Land Trust of Napa County acquired 80 acres of undeveloped land near the Napa Open Space District’s EcoCamp Berryessa, at the northern end of Lake Berryessa. This new acquisition connects with other protected lands, ensures ongoing scenic values and creates new opportunities for camp programs for youth and children.
The property abuts over 400 acres that the Land Trust purchased in 2019. These properties connect with thousands of acres of existing protected land owned by the federal government, managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation. The new acquisition extends protected lands south to ensure corridors for wildlife that lead toward the 6,400-acre Cedar Roughs Wilderness Area.
The property has serpentine soils that support rare plants and it lies between two of the main sources of water for Lake Berryessa, Pope Creek and Putah Creek, just before those creeks empty into the lake. The land rises from Pope Creek to a high point above the lake, directly above the site of the Open Space District’s outdoor educational programs at EcoCamp Berryessa.
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Protection of the property will allow expansion of these programs to include hiking through the blue oak woodlands on the newly acquired land to the property’s summit. This will allow campers to hike to the top and experience striking views back down to their camp below, west to Mount St. Helena, east across Lake Berryessa to the peaks of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and south along the full length of the 10-mile long lake.
“We’re excited to protect this property,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “It’s an important natural area and our long-term plan is to transfer these lands, almost 500 acres, to the Napa Open Space District so that they can expand their programs for campers and children at EcoCamp Berryessa.”
EcoCamp Berryessa provides outdoor education programs for scouting, educational and community organizations for group gatherings, team building, and outdoor events. According to the District’s website, “It’s a place where children and adults can disconnect and learn to build a fire, paddle a canoe, or catch a fish. All in a setting that’s clean, comfortable and environmentally friendly.”
“The really exciting thing about this land is the opportunity it will provide for kids at the camp to have paddle-in wilderness-style experiences right across from the EcoCamp,” said Chris Cahill, General Manager of the Open Space District. “I think it opens up the kind of activities we can host at EcoCamp in a really exciting way.”
The Land Trust of Napa County is dedicated to preserving the character of Napa by permanently protecting land. In its 45-year history, the Land Trust has worked with landowners to complete over 230 real estate projects, protecting more than 86,000 acres of land — over 16% of Napa County.