This just in: Wildlife Conservation Board award brings Trust to 85% of $15.5 million needed to purchase and care for the 1,500 acre property to be the community’s next natural park.
One step closer to meeting its fundraising goal for The Campaign for Rockville Trails, Solano Land Trust announced today that the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved $2.877 million for Rockville Trails’ purchase. Solano Land Trust launched its Campaign for Rockville Trails in May 2011 to raise $15.5 million to purchase the 1,500 acre property, which was approved for development of 370 estate homes in 2008. The Land Trust will manage the property for public recreation, habitat protection and agriculture. To date, the Trust has raised $12.7 million, or 85% of its goal, leaving $2 million remaining for acquisition and $800,000 for permanent management and stewardship.
Once acquired, Rockville Trails will provide the community a new park, offering hiking, equestrian and biking trails as well six miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
“The support from the Department of Fish and Game and the Wildlife Conservation Board was a critical piece in our fundraising strategy,” stated Executive Director Nicole Byrd. “With the approval of this grant, we are just $2 million away from protecting this amazing property forever.”
“The Wildlife Conservation Board is pleased to support a project with high conservation value and with such diversity in funds raised,” said Dave Means, Assistant Executive Director of WCB, “We look forward to Solano Land Trust’s successful completion of this project and the new natural park that will provide the public with another place to get outside and experience the wild places of California.”
The WCB award joins more than $6.2 million in grant dollars from the California Coastal Conservancy, Moore Foundation, Resources Legacy Fund, Syar Foundation, Brewster West Foundation, Rose Foundation and AE & Martha Michelbacher Foundation. Additionally, $3 million in local open space tax assessment funds from the City of Fairfield Community Facilities District and Solano County Green Valley Open Space Management District were used to purchase 330 acres of the property last spring.
Even more impressive, says Byrd, is the $575,000 that has been generously donated from the local community. “People think that the smaller donations don’t matter,” said Byrd, “but we have raised over $80,000 in donations under $5,000. Many of these contributions range from $100 to $1,000 dollars and these gifts add up.”
Solano Land Trust purchased the first 330 acres using local tax assessment dollars in the spring of 2011 as part of a settlement between the Green Valley Land Owner’s Association, the Sierra Club and White Wing Highland Associates, the owner of the property. The settlement provided for an option for the Trust to purchase the remaining 1,170 acres by February 2012. The deadline has since been extended to July 2012.
Rockville Trails is located between Green Valley Road and Suisun Valley Road in Fairfield, CA, less than 45 minutes from Sacramento, San Francisco and Contra Costa County. The property’s rolling hills, oak woodlands, and rocky outcrops have the potential of becoming a new, natural regional park with a trail system that will connect existing and proposed trails that will one day circle the bay, reaching as far as Lynch Canyon and the Napa River.
“The finish line is within reach,” said Byrd. “For all of you out there who have been considering helping with Rockville Trails, the time is now! Please make a generous donation today to help us reach our goal because July 31st is right around the corner!” To make an individual contribution or to get involved in the campaign, visit www.solanolandtrust.org.
Content provided by Solano Land Trust