The protection and stewardship of the land on which the Program is situated is an integral part of the Program’s mission. Our property is located in a special region called the California Floristic Province and is one of the world’s 35 named biodiversity hotspots. These areas are among the richest and most important ecosystems in the world. Investing in their protection contributes to the security of our global biodiversity. As property owners and as an organization that supports artists, scientists and the creative spirit, we protect the land. Its health is integral to advancing our mission.
The Program’s 583 acres—nestled in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains, perched above the Pacific Ocean—is a place of inspiration and beauty. The magic of the Program is rooted in the land itself. In 1999, the Djerassi Program partnered with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), a local non-profit land trust organization to create a conservation easement to limit the property’s development and ensure its preservation in perpetuity.
The land is evolving and our management of it is evolving as well. We are responsible for fire safety, thistle and weed management, erosion control, and habitat restoration. We are responsible for 5 ½ miles of trails, 2 miles of paved roads and the sculptures that artists have donated to us over the last 38 years. This requires people and the proper equipment.
Here’s how you can help us preserve the land and breath-taking trails for future generations:
- Volunteer as a hike or trail maintenance docent. Click here for more information.
- Make a gift to maintain and preserve the land
Flora and Fauna and Funding—How YOUR gift will be used
Our tractor, mowers, 4-wheeler and weed whackers are expensive equipment to acquire and maintain. Each year, we spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to keep our trails open and clear of vegetation for access AND fire safety. Support our efforts to restore habitat for native flora and fauna.
Help us control thistles and invasive weeds. Not only do they reduce biodiversity and affect aesthetics, but prevent access to sculptures and trails.
With intense wet winters, we conduct an endless battle with the forces of erosion. To prevent washouts, topsoil requires re-grading and drainages must be clear. The property is in a sensitive watershed that supports California coastal steelhead trout, a federally endangered fish. Help us keep sediment out of our creeks and undertake erosion mitigation projects.
Over the years, artists have created and donated over 130 site-inspired installations and sculptures to the Program. Most of these organic extensions of an artist’s experience in residence are/were intentionally ephemeral. Their deterioration is part of the life cycle of the work. They rise and fall on the property with regularity—about 60 still exist. The Board has identified a dozen of these sculptures as Legacy Sculptures. The Program is committed to their maintenance and repair. These legacy works include pieces by noted international artists David Nash and Mauro Staccioli along with other contemporary artists.