PLACER PROFILE: Jeff Darlington
Long-time Auburn Resident Selected as New Placer Land Trust Executive Director
by Bob Cooley-Gilliom
Jeff Darlington has been selected to be the Executive Director of the Placer Land Trust.
He brings proven management skills and experience to our organization at a critical time for land conservation in Placer County.
“The opportunity to be involved in protecting this wonderful area is tremendous,” said Jeff. “Placer Land Trust is an important player in land conservation in Placer County, and I’m pleased to work with such a dedicated group of individuals.”
Jeff grew up in the Auburn area, and is the 4th generation of his family to reside in Placer County. He attended Placer High School and U.C. Berkeley, where he earned a degree in History with a minor in Geography.
He is coming to Placer Land Trust from the Mono Lake Committee, a highly successful environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra. Prior to that he worked for Electronic Data Systems in Rancho Cordova, the California Department of Conservation, and a couple outdoor news publications – Western Outdoor News and Fishing & Hunting News – based in Sacramento. He is also a freelance writer.
“This is the career opportunity I’ve worked toward for many years,” Jeff said.
Jeff is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying birding, backpacking, photography, fishing and hunting. When the weather keeps him indoors, he enjoys working on his family genealogy. He and his wife Christa reside in Newcastle with Malone, their Jack Russell Terrier.
As Executive Director, Jeff is currently hard at work drafting the conservation easement for the School Park Preserve project, assisting with our capacity building, and visiting potential new land preservation sites across the county.
Feel free to give him a call at the office to welcome him aboard!
SAVE THE DATE!
Placer Harvest Celebration set for November 22
by Linda Raimondi
On Friday, November 22, the Placer Land Trust is proud to sponsor the first annual “Placer Harvest Celebration” at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.
This evening event celebrates the role of agriculture in Placer County through an evening of food, wine, and entertainment. The Placer Harvest Celebration will be a prelude to the Mountain Mandarin Festival, also to be held at the Fairgrounds that weekend, Nov. 23-24.
The Celebration will also illustrate the role of agriculture and the importance of protecting working landscapes in Placer County. Admission proceeds will benefit the Placer Land Trust to help our work to preserve agricultural land.
So save the date now, and look for more details in upcoming months!
LAND LINES UNVEILED!
New PLT Newsletter Format & Content
by Leah Gastman
You are reading the inaugural issue (Vol. 1, No. 1) of Land Lines, the new quarterly newsletter of the Placer Land Trust.
We chose this title because Land conservation is our mission, and Lines of communication and partnership are essential for success.
By discussing how we work to conserve land – often described by property lines, contour lines, trails, farm fields, and many other linear characteristics – Land Lines will inform you of our progress.
We’ll feature updates about our projects, partnerships, events, and acquisitions, which will together define our success as a land conservation organization.
With Placer Land Trust & Nature Center splitting into two separate organizations, this is an appropriate time for Placer Land Trust to redesign our newsletter. Land Lines is a work in progress, and we welcome your comments to better serve you…our members and supporters.
Features to look for in this and future Land Lines include:
From the Board Room – This regular article will feature timely reports and insights from our Board members about land trust priorities and projects.
Project Updates – Each issue will feature updates on current land trust projects.
Thank You – No newsletter could be complete without expressing our most sincere thanks to the people who make our work possible.
How You Can Help – This recurring article will provide resources and opportunities for individuals looking to assist us in land preservation.
Placer Profiles – This occasional feature will highlight individuals and organizations that are making a big difference in preserving lands in Placer County.
In Their Own Words – From time-to-time, you’ll hear from local individuals involved in land conservation, who in their own words will comment on the issues of the day.
Using the Tool Kit – This recurring article will focus on how to select the appropriate tool to preserve land.
Map Features – Occasionally we will highlight areas of special concern for land preservation in Placer County.
Executive Director’s Report – Occasional tales from Jeff about land preservation projects
Land On-Lines – To support sustainable use of our resources, we’ve designed Land Lines to be available in electronic format (PDF) for those of you trying to cut back on paper use. Let us know if you’d like Land Lines delivered via e-mail!
FROM THE BOARD ROOM:
Planning is Important, But We’re Not Slowing Down!
The Placer Land Trust, as most of you know, is in the early stages of a 6-month strategic planning process aimed at mapping our approach and priorities for land conservation for the next several years.
The resulting long-term strategic plan will be the foundation for project selection, fundraising strategies, membership development and other essentials of a successful and stable organization.
At the same time, our Board is committed to making clear and substantive progress on land conservation projects during this planning period.
The long-term planning we need will not be allowed to halt hands-on conservation! Several potential projects are in active discussion. Personally, I hope we will have two major projects to tell you about soon — one that preserves natural open space and habitat, and one that preserves farmland.
Permanent protection of critical lands in Placer County is what gets this Board excited, drives our commitments of time and energy…and is what we think will draw you into your own form of active involvement with the Placer Land Trust.
PROJECT UPDATE: Progress Made on
Auburn School Park Preserve
by Jeff Darlington
Progress continues on the Auburn School Park Preserve project.
The project, will create an oak woodland preserve and open-space community park on 4.36 acres behind the Auburn Civic Center, is a cooperative venture of Emigrant Trails Greenway Trust, Auburn Community Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, City of Auburn, both the Placer Union High School and Auburn Union School Districts, Placer Land Trust & Placer Nature Center, and other partners.
Property acquisition is planned this Fall and the company of Royston, Hanamoto, Alley & Abey has been selected to develop the master site design during August and September.
The role of Placer Land Trust in the park partnership is to develop, hold, and manage a conservation easement on the park property, which will be owned by the City of Auburn.
We are currently in the process of getting technical and legal review for the conservation easement, and it will be completed by September so that it can be recorded as part of the property acquisition.
The conservation easement will protect the School Park Preserve in perpetuity, guaranteeing that the property remains open space accessible to the public and that the oak woodlands will be properly protected and managed, no matter what City political or financial changes occur in the future. The easement will preserve over three acres of native oak woodlands, with four species of oaks (Black oaks, Blue oaks, Interior Live oaks, and rare Valley oaks), and will protect the perennial stream on the property, which will be restored to the land surface and will be a feature of the park.
This project is a model for community cooperation and participation, demonstrating how various groups can come together to make a positive change in our County.
“The Rotary Club of Auburn has pledged $9,000 in cash to the School Park Preserve Project,” said Ron Blair, a member of the Club.
“In addition, Rotary Club members will volunteer their labor to participate in future renovation projects at the site. We feel this project will directly benefit the residents and businesses of Auburn.”
Other partners in this project include the California Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Placer County Parks Department, Placer County Contractors Association, and the Auburn Garden Club. The project also is endorsed by the Placer County Planning Department, the Auburn State Recreation Area, and many others.
Look for another project update in our Fall Newsletter, or give us a call for more information!
In Their Own Words…
“We are getting consumed rapidly by suburban sprawl. Unless we act now, the open spaces we have taken for granted will be lost forever.”
Placer County Supervisor
How You Can Help: Wish list includes a New Office!
We’re sad to report that we have to move out of our current office location in Old Town Auburn in mid-August due to a rent increase we can’t afford!
We’re looking for new office space in or near Auburn. If you can help, contact Bob Cooley-Gilliom at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 885-1065.
And, as always, we’re looking for your support, whether it be as a volunteer, an annual member or as an advisor!