FRLT and our conservation partners worked from 2003 to 2019 to protect 2,586 acres to create the Sierra Valley Preserve for wetland habitat, diverse wildlife, and public access to outdoor recreation. We’re now working together to build more trails and a new Nature Center and stewardship headquarters at the Preserve.
Scroll down and watch this page for frequent updates and photos of our progress building the new trails and Nature Center (opening Spring 2024!).
- What: A new hub for nature-based learning, recreation, and stewardship
- Why: To share Sierra Valley’s beauty, biodiversity, and cultural significance
- Where: At the Preserve’s northwest corner on County Road A-23, near existing infrastructure
- When: The Preserve is open year-round; Nature center to be opened in 2024
- Who: FRLT, Northern Sierra Partnership, The Nature Conservancy
Bringing the vision to life
Over the summer, we’ve been making exciting progress, with visible improvements taking shape. A new asphalt driveway to the Nature Center was poured, making way for the future parking area. The walls and roof of the Nature Center building are up, and the facilities are really starting to come together. From the inside of the structure, you can get a sense of what the views across Sierra Valley will be from inside the Nature Center. [Note: the North Entrance is not open to the public during construction].
Work is also set to begin to expand and improve trails, including installing wildlife blinds at the East Entrance (on County Road A-24) and on a new trail near the new Nature Center. These wildlife viewing blinds will allow visitors to get closer to the fauna of Sierra Valley without disturbing them.
Want to get in on the action? Join us for a “Bale-raising” on September 30th to help insulate the future Nature Center! Learn more and register.
Nature Center framing begins!
After the long winter—and many years of planning—we’re excited that visible progress on the Nature Center is at last being completed onsite. The concrete slab has been poured and set. Now the walls are going up and framing is progressing. Behind the scenes, we’re working with our exhibits team to develop the interpretive panels and exhibits that will fill the Nature Center, plaza, and trails. These will highlight the ecological and cultural uniqueness and importance of Sierra Valley, as well information about the green building design. As part of the exhibits, photographer and videographer Alex Rubenstein has been visiting the Preserve seasonally to capture imagery and footage to be used in the future Nature Center.
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Retrofitting the stewardship workshop
When winter came early last fall—and lasted a long time with heavy snow and rain—our construction team shifted from laying the slab and framing in the Nature Center, to retrofitting the stewardship workshop, including an onsite staff apartment and adding public restrooms to the exterior of the building. Retrofitting the building was a pivot from the original plan, due to dramatic increases in the cost of materials. Instead of demolishing the existing warehouse building and constructing a new one, we worked with our architects and construction team to retrofit the existing structure with energy efficient design and in keeping with the style of the Nature Center and other facilities.
Visit the Sierra Valley Preserve
Open sunrise to sunset
With world-class birding, flower-filled meadows, and scenic walking trails, FRLT’s Sierra Valley Preserve is a wonder. The wetlands here form the headwaters to the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Feather River.
Together we can make it happen!
Join us! Help create a nature center for ecological learning, recreation, and stewardship at the Feather River headwaters
A new Preserve headquarters and nature center is planned where visitors and locals alike can experience the wonders of Sierra Valley and deepen our understanding of the natural world and our place in it.
Sierra Valley Preserve is an ecologically rich 2,586-acre preserve protected for its unique wetland habitats and Feather River headwaters. On the Pacific Flyway, the Preserve offers spectacular birding.
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FRLT members since 2001