The open grassland on the hills surrounding Hiddenbrooke are what most attracted me to want to live here. Watching the cows grazing offers a peaceful place to rest my eyes. The howls of the coyotes after dark aren’t exactly peaceful, but it’s more beautiful than any music from a party at the golf club. I am grateful that many of the surrounding hills are managed by the Solano Land Trust to ensure that it will never be developed. The King-Swett Ranches is a nearly 4,000-acre expanse of land that straddles the southwestern corner of Solano County and includes some of the hills adjacent to Hiddenbrooke. Pacific Gas & Electric purchased the ranches in 1980 as a potential wind turbine site for electric generation. When Solano Land Trust purchased the Vallejo Swett Ranch in 2005, it completed a three-parcel purchase—with Eastern Swett and King Ranches—from PG&E that began in 2001. Learn more about the property at https://solanolandtrust.org/protected-lands/king-swett-ranches
I’ve climbed to the top of the hill above the Plaza shopping center and hiked the area between the parkway entrance to the large water storage tank twice. The views to the bay and overlooking all of the Hiddenbrooke community are amazing. The trails up there are part of the 550-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. I’ve also participated in a Bird of Prey hike led by Larry Broderick that Solano Land Trust sponsors monthly in nearby Lynch Canyon Open Space to learn more about the large birds that land on my back fence (besides turkeys) and those that circle overhead. Hikers regularly see golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, northern Harrier, white-tailed kites, and more birds of prey —sometimes fifteen different raptor species. Larry will conduct the next hike on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. RSVPs are required and there are fees. To learn more, visit https://solanolandtrust.org/birds-of-prey.
Since its founding in 1986, The Solano Land Trust has conserved over 27,000 acres of agricultural land and open spaces. To demonstrate my gratitude to them, I recently participated in their Sunday Supper annual fund-raiser. To learn more about the Solano Land Trust and show your support, visit https://solanolandtrust.org/