Pomona College is often rated among the nation’s top academic institutions, and now it’s receiving praise for a major move to help the local San Gabriel Valley environment.

The school is donating 463 acres of wilderness land to the city of Claremont.

Pomona College is one of a consortium of seven higher educational institutions based in the city of Claremont. Together they are known as the Claremont Colleges.

The donated land consists of Evey Canyon and three Padua Hills parcels that will be incorporated to Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, school officials announced at Tuesday’s Claremont City Council meeting.

The addition will expand the park to nearly 2,500 acres, according to Patricia Vest of Pomona College.

The land will be preserved in its undeveloped state and remain available to the public for recreational use, Vest said.

There will be no purchase costs to the city but there will be administrative costs associated with the transfer, Vest said.

Evey Canyon is home to the Herman Garner Biological Preserve, which has been used by the college’s biology department for research.

“The Claremont Wilderness area is a natural jewel and provides an important connection to nature,” said Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr.

Claremont Mayor Larry Schroeder said the city has had a long-standing commitment to preserving the city’s hillsides and providing access to open space.

“The land donated by Pomona College is a valuable addition to our Wilderness Park and will be enjoyed for generations to come,” Schroeder said.

The approval of the proposed memorandum of understanding allows city staff to begin working on the logistics of incorporating the property into the Claremont Hills, according to Vest.

—City News Service

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