Welcome to Mount Diablo
A Message from Steve Smith, MDIA President - Winter-Spring 2023
"As we move out of Winter and into the Spring and Summer seasons there will be many changes in the park. We started 2023 with some wild storms which left a path of destruction across much of the Bay Area and Mount Diablo was certainly not spared. Saturated hillsides gave way to numerous landslides, rockslides, and road washouts. The effects of these storms will be felt long into the year. We are of course in a perpetual state of drought here in California and this is felt particularly in Mount Diablo State Park. We always hope for the replenishment of our springs which act as the main source of drinking water on the mountain, but even heavy winter rains aren’t often enough to eliminate water shortages. As always, we ask that you come to the mountain adequately prepared with your own water supplies.
Of course, there are many benefits to these deluges, in our Spring season you are going to see lush green hillsides and likely dense populations of wonderful wildflowers. The abundance of water in our streams and ponds not only makes for some beautiful photographs and calming sounds, but they also provide additional sources of water for our wildlife which will thrive in health and population this year. On the flip side of all this growth, particularly in the fauna, is that there are increased fuel loads in the dry vegetation during our hot and dry summer months. Extra caution and preparedness are necessary as wildfire dangers may be particularly high.
It’s always such a conundrum as both beauty and destruction accompany wet winters. Please get out there and enjoy everything the seasons have to offer while exercising appropriate caution and care for our ever-evolving ecosystem."
News and Park Alerts
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!
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.
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 (middle) with two other insect-loving MDIA volunteers, Dan Fitzgerald (left) and Michael Marchiano (right). Photo by Daniel Fitzgerald
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.
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.
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.
Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and MDIA Board of Directors
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.”
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan with Cameron Morrison and Steve Smith
Joint Press Release by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, California State Parks and Mount Diablo Interpretive Association