Pomona College will gift a total of 463 acres of wilderness to the City of Claremont as announced at the City Council meeting on July 11.
Evey Canyon and three Padua Hills parcels will be incorporated to Claremont Hills Wilderness Park (CHWP), expanding the park to nearly 2,500 acres. According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the land will be preserved in its undeveloped state and remain available to the members of the public for hiking, biking, horseback riding and other passive recreational uses. There will be no purchase costs to the City of Claremont but there will be administrative costs associated with the transfer.
"The Claremont Wilderness area is a natural jewel and provides an important connection to nature,” says G. Gabrielle Starr, president of Pomona College. “President David Oxtoby’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in his important work to bring this agreement forward and enhance the College’s and community’s commitment to open spaces for all.”
Evey Canyon is home to the Herman Garner Biological Preserve, which is used by the College’s biology department for research. The lower portion of the canyon consists of oak/alder riparian woodland plants, which are becoming rare in Southern California. Evey Canyon’s varied topography and vegetation combined with a permanent stream result in a rich bird and insect diversity.
“Claremont has a long-standing commitment to preserving our hillsides and providing access to open space,” says City of Claremont Mayor Larry Schroeder. “The land donated by Pomona College is a valuable addition to our Wilderness Park and will be enjoyed for generations to come.”
The approval of the proposed MOU allows City staff to begin working on the logistics of incorporating the property into the Claremont Hills. In addition, it will contribute to the development of a high-quality network of parks and recreational facilities that meet the needs of Claremont families and residents.