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Welcome to Mount Diablo
A Message from Steve Smith, MDIA President - Tour of Mitchell Canyon Education Center

News and Park Alerts

Education Center Visioning Workshop with Sibbett Group

Since we last wrote to you to share the success of passing the $2 million mark, there have been some wonderful developments in our quest to build the new Education Center:

We received a unanimous endorsement from the Contra Costa County Mayor’s conference – the mayors from every city in the county.  These mayors represent over 980,000 residents.

We are excited to start bringing the educational program of the new center into focus. We have entered into a contract with The Sibbett Group, a professional exhibit design firm to help us create a vision for the internal and external exhibits. This Bay Area firm is nationally recognized, with extensive work at National Parks, State Parks, and museums. To help us develop the best educational content, we are working with a variety of leaders. Tracy McManus, the County Office of Education Science Coordinator, and Sharon Peterson, the Interpreter for Mount Diablo State Park, are helping to craft our interpretive design for the new Education Center and ensure that it aligns with State curriculum standards. In addition we are working with local tribal leadership to reflect Indigenous perspectives in the exhibits at the new Education Center. You can help us achieve the vision for the Education Center by donating today: https://www.mdia.org/donate

Education Center Visioning Workshop with Sibbett Group

Our visioning workshop brought together officials from Indigenous Leadership, CA State Parks, MDIA and Sibbett Group. Pictured (l-r) are: Julie Braun-Martin, MDIA Board; Dan Sandri, MDIA Secretary; Brianna Cutts, Sibbett Consulting; Mark Brauer, MDIA Board; Christina McLain, CSP Biologist; Zack Moskowitz, CSP Archeologist; Steve Smith, MDIA President; Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Kanyon Konsulting, Indian Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan-Ohlone People; Sharon Peterson, CSP Interpreter; Mike Brandy, MDIA Vice President; Don Sibbett, Sibbett Consulting and Dick Nicoll, MDIA Board (not pictured).

By Steve Smith

Protecting Mount Diablo's Peregrines

Shooting through the sky at speeds reaching over 200 miles per hour, peregrine falcons, the fastest animals on earth, descend upon their prey in the blink of an eye.

These extraordinary raptors nest at two locations within Mount Diablo State Park: Castle Rock and Knobcone Point. Though they may be mighty hunters, they need our help to complete a successful nesting season.

Protecting Mount Diablo's Peregrines

Peregrine in flight by Wally De Young

Courtesy of Mary Nagle, Save Mount Diablo

Together, We Did it!

We are thrilled to announce that our community stepped up and pushed us over the $2 million milestone at the close of 2023! Thanks to all of you for helping the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association raise $1 million in private donations for the new Mitchell Canyon Education Center, matching the $1 million grant from the State of California. We are grateful for the enthusiastic support of the project and financial support from a wide range of individuals, companies, organizations, community leaders, and elected officials.

A total of 116 local donors contributed to the campaign. They included current and former MDIA Board members, Cemex Corporation, the Kerr Foundation, Clayton Business & Community Association, PG&E, and numerous individuals. An anonymous donor made a major contribution that enabled us to achieve our goal.

Mount Diablo Interpretive Association now has sufficient funds to start construction on at least one part of the project later this year, and we hope to be awarded a large grant to be able to complete the entire project. The new Mitchell Canyon Education Center will inspire thousands of visitors each year to explore the mountain, deepen their understanding of its rich history and biodiversity, wonder at its beauty, and ensure its protection.

We are so grateful for your ongoing support and appreciate your commitment to our mission of Preservation Through Education. We could not do this important work without your help. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and congratulations on our success!

Sincerely,

Steve Smith

Together, We Did it!

Thanks from Leslie, Tere, Mark, Dan, Steve, Julie, Mike & Dick and the entire Board of Directors

MDIA Press Release - January 2024

Seasonal Peregrine Nesting Area Closure now includes Knobcone Point

For 2024: Two Peregrine Nesting Closures From February 1st through July 31st, Mount Diablo State Park will close two small areas to all visitors to accommodate nesting peregrine falcons, a protected species in California. The closure zone in the Castle Rock cliffs of Pine Canyon was established in 2015.

The second zone, Knobcone Point, established in 2022, lies in the remote cliffs of the Black Hills. MDIA Peregrine Team members monitor both sites and provide education to park visitors about these apex predators.

All roads and trails within both areas are closed for the nesting season. To view the full closure notice, please visit mdia.org.

Seasonal Peregrine Nesting Area Closure now includes Knobcone Point

Closure Map for Knobcone Point area

Pine Canyon and Knobcone Point Area Closure Effective February 1, 2024

Dan Sandri's Renaissance Career

Dan Sandri, one of MDIA’s core volunteers, is a big hiker, but he doesn't usually leg it because he's looking for insects. His backstory is inspiring: He retired a handful of years ago after a career with the State, but he had earned a Bachelor's degree in entomology at UC Berkeley and his bug-love had stayed alive but dormant. Though he thought he'd forgotten most of what he'd learned way back then, he was soon out combing the mountain to recall and re-learn. He hooked up with old ento buddies, one of whom is a research professor in the field, and look at this: a scientific paper with his name on it and using his fine photos!

The moral of the story: Never call retirement "retirement." Instead, it is your renaissance career.
Congrats to Dan!

Dan Sandri's Renaissance Career

Dan Sandri (middle) with two other insect-loving MDIA volunteers, Dan Fitzgerald (left) and Michael Marchiano (right). Photo by Daniel Fitzgerald

Volunteer Highlights

East Bay Leadership Council Welcomes MDIA to its Membership

Please welcome Mount Diablo Interpretive Association to EBLC! MDIA's team of volunteers are preserving the nature and history of Mount Diablo State Park through the development of interpretive and educational resources. Their dedication to this mission is an important component of improving the quality of life of East Bay residents. Last week Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, California State Parks, and MDIA announced $1 million in State Funding for Mitchell Canyon Education Center to be built at Mount Diablo State Park.

East Bay Leadership Council Welcomes MDIA to its Membership

Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and MDIA Board of Directors

East Bay Leadership Council, LinkedIn

State writes big check to boost construction efforts for Mount Diablo education center

The state of California gave the future Mitchell Canyon Education Center on Mount Diablo a check for $1 million to boost its construction efforts, the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association this week said.
Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, presented the check at the site on Sept. 20.
The money will help fund the construction of a cutting-edge Education Center at the Mitchell Canyon entrance to the park.

State writes big check to boost construction efforts for Mount Diablo education center

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan with Cameron Morrison and Stephen Smith

by Tony Hicks, Bay City News Foundation

Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association gets $1 million from state for Mitchell Canyon Education Center

Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) recently presented a check for $1 million from the state to the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. This funding will enable the construction of a cutting-edge Education Center at the Mitchell Canyon entrance to Mount Diablo State Park.

Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association gets $1 million from state for Mitchell Canyon Education Center

Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and MDIA Board of Directors

The Press

Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, California State Parks and Mount Diablo Interpretive Association Announce $1,000,000 in State Funding for Mitchell Canyon Education Center

Clayton, Calif.— Wednesday, September 20, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) will visit the site of the future Mitchell Canyon Education Center to present a check for $1 million from the State of California to the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. This funding will enable the construction of a cutting-edge Education Center at the Mitchell Canyon entrance to Mount Diablo State Park.

“I’m thrilled to be presenting this funding which will mark a pivotal step toward enhancing educational opportunities, facilitating better access, and enriching the visitor experience at Mount Diablo,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. “As Chair of the Assembly’s Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, I understand how crucial open space and nature are for our quality of life here in California, and I am proud of how this partnership will draw more visitors to Mount Diablo.”

Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, California State Parks and Mount Diablo Interpretive Association Announce $1,000,000 in State Funding for Mitchell Canyon Education Center

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan with Cameron Morrison and Steve Smith

Joint Press Release by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, California State Parks and Mount Diablo Interpretive Association

For the Press

Resources for media groups to promote MDIA and the new Education Center at Mitchell Canyon

For the Press

Press materials for MDIA

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Peregrine Closure Notice
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