New 1,500 Sqft Education Center Coming to Mt. Diablo State Park
By Tony Hicks, Bay City News Foundation
The Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) is raising money to build a new education center at its Mitchell Canyon entrance.
Mitchell Canyon attracts 35,000 visitors per year. The location is a popular point of access in Mount Diablo State Park for hikes to the summit or the waterfalls, wildflower hikes, tarantula hikes, organized trail running events, mountain biking, equestrian rides, photography, birding, and geology hikes. Yet, the facilities currently on the site severely limit who can visit the park.
A 25-year-old portable trailer currently serves as the visitor center. MDIA is raising $3 million it says will significantly increase access to the park and its programs.
A statement from the group Wednesday indicated that since starting its campaign last fall, it is more than a quarter of the way to its goal.
The new 1,500-square-foot education center would incorporate a large outdoor pavilion and expanded indoor space to house permanent and rotating exhibits. The Mitchell Canyon entrance is on the mountain’s northwest side, about a mile from Clayton.
It would include lots of space for school bus turnarounds and parking. MDIA said the new center would greatly increase access for local students.
Designed by LEED-certified Ware Architects, the new education center’s energy-efficient, environmentally responsive design would serve as a model for other structures located in urban-wildfire interface zones — a consideration of increasing importance because of California’s expanding fire season, MDIA officials said.
MDIA continues to seek private and public grants as well as individual gifts, which it said is essential to meeting the campaign’s $3 million goal. Read more. For questions, email MCEC4me@gmail.com.
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