Save Mount Diablo (SMD) is a nationally accredited land trust and conservation organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their long history of partnership with Mount Diablo State Park has been one of mutual vision and support and from this partnership comes the eagerness to uphold values and actions that are sustaining to those who depend on the open spaces SMD protects and stewards.
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to communities, not just across our state but across the world. The true scope of its effects will likely be measurable only after months or perhaps years have passed. In the meantime, our parks community knows that the natural world provides much needed respite in times of self-isolation and anxiety, and our park partners have shined in their creativity to keep communities connected to their parks.
In June of this year we held our Keeping Parks Whole grant round and were pleased to be able to provide funding to Save Mount Diablo for their project, Hope and Healing for the Parks. Since the beginning of the pandemic SMD saw the need to inspire hope, keep parks accessible, and champion their survival for the future. In conjunction with Mount Diablo State Park, Save Mount Diablo has begun a weekend ritual of lighting the Summit Beacon every Sunday after sunset so that it shines brightly until sunrise the next day. In this way they honor our heroes, support those who are suffering, and are reminded of the healing power of nature and of Mount Diablo.
“Because of your support, we are successfully uplifting and connecting our communities [with] our weekly lighting of the Beacon atop Mount Diablo so we can thank our heroes, come together, and collectively lift our eyes to the light and nature. Together, we will continue to shine on in our efforts to protect the ultimate foundation for our long-term health and well-being: nature!” Ted Clement, Executive Director, Save Mount Diablo.
The community response to the lighting of the Beacon has been overwhelmingly positive, which was especially noted when repairs were needed, and the weekly lighting was missed. During a time when connection is more important than possibly ever before, the Beacon lighting is a figurative and literal beacon of hope. A reminder that we are all in this together, and together we can continue to build, support and share a brighter future.
Thank you to our partner, Save Mount Diablo for this beautiful example of hope and healing. You can learn more about Save Mount Diablo at their website, https://www.savemountdiablo.org/.