Open Space Conservation

Photo: Adam Weidenbach

Photo: Adam Weidenbach

At WUDO, we are committed to keeping you in the know on all things Downtown, but in this post we want to take the time to acknowledge and thank those who are devoted to preserving the open space that we all treasure but may take for granted. For 25 years, The John Muir Land Trust has been quietly acquiring and protecting critical acreage all over Contra Costa County. In the process, they have saved beautiful and historic land from development and protected it’s natural resources and habitats so that we (and generations to come) can enjoy nature close to home.  

Most notably, the John Muir Land Trust, JMLT, worked closely with the U.S. National Park Service to save John Muir’s home and the surrounding land which inspired him in his life’s work of becoming “the Father of the National Parks”. Today countless school fieldtrips and tourists alike visit the site in Martinez to learn and be inspired by his legacy. If you haven’t already, take a day trip this summer to visit America’s most famous naturalist and conservationist’s home, and perhaps picnic under the pecan trees in John Muir’s orchards. 

WUDO was excited to learn that one of the properties saved by JMLT is within the City of Orinda: Bodfish Preserve. Permanently protected by a conservation easement held by JMLT, Bodfish Preserve is just as Margaret Bodfish hoped it would be when she established a trust for her property and its adobe home on Miner Road in 1999. The 7-acre “treasured Orinda property with dream-world woodlands” is open to the public, so add it to your list of places to explore this summer!

JMLT’s current project is the 600-acre Carr Ranch, a gorgeous stretch of iconic East Bay landscape bordering on the Town of Moraga in the Upper San Leandro Watershed. Many things make this project special, but among them is the opportunity to protect Bay Area clean drinking water at its source. You can help the Trust reach their goal of raising $7 million to purchase and close on the sale this month! Once this land is owned and protected by the John Muir Land Trust, we will have access to hiking, biking, equestrian trails and the opportunity to visit pristine land close to home now and for generations to come.

To learn more about the John Muir Land Trust’s many projects or to contribute to the amazing cause, please visit