August 2021: Due to the public health risks of Covid-19, the preserves are closed until further notice.
500+ acres in the Valley of the Moon
The 535-acre Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen, California, is home to diverse native ecosystems including oak woodlands, mixed evergreen forests, riparian woodlands, chaparral and grasslands.
Located in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon, Bouverie Preserve's landscape is dominated by Stuart Creek. Four distinct plant communities—forming a transect from valley floor to near ridge top—are represented within the preserve boundaries. These communities include oak woodland, mixed evergreen forest, riparian woodland and chaparral. Because of this diversity, the preserve is home to a rich combination of plants and animals, including 130 species of birds, 350 species of flowering plants, and numerous large mammals such as the bobcat, gray fox, coyote and mountain lion.
On October 9, 2017, the Nuns Fire swept through the Sonoma Valley, burning approximately 75% of the wildlands of the preserve and destroying 7 of 9 buildings, including all of ACR's program infrastructure on the preserve. Although many areas of the preserve were struck by high-severity fire, strong evidence of ecological resilience and fire adaptation abound.
David Bouverie was a London architect who came to New York in 1933, later migrating west and buying land in the Sonoma Valley. He was renowned as a host, and stories of the luminaries who visited him are many. During the last two decades of her life, well-known food writer MFK Fisher lived in a house built for her on the property. The land has remained largely undisturbed since David purchased the property in 1938.
When David Bouverie passed away in 1994, ownership of the preserve was transferred to ACR as a part of his estate. His love of nature has inspired the docents who continue in his footsteps and thousands of children who hike on his beloved land.
For more on David Bouverie's experience on the preserve read http://www.sonomanews.com/lifestyle/6164778-181/the-bell-tower-of-bouverie
In the fall and spring, Bouverie Preserve hosts its well-regarded elementary school education program, which serves thousands of schoolchilden every year. These programs were inspired by David Bouverie, who was enthusiastic about ACR’s education programs and wanted his lands to be used to educate and inspire children.
Visitors are welcome to attend the preserve's public programs. These include Guided Nature Walks, Twilight Hikes and a semi-annual Open House, which are all open to the public by reservation. Information to help you plan your visit!
Every two years, the preserve hosts its extensive docent training. This year, trainees have the option to earn a California Naturalist certification. Join us for an orientation hike this spring or summer. Training begins in September. Learn more about becoming a docent.
Bouverie Preserve’s numerous conservation science and habitat restoration projects focus on grasslands, vernal pools, wildflowers and amphibians.