Friday, December 15, 2006

The Solano Land Trust begins work on a new $1.2 million nature center at Rush Ranch

December 14, 2006

Work begins on nature center

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - Work on a new $1.2 million nature center at Rush Ranch kicks off on Friday with a celebration.

The Solano Land Trust will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction project at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited. Rush Ranch is located on Grizzly Island Road a few miles south of Suisun City.

Rush Ranch is a historic cattle ranch adjacent to the wetlands of Suisun Marsh. Ranch operations date back to the late 1800s. The Solano Land Trust bought the 2,070-acre property in 1986 as an open-space preserve.

Today, people can hike on the ranch. Hundreds of children visit the ranch each year with classes to hear presentations on the marsh and the Native Americans who once lived there.

By summer 2007, a brand-new nature center should join the decades-old barn, blacksmith house, water tower and small home.

"We have a national, natural treasure right here in Solano County and now we will have an excellent showcase for this unique property," Land Trust Board President Bob Berman said in a press release.

The Nature Center came about because the Rush Ranch in 2003 became part of the San Francisco Bay National Esturaine Research Reserve. Scientists and researchers will go to the preserve to study the marsh. The Nature Center will provide them with a place to live and work.

Rush Ranch visitors will also be able to use the Nature Center, which will have exhibits. The center will be powered by wind turbines and solar panels, because the Rush Ranch has no link to the electric power grid.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

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