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John Muir Land Trust – a Contra Costa gem

By PAUL CRAIG
Special to the Tribune

The John Muir Land Trust (JMLT) protects the environment and saves land in Contra Costa County. JMLT is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is protecting the places that make Contra Costa special. The Trust focuses most of it’s attention on the part of our county west of I-680. Currently it permanently protects about 3,100 acres. This figure is growing!

John Muir Land Trust Executive Director Linus Eukel at Martinez Rotary. (PAUL CRAIG / Courtesy)
John Muir Land Trust Executive Director Linus Eukel at Martinez Rotary. (PAUL CRAIG / Courtesy)

JMLT’s Fernandez Ranch is located off Highway 4 near Christie Road. Fernandez Ranch has lots of hiking and riding trails. The existing ranch will be extended to a total of 1,185 acres when the contiguous Franklin Canyon is opened to public use – which will happen within the next few months.

JMLT’s newest acquisition is the 604 acre Carr Ranch in Moraga. This success story is wonderful in two ways. It’s a beautiful property and it shows JMLT active in the southern part of the county (see www.jmlt.org/carrranch.html).

JMLT is getting kids – girls especially – out on the land. “Pointing to Success” uses Canogle.com’s cell phone app and GPS technology to give local information as one walks through landscapes (jmlt.org/mobileapp). The program is tied in with local schools and emphasizes “STEAM” – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. (I like the inclusion of art – it’s a big part of what makes life worth living.)

JMLT is working with kids who are aging out of the foster care program. It’s working with Morning Harvest Farm, a non-profit urban farm and culinary garden in Contra Costa County operating for the benefit of transitioning age (18-23) foster youth. The program will help these kids build self-esteem and prepare for careers.

Rotary Report is an update about featured speakers at Martinez Rotary Club meetings. Rotary meets once a week at Grace Episcopal Church, 130 Muir Station Road. For meeting times and other inquiries, visit www.martinezrotary.org.

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