FAIRFIELD — Solano Land Trust faces a task that local nonprofit groups dream about – figuring out how to spend a $1 million private donation.
This marks the largest single private donation that the Land Trust has received. The Land Trust’s mission is to preserve farmland and open space. The Land Trust isn’t releasing the name of the donor. If and when it does will depend on the donor’s wishes.
“It’s a donor we’ve been working with,” Land Trust Executive Director Nicole Byrd said. “She likes what we do.”
Byrd will meet with the donor and talk to her about how the Land Trust might spend the money.
“Really, it’s going to be up to her,” Byrd said.
Off the table at this point is using the money to pay off the $250,000 loan the Land Trust used to help buy 1,500-acre Rockville Trails Estates for $13.5 million. The agency continues to seek donations for the remaining $200,000 it needs to retire this debt.
“She’d like to see new projects,” Byrd said.
Conservation easements are a possibility, Byrd said. The Land Trust buys development rights from farmers and ranchers who continue to own their land. It has preserved about 8,400 acres through this method and has a goal of preserving a total of 20,000 acres to 40,000 acres by 2022.
Or perhaps the Land Trust will purchase more land. It has bought close to 12,000 acres since 1987. Among the properties is Lynch Canyon, a 1,039-acre area in the hills between Fairfield and Vallejo that the county operates as a park during the spring and summer.
“There are some properties adjacent to Lynch Canyon, so there’s the possibility of extending Lynch Canyon a little bit,” Byrd said. “There are definitely some possibilities.”
Donations such as this show that people believe that investing in the Solano Land Trust can make a big impact, Byrd said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.