We're excited about a new opportunity to purchase two and half acres of seasonal wetlands and native oak uplands in the Black Point area of Novato. We hope you will make a generous donation to help with this acquisition.
The property includes native oak wooded hillsides and seasonal wetlands. Located near the mouth of the Petaluma River, the site is just inland from Day Island, a preserve owned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The wetland portion of the property is a swale that extends eastward toward San Pablo Bay. The swale was subject to tidal action until it was diked from the Bay many years ago, and although it still provides seasonal wetland habitat in winter, it is dry during summer months.
The area is known locally as the Gridiron, reflecting the patchwork land division done about a century ago when property here was divided into hundreds of small parcels, some no more than 2,000 square feet in size. These lots were originally given away as rewards for subscriptions to the San Francisco Chronicle or Readers Digest.
Although parcels in the Gridiron are almost all too small to be developable, owners have been assembling and combining groups of the parcels to create buildable sites.
In a joint effort to preserve the Gridiron and protect its habitat for native wildlife and open space, Marin Baylands Advocates and Marin Audubon Society have succeeded in acquiring a number of properties in the area.
This acquisition would become part of the broader habitat landscape, with tidal salt marsh, mudflats, coastal oak woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats. Nearby habitats include Bahia, Black John Slough, Green Point, Novato Creek, Rush Creek, and Point Sonoma.
The area’s upland habitat supports deer, jackrabbits, and foxes, among other wildlife. Migratory birds use the area in fall and winter, but there are many year round resident species as well.
The appraised value of the property is $115,000; there is a purchase agreement with the property owner giving us until September 30 of this year to raise the necessary funds. The property would be permanently protected under the ownership of Marin Audubon.
In addition to contributions from our supporters, we are also seeking grant funds from regional and county sources.
Because Marin Baylands Advocates is an all-volunteer group, contributions are used entirely to assist with acquisitions.
This acquisition is part of the Campaign for Marin Baylands. Local contributions are critical to show local support. Contributions should be sent to Marin Baylands Advocates P.O. Box 2598, Mill Valley, California 94942.
Thank you in advance for your support. We appreciate your generous gift to help protect Marin's valuable habitat.