Trust For Public Land Buys East Bay Hillside Parcel

September 4, 2013
San Francisco

An 8-acre parcel of hillside land in the east bay City of El Cerrito will be protected from development and added as a link between two large, urban natural areas, The Trust for Public Land announced today.

"This land provides the only possible natural trail connection between the City's two Hillside Natural Areas" said Brendan Moriarty, The Trust for Public Land's project manager. "Bridging this gap will create a 90-acre, mile-long park in a densely populated part of the East Bay and within walking distance of public transportation…this is truly open space for the people."

The Trust for Public Land paid $475,000 to buy the land from a local developer and will hold the property through December 2014 so that the City of El Cerrito and its community partners can raise the necessary purchase funds. Donations are now being sought so that the land can be transferred to the City of El Cerrito and made available for public use. To learn more, make a donation or get involved in the fundraising effort, visit www.ectrailtrekkers.org or http://www.el-cerrito.org/hnaproperty.

"Acquisition of this property furthers the City Council's goal of creating an environmentally-focused Bay Area destination and an environmentally-sustainable, walkable future" said Melanie Mintz, Interim Community Development Director for the City of El Cerrito. Once purchased, improved and opened to the public, it will "improve access, connectivity, and support walking in hillside neighborhoods and across the City."

Visitors to the site will find a rare oasis of habitat in an otherwise dense urban environment. A creek bisects the property, supporting populations of deer, coyote, wild turkey, peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk and other wildlife.

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.