us as we work to link open space around Mt. Diablo," said board member Beverly Lane, whose district includes Morgan Territory. "We're very excited to be able to save this beautiful piece of land for generations to come."
The Park District purchased the property at its appraised fair-market value with the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy. Using state and federal grant funds, the Conservancy put forth 90% of the $2 million purchase price, and the Park District agreed to pay 10% plus future maintenance and operating costs.
The property was purchased from the Viera family. In addition to lush oak woodlands, the property includes an expansive meadow, a portion of Marsh Creek and several seasonal streams, steep hills and open grasslands. It offers potential habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species, including the Alameda whipsnake, California tiger salamander, and California red-legged frog.
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 119,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.