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LeoMar Preserve

We are pleased to announce that the Conservancy is currently in escrow to purchase 80 acres of wildlife-rich land adjacent to the Gaty reservoir above Rancho Summit Road in Olivenhain, in the lower Escondido Creek watershed.

Additionally, the Conservancy is managing the habitat lands set aside as part of the nearby One Oak development. These properties will become the center of the Conservancy’s newest nature preserve, to be called the LeoMar Preserve, named for two of the Conservancy’s founders, Leonard Wittwer and Martha Blane. Today we are asking for support so the Conservancy can connect the Missing Lynx and both preserve nature and help these lower watershed communities retain their rural charm.

The Conservancy first became a property owner in 1998 when it took ownership of the 21-acre Bumann property, part of Olivenhain’s historic Bumann Ranch. In the mid-1990s, the Conservancy conceived and successfully promoted the “small parcel corridor” as mitigation for the Olivenhain Dam and associated pipelines. This protected landscape now connects land along Escondido Creek into Carlsbad, helping define the Olivenhain community and providing habitat for local wildlife. It is fitting, as we approach the Conservancy’s 30-year anniversary in 2021, that we are focused again on the Olivenhain area as part of the Conservancy’s Missing Lynx campaign which aims to create permanent wildlife corridors in the Escondido Creek watershed, including corridors in and around the Olivenhain community.

Areas in the lower Escondido Creek watershed contain wildlife habitat for endangered and threatened plants and animals that were once common. The LeoMar Preserve will anchor these communities as a place where wildlife is always welcome, where rare species can thrive, so that common species can remain common. We want to expand the LeoMar Preserve and are seeking donations to purchase additional land in the lower watershed. 

During these extraordinary times, we have experienced on a deeper level how the natural world helps to support us in staying healthy and resilient. Now is the time to ensure we always have natural places of refuge. It is a great time to donate to the Conservancy, as the federal government is increasing the deductibility of donations. You can deduct 100 percent of your cash contributions, as opposed to the 60 percent allowed previously. Help us protect the lower Escondido Creek watershed’s future by donating to the LeoMar Preserve. The Conservancy has a track record of leveraging each $1 donated into $80 in grants for land purchase.

There are additional ways to be a part of the Conservancy. We would love to have you join us on a nature walk, or help us on a special project, like the update of our strategic plan, which will begin later this year. Email us at information@escondidocreek.org, if you’d like to join our mailing list, or have questions about our work.