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Save 1000 Acres: The Future of Science Education in Escondido?

The Escondido Creek Conservancy has recently announced that preliminary funding commitments have been secured totaling $6.8 million to preserve the 693-acre Mountain Gate property west of Daley Ranch. While we have yet to secure the property, escrow is set to close before September 30th and new possibilities for the future of this site are finally within reach.

The desolate avocado grove and its abandoned structures may seem underwhelming to many, but the Conservancy sees opportunity for restoration and education. If the transaction is confirmed, this will be the site of future restoration work as well as a possible conservation field station/science education center. Since part of the property is already so degraded, students  could participate in a multitude of restoration projects and watch them “bloom” over time. Projects might include helping to design the field station, removing invasive species, and re-purposing the abandoned agricultural pond as a wildlife pond. Students and teachers could also design and install long-term studies to measure the progress of the restoration over time using various techniques.

Before these dreams can come to fruition, however, the County’s contribution to the Mountain Gate property must be affirmed and escrow must close, so that ownership is transferred. The Conservancy hopes to complete the acquisition portion of the Save 1000 Acres campaign in the next few years and, in parallel, begin to focus on the enhancement of these properties for the local ecology and science education.

Will you help us reach our goal of 1,000 individual contributions to Save 1000 Acres? Any size donation helps and sends a message that conservation and science education are important to our community!