May 20, 2014
This morning a stakeholders meeting was held to explore purchasing the Alhambra Highlands. It was hosted by Mayor Rob Schroder at Martinez City Hall. Those in attendance included City Council member Lara Delaney, and representatives from East Bay Regional Parks District, Congressman George Miller’s Office, Alhambra Hills Open Space Committee, Save Mount Diablo, National Parks Service, Sierra Club, Alhambra Valley Improvement Association, and the Martinez Environmental Group.
Elaine Seawell – Hulet Hornbeck’s daughter – and Robert Hanna – great great grandson of John Muir – also attended. Hanna noted that the strikingly beautiful hills, once owned by John Muir, were known to the family as the “East Hill”. He said the family decided to locate the Muir Cemetery on a portion of the property at the north base of the hills – now a separate parcel and not a part of the Alhambra Highlands development – because of its serenity and peacefulness.
The City has authorized an appraisal of the 297.5 acre property that is expected to be completed within 1-2 months. At that time the group will revisit avenues and resources for saving the property and the majestic heritage oaks that dot its ridge lines and meadows. It seems appropriate that this property once owned by John Muir, whose activism launched so many critical environmental initiatives, be saved from development and preserved for future generations. We will keep you posted.