The education and research organization on a 3,200-acre tract in the
"We are shovel ready," said
But there's a catch. Like many others who lost homes and businesses in the firestorm 19 months ago,
But re-creating those structures, dating back to the 1950s, was never an option for an organization committed to conservation science and stewardship of the wildlands in its care since 2005.
"We felt like we needed to be an example," Micheli said. "To do it greener, cleaner, better and more fire-resilient."
The property includes the headwaters of three creeks that flow into the
Hilltops in the preserve afford views of massive
For a builder, the foundation hired
"We're thrilled because our ideas are aligned," said
The result: Plans for two new residences with concrete-paneled exteriors, mineral wool insulation, clay plaster interior walls and steel roofs laid atop fire-resistant sheeting. The materials are not fireproof, because almost nothing is, Bannister said, but they are "ignition-proof," meaning they will not catch fire.
The new barn will be all steel, replacing the wood-paneled barn that was reduced to twisted steel framing in the fire's wake.
"We want to be a demonstration site for fire resilience," Micheli said.
But the devotion to clean and green cost an extra
"People want to invest in the project," she said, and the foundation also wants people "who really believe in our mission" to be on hand for the groundbreaking.
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