The Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) is raising money to build a new education center at its Mitchell Canyon entrance.

A 25-year-old portable trailer currently serves as the visitor center for Mount Diablo State Park. 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.

YouTube video
A video featuring architectural and concept images of the planned Mitchell Canyon Education Center (MDIA/YouTube)

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. To find out more, visit MDIA’s website or submit questions via email.