John Muir Land Trust has 30 days to raise enough money to save Moraga's beloved 'Painted Rock'

MORAGA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the next few decades, the population in the East Bay is expected to increase dramatically. The need for more open spaces will be apparent.

There is one piece of land right now in Moraga called "Painted Rock" which conservationists are trying to preserve, but they only have 30 days to raise the money to secure the land.

These painted boulders on this 84-acre property serve as a landmark. For decades they've been used by students at Campolindo High School in Moraga as a way to express their views.

"Painted Rock has been there forever. Our kids go out there and paint messages and it's a fun thing for them to be doing to celebrate something," explained Sunun Faulkner, a parent here.

When the owner of the property died in 2014, the land was marketed for development for $15 million. But the owner's widow happens to be very conservation-minded and instead offered to sell it to the John Muir Land Trust for $2 million.

"Just a real generous spirit, she has been wonderful to work with, very patient, very generous and very committed to the notion of conservation and open-space preservation," said Linus Eukel of the John Muir Land Trust.

If the sale goes through, the 84 acres would merge with the already existing 421 acres of beautiful open space, offering this community 505 acres of trails and a recreation area accessible from Moraga Road.

It's hard to find anyone here that opposes the plan. The area would be called Painted Rock Park.

"Many of the residents in the community come to this area because of the nature, the hiking trails, all the good stuff associated with beautiful weather, the greenery and all of that," said Benjamin young who lives next door in Orinda.

So far, the land trust has raised 1.8 million dollars. They're short $200,000.

"We have a ticking clock, essentially 30 days to get to the finish line $200,000," said Eukel.

The deadline to come up with the money is May 31. What they want to avoid is more housing taking over open areas.

"Traffic is getting so heavy, it would be nice to have open spaces," added Faulkner.

Open Rock would be the portal to the rest of the land.

"We think this is just a great outcome for the region and specifically for the town of Moraga," expressed Eukel.
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