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Archive for the 'Open space' Category

Save Mount Diablo: Please help us save more local open spaces!

Viera-North peak property on Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, Calif. Photo courtesy Save Mount Diablo.
Viera north peak smd

Last year, Save Mount Diablo in Walnut Creek, Calif., purchased “Viera-North Peak” — 165 acres of spectacular chaparral, oak woodlands and streams right on the slopes of Mount Diablo’s second highest point, North Peak.

Rising to an elevation of 2,300 feet, Viera-North peak is one of the two highest elevation private properties remaining on Mount Diablo. It shares half of its border with Mt. Diablo State Park, for which it is a natural addition. More than 55 rare plant species, like the Mt. Diablo jewel flower, and several rare animal species, like the Alameda whip snake, have been sighted there.
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Posted on Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Under: Open space, Save Mount Diablo | No Comments »

Concord Naval Weapons Station: Last chance to have your say on open space

Spring in the open spaces by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, Calif.
open space1

I just received this copy of the Save Mount Diablo E-News from Save Mount Diablo:

Thanks to all of those who supported our end-of-year campaign. We surpassed our goal and are energized to start another year preserving natural lands — for example continuing our efforts on the Concord Naval Weapons Station. We hope to see you at the Concord City Council meeting or at one of our events on the mountain.
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Posted on Friday, January 9th, 2009
Under: Concord Naval Weapons Station, Mount Diablo, Open space, Save Mount Diablo | 1 Comment »

Mount Diablo Open Space: It’s time for a walk on the wild side


Enjoy! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008
Under: Mount Diablo, Open space | No Comments »

Join the Slowskys & take a slow walk on the wild side. Here’s how.

hiking turtle1

Take your time and enjoy the natural world around you.

My thanks to Brian Murphy of Walnut Creek for the great photo illustration! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Under: Open space | No Comments »

New Bay Area license plate to preserve local open spaces

Mount Diablo Open Spaces

Hi Gary:
Ron Brown (Save Mount Diablo) and Linus Eukel (Muir Heritage Land Trust) from the Open Space Coalition suggested that I get in touch with you to talk to you about the Bay Area License Plate, a campaign that we hope will raise $1 million in annual revenue for open space projects in the Bay Area. You can find out more by visiting

I’ve also pasted some basic info about the program below:
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Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008
Under: Mount Diablo, Open space | No Comments »

Mighty oaks grow from little acorns … and scrub jays

My friend Brian of Walnut Creek, Calif., has a special way of looking at the land that we can all benefit from. He sees it through Mother Nature’s eyes.

A case in point. Brian is very much involved with the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation and one of his special projects, among many, is to help plant oak trees in the Walnut Creek open space areas. Not by simply poking holes in the ground, dropping in acorns and kicking a little dirt over the top of the oak seeds.

No, nothing quite so complicated.
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Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2008
Under: Acorns, Nature, Open space, scrub jay | No Comments »

PETA wants to put giant “GO VEG” sign on Hollywood mountain

Animal rights activists want their own giant mountainside sign above Hollywood reading “GO VEG.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals leaders say they hope to rent Cahuenga Peak west of the big HOLLYWOOD sign so they can erect their own 45-foot tall letters promoting “healthy eating and compassion for animals.”

The 138-acre Cahuenga Peak is currently listed for sale at $22 million, but PETA says it can’t afford to buy the property. Instead, PETA wants to rent it for the “GO VEG” sign until the land is sold.

What? PETA won’t spend a mere $22 million for a giant GO VEG sign? I thought they were serious about this stuff.

Maybe they’ll start a new fad. You know, come up with new ways to fill all those wasted open spaces with more important stuff to look at besides the same old beautiful vistas, acres of lovely oak woodland and miles and miles of soft rolling hills that change from green to brown with the seasons.

Best of all, those HUGE NEW SIGNS will also provide tons of new nooks and crannies for pigeons to build their nests and roost.

And people call it Visual Pollution. Silly gooses.

Just think of the possibilities:

GO VEG (Go Beef, Go Fish, Go Beets)

GET OUT OF (Iraq, Vietnam, Washington D.C.) NOW!

VOTE FOR (Obama, Hilary, Gary)

SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO ARM (bears, wolves, whales, condors)

Anyone have anything to add to this GIANT SIGN MADNESS? /Gary

Posted on Friday, February 29th, 2008
Under: Open space, PETA, Visual Pollution | No Comments »

What to do with Concord Naval Weapons Station?

Concord City Council to choose Concord Naval Weapons Station alternatives, Tues., Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Make a huge difference for Mount Diablo and its foothills, wildlife and recreational opportunities! With your help we scored a victory on Oct. 2 (see below). The Oct. 9 Concord City Council meeting is even more important.

** Please Attend Council Meeting: The Concord City Council will consider Project Alternatives for the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m. at City Council Chambers, 1950 Parkside Dr., Concord.

Save Mount Diablo and the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord have proposed our own alternative to preserve natural landscapes. The city’s consultants have prepared two new alternatives which include most of our requests (Alternatives 6 and 7) — but the City Council might refuse to include them!

Please attend the Concord City Council meeting and support the Community Coalition and inclusion of “Alternatives 6 and 7,” which would retain 72 percent to 81 percent of the base as parks, sports fields and open space. And please contact the City to strengthen your support.

It’s very important that we make a strong showing at this meeting. This past Tuesday, Oct. 2, we were successful when the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) voted 18-2 to include Alternatives 6 & 7, but there will be strong pressure on the city council to include just the alternatives with heavy development. Thank you to those of you who attended the CAC meeting.

While your attendance is most important, a letter, fax or e-mail would also be helpful.

Write/Fax/E-mail: Concord City Council (Mark Peterson, Mayor; Bill Shinn, Vice Mayor; Helen M. Allen, Laura Hoffmeister, Guy Bjerke (Council members)): City of Concord, 1950 Parkside Dr., Concord, CA 94519; Fax: 925-671-3375; If you are a resident of Concord, be sure to include that information in your letter or e-mail.
** Sample letter/e-mail:

The City of Concord is planning the reuse of the 5,100-acre Concord Naval Weapons Station — the largest development project in the East Bay.
** More about Concord Naval Weapons Station:

The project could create a traffic nightmare from East County to the Bay Bridge, with development wall to wall, or it could protect thousands of acres of open space. The City’s alternatives currently being considered would add 6,250 to 13,000 new residential units (and related traffic) to Concord.

Save Mount Diablo is part of the Community Coalition for a Sustainable Concord (Community Coalition). The Coalition is a collection of affordable housing, interfaith, labor, conservation & neighborhood organizations seeking a plan that preserves the Weapons Station’s natural resources and scenic hillsides.

We support a new “Community Coalition alternative,” protecting 80 percent of the base for parks, open space, and recreation.
** Read our complete platform:

We support the creation of a major new regional park east of Mount Diablo Creek, a 300-foot buffer to the creek, and an urban linear park along the Station’s western boundary. Transit-oriented development should be centered on North Concord BART, north of Highway 4 and in “Bunker City” between the urban park and the creek buffer.

At the Oct. 2 Community Advisory Committee meeting, the City included two more alternatives to reflect specific requests of the CAC and the public. “Alternatives 6 and 7” are based on the Community Coalition platform and would achieve a healthy balance between development and preservation of the Weapons Station’s natural resources.

Please attend the City Council meeting on Oct. 9 to ensure parks & open space are balanced with proposed development.

Thank you. We really appreciate your help. /SAVE MOUNT DIABLO STAFF

** To learn more about Save Mount Diablo:

This sounds like a pretty good plan for the Weapons Station. What do you think? /Gary

Posted on Friday, October 5th, 2007
Under: Open space | No Comments »

Gary’s on vacation until May 22

Dear Readers:

I’m off on vacation for the next two weeks. I’ll be checking out the open spaces, parks and wildlife in Germany with my wife, Lois. I’ll have LOTS to say here when I get back. See you on May 22! /Gary

Posted on Friday, May 5th, 2006
Under: Open space, Parks, Wildlife | No Comments »

Preserving our vital open spaces

As many times over the years as I’ve tried to help the local land trusts raise funds to buy or manage and preserve new pieces of open space, I’m still always amazed at the immediate positive response I get from people and businesses throughout the local community. In 2002 I tried to raise $61,000 in 8 weeks to pay off the loan the Muir Heritage Land Trust used to purchase the 80-acre Gustin Ranch Open Space near Martinez, CA. Would you believe 1,225 donors sent in $75,838? That magnificent response really says something about how we all feel about preserving the fragile open spaces near our backyards!

So now we’re off and running to help the Land Trust deal with another vital piece of local open space, the 700-acre Fernandez Ranch property. This is an extraordinary stretch of West Contra Costa’s natural landscape, stretching from Alhambra Valley north to Highway 4, off Christie Road. You can see it when you drive from Martinez to Hercules along Highway 4, off to the left behind the Franklin Canyon Golf Course.

At the end of the first week, the Trust has received 33 donations for a total of $5,075! Not a bad start, really. That means just $44,925 to go. My goal is to reach this figure by April 9. Then the Land Trust will schedule a weekend gathering for all the donors on the Fernandez Ranch so we can celebrate and thank everyone for making it happen.

Buying and preserving our last remaining open spaces is the only way we can preserve and protect them from becoming parking lots or new housing developments. In the words of one of this week’s donors, we need to “help balance our existing community with publicly accessible open space."

I’m sure our myriad local wild creatures also appreciate that we’re making sure they will always have a place to live. It’s the neighborly thing to do.

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2006
Under: Animals, Ecosystem, Open space, Wildlife | No Comments »