December 2019
Volunteers on the Dogs and Diablo Restoration Team replant native species after removing invasive plants. Photo: Roxana Lucero
Partner Spotlight: Save Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo (SMD) is a land trust and conservation organization preserving lands and educating the public on Mount Diablo and its surrounding foothills in Contra Costa County since 1971. This mountain is ancestral territory of the Bay Miwok and Yokuts, and holds sacred significance as the place of creation for Miwok and Ohlone peoples.
For more than 45 years, SMD has acquired and preserved lands on Mount Diablo. Today there are 60,000 acres of privately-owned land remaining on the mountain that SMD aims to preserve and steward through perpetual land preservation, advocacy, ongoing stewardship, land use planning and education programs. On acquired land and on lands where conservation easements are owned by SMD, there are year-round volunteer programs including the Stewardship Committee, East Bay Trail Dogs and Diablo Restoration Team (DiRT) who are monitoring, removing invasive species, planting and maintaining native vegetation, doing creek cleanups, building trails and maintaining properties on 2,000 acres. Some invasive weeds volunteers target include artichoke thistle ( Cynara cardunculus ), giant reed ( Arundo donax ), stinkwort ( Dittrichia graveolens ), yellow starthistle ( Centaurea solstitialis ), among others. SMD stewards lands they acquire that will be turned over to a public park agency or protected through conservation easements.

“Volunteers are Save Mount Diablo’s backbone. Together we accomplish so much, and with continued support, we evolve with new potential to bring more change,” shared Roxana Lucero, Land Stewardship Associate at SMD. Lucero explained a recent success of volunteer work after SMD purchased the Big Bend property (previously an overgrazed horse ranch and golf course). Restoration planning and efforts focused on the western floodplain of the property where dozens of SMD volunteers implemented site preparation, transplanted native plants, and developed a mulched path to limit impact on the land. Over 300 plants have been planted to date on site and several hundred hours have been poured into the conception and continued care of the project. “Now buckeyes and oaks grow in the floodplain that will one day provide shade and shrubs grow between the large sycamores and cottonwoods that will fill in as years pass,” shared Lucero.

SMD relies on volunteers to maintain these restoration sites and are always looking for fresh faces to join fun and social workdays. Learn more about SMD’s habitat restoration programs and get involved!
Free 2020 volunteer training sessions are now online!
Click on a date to register:

Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation
Great Blue Heron Hall
900 Sanford Rd, Santa Rosa

Skyline Wilderness Park
2201 Imola Ave, Napa

Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, Foothill Annex
22500 Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino

TBD - Mount Diablo Training
Photo: Roxana Lucero
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Photo: Roxana Lucero
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