The John Muir Land Trust has raised the necessary $4 million to save Harvey Ranch, 126 acres of land in the hills above Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, from development.

The organization said in a statement that thousands of donors contributed to its purchase and that “the property adds an essential buffer that protects one of the most important wildlife refuges in the Bay Area.”

The land trust said they expect to open the site to the public in late spring, making it “a new gateway through which generations of outdoor enthusiasts can explore the spectacular 15,000-acre wilderness area formed by the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness and the San Leandro Watershed.”

(Video courtesy of John Muir Land Trust/YouTube)

“The residents of Lamorinda and supporters across the Bay Area have provided the means for us to achieve another hugely significant win for conservation,” Linus Eukel, executive director of John Muir Land Trust, said in the statement. “Soon everyone will have a chance to enjoy Harvey Ranch’s spectacular scenic views.

“Most importantly, we’ve added an additional layer of protection for a vital wildlife refuge. Preserving and keeping wildlife corridors intact is a huge priority as we take action to mitigate the impact of global climate change,” Eukel said.

The land trust said virtually all of the funding came from private individuals and institutions, including a $1 million match gift from a single anonymous donor. Large individual contributions helped close the funding gap in the campaign’s final months.

The group said a $550,000 grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation recognized the land trust’s vision to apply landscape level conservation efforts from Painted Rock in the north, to Harvey Ranch and Carr Ranch in the south. The town of Moraga gave $250,000 contribution to the effort.