Sunday, October 20, marked the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newest section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, an extensive hiking route spanning from Calistoga in the north all the way to Gilroy in the south. The trail runs through PUC’s Back 40, and is part of a larger conservation effort that will eventually include 1,100 acres of protected forest lands.
PUC’s forest manager, Peter Lecourt, headed the dedication with a speech detailing upcoming plans for the forest. Along with informational kiosks and maps, plans for additional parking are underway, in an effort to make the natural beauty of the PUC area as accessible for recreation as possible.
Kellie Lind, PUC’s vice president for alumni and advancement, commented on PUC’s rich history with the surrounding land.
“Not only were many of PUC’s academic buildings constructed using lumber from the back 40, but last year 14 classes used the forest as part of their curriculum just during Fall Quarter,” she noted.
A number of Napa Valley officials attended the ceremony, including Napa Open Spaces District Vice President Barry Christian, Bay Area Ridge Trail executive director Janet McBride, county supervisor Dianne Dillon, and chairman of the board of Napa Supervisors Ryan Gregory.
Dillon commented on the importance and excitement of these community-building events, saying, “Our goal is for collaboration, preservation, access, and opportunity, and that is exactly what the Bay Area Ridge Trail is doing for this area.”
PUC is proud and honored to be part of such a large scale recreation and conservation project. We hope to foster a love for nature not only within the PUC family, but with the surrounding community as well.