With its dream-like woodlands and footpaths that connect to nearby trails, the 7-acre Bodfish preserve is now known as a community treasure. But it wasn’t always this way.
Before her death in 1999, Margaret Bodfish established a trust so that her Orinda property and its adobe home on Miner Road would be preserved as a public park. In the ensuing years, the Canyon Ranch Homeowner’s Association, the Orinda Highlands Homeowner’s Association and the Orinda Parks and Recreation Foundation all worked together to protect the oak-covered property, but had not found a permanent solution before a vital deadline approached.
The Bodfish Trust specified that if the property did not become a park within four years, ownership would be transferred to UC Santa Cruz. Had that happened, it likely would have been auctioned off to a developer. At the 11th hour, when the land was just days from being transferred to the university, JMLT stepped in and took ownership instead — to preserve it as public open space and a wildlife sanctuary.
In order to more effectively preserve and maintain this area, the Land Trust eventually sold the property to a private party and now permanently protects it with a conservation easement.
The Bodfish preserve remains open to the public, and those neighbors who fought so long to preserve this property are happy to share it with the wider community.
The Bodfish Preserve is located along Miner Road in the hills of Orinda.
From Highway 24: Take the St. Stephens exit. Drive north up St. Stephens Drive about 1/2 mile. Turn right on Las Vegas Rd. and immediately bear right on Via Las Cruces. Turn left on Honey Hill Road and continue straight as Honey Hill becomes Miner Road. Bodfish Preserve is on the left approximately 1/3 mile past Gardiner Court. It is unmarked.