Help Needed to Save 1,000 acres in Northern Escondido!
In November 2016, The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) launched the Save 1000 Acres campaign to preserve just under 1,000 acres in the Escondido Creek watershed by putting two properties in escrow near Daley Ranch and Lake Wohlford.
We are thrilled to tell you that the Conservancy has received preliminary funding commitments totaling $6.8 million to preserve the 693-acre Mountain Gate property west of Daley Ranch!
People Donated. We Launched.
Our wonderful partners—the Friends of Daley Ranch and the Palomar Audubon Society—have been instrumental in funding the campaign, as have the 442 individual donations ranging from $3 to $25,000 from wonderful people like you. Having many people contribute, no matter how small the contribution, makes a powerful statement about the importance of land preservation in our region. It’s an especially powerful statement to funders, such as foundations and major donors, for them to see that people care about his place. Your contributions get their attention, as they are more likely to contribute if they know individuals throughout the region took the time to reach into their wallet to send a donation.
Individual contributions have been essential to help cover the Conservancy’s very real costs, including property inspections, appraisals and escrow fees, which are critical to the process but are rarely covered by grants and other institutional funding sources. We literally could not have done it without your support!
Mountain Meadow Preserve
In a complex transaction, the Conservancy will purchase the Mountain Gate property (to be renamed Mountain Meadow Preserve) and then transfer most of it to San Diego County Parks, retaining 23 acres and structures associated with the land’s agricultural past. We hope to re-purpose the structures to support our environmental education programs. The Conservancy will manage the entire property for San Diego County Parks under an easement purchased by the U.S. Navy to protect wildlife habitat. The County’s contribution will be considered before the Board of Supervisors this month. If the County’s contribution is affirmed, escrow should close before September 30th and 693 campaign acres will be preserved in perpetuity.
More Work To Be Done
While this is very exciting news, our costs have been higher than anticipated. Additionally, we still need to raise money to complete the John Henry acquisition and to preserve smaller linkage properties that will create the contiguous wildlife corridor from Mountain Meadow to Bear Valley and beyond.
Help us reach our goal of 1,000 individual contributions to
Save 1,000 Acres
Any size donation makes a difference.
Mark Twain famously said, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”
The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) has joined with the Friends of Daley Ranch, the Palomar Audubon Society and the Endangered Habitats League, taking Mark Twain’s words to heart.
At the end of 2015, the Conservancy began the SAVE1000acres campaign by putting two properties into escrow: the 694-acre Mountain Gate property in the Hidden Meadows area, and the 282-acre John Henry Ranch near Lake Wohlford. At one time approximately 147 homes were proposed for Mountain Gate, and in recent years there were attempts to develop the John Henry Ranch.
Instead, with your help, the properties can be purchased and preserved forever, creating new nature preserves in northern Escondido where wildlife can thrive. We are also looking to preserve other areas in Northern Escondido to link these properties to Daley Ranch, Lake Wohlford and Bottle peak, creating a nine mile+ protected area for wildlife, one of the most significant preserved areas in North County!
Recent media coverage about our 1,000 Acres Campaign:
- 1/1/17, The Coast News Group, “Escondido Creek Conservancy aims to add 1,000 acres”
- 11/17/16, Valley Roadrunner, “Valleyites learn about efforts to preserve 1,000 acres of habitat”
- 10/2/16, The San Diego Union-Tribune article and video, “Greenbelt planned along Escondido Creek”