EastBay Today

Posted April 12, 2017

Cal State East Bay Partners to Save Mt. Diablo

The university is signing an agreement to protect the area around its Concord campus

Situated at the base of Mount Diablo, the Cal State East Bay Concord campus is a sight to behold. In the spring, when snow still caps the top of the peak, the fields and hills around the campus burst into color and birds call overhead. As summer fades into fall, they turn golden in the heat. But only half of Mount Diablo’s lands are protected, which means the area is still regularly threatened by development that could mean the loss of wildlife corridors and recreational opportunities.

Now, thanks to a partnership with Save Mount Diablo and Mount Diablo Resource Recovery, the university is taking another step in demonstrating its commitment to protect and steward the area.

On April 22, in honor of Earth Day 2017, the three entities will sign a Conservation Collaboration Agreement intended to educate and encourage young people to get involved in conservation efforts.

“To expedite our time-sensitive land conservation work for the Mount Diablo area, Save Mount Diablo is reaching out to students and other leaders to join the cause, as we all have a major stake in what our future environment will be like, especially young people,” said Ted Clement, executive director of the nonprofit conservation group Save Mount Diablo. “We are grateful for the leadership, long-term vision and philanthropy demonstrated by Mount Diablo Resource Recovery and Cal State East Bay for entering this Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Save Mount Diablo.”

The agreement has three basic parts. First, the staff of SMD will provide in-class educational presentations regarding land conservation to participating students of Cal State East Bay and the employees of MDRR during the week of Earth Day 2017.

Second, SMD staff will teach and lead the students and employees in an outdoor, experiential environmental service project at one of SMD’s conserved properties. The project will also allow each participant to complete a contemplative writing exercise about nature.

Finally, in an act of educational and participatory philanthropy, MDRR will provide SMD memberships for all of its employees, and Cal State East Bay will raise the funds to enable 30 children in underserved areas of Contra Costa County to become members of SMD through its youth membership program. In addition, participating Cal State East Bay student groups will also have the option to raise funds to become SMD members.

According to Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita, participation in this Conservation Collaboration Agreement not only demonstrates Cal State East Bay’s commitment to higher education in Contra Costa County, but also its goal of integrating the concepts of sustainability into all aspects of university life.

“Working with our community partners, we hope to create meaningful learning experiences for our students that address both the challenges as well as the possibilities of social, environmental and economic leadership for the entire East Bay,” Morishita said.