Napa, CA – The Napa County Agricultural Preserve marks its 50-year anniversary in 2018. To celebrate this momentous milestone, community leaders from the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund and other organizations from throughout Napa County will work together to educate both residents and visitors on the significance of this remarkable achievement.
A landmark ruling, passed in 1968 by the Napa County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, created the Ag Preserve – the first of its kind in the U.S. This innovative statute launched a succession of progressive land-use policies to protect farmland from encroaching urbanization. County leaders and voters overcame initial dissent to prioritize agriculture as the best use of the land. This ground-breaking action protects 31,609 acres of Ag Preserve farmlands from urban development until 2058.
“Today, we are all the beneficiaries of the Agricultural Preserve’s visionary leaders,” says Hugh Davies, Jack L. Davies Ag Fund Board Chair and President of Schramsberg Vineyards. “The Board of Supervisors vote was controversial in 1968, but it is widely celebrated today. By protecting the rich farmland and open space of this world-renowned winegrowing region, the Napa County Agricultural Preserve has helped make the region what it is today—a national treasure and a very special place to live, work and visit.”
To help celebrate this special anniversary, and being reflective of the cooperative spirit embraced by the citizens of Napa County, the JLD Ag Fund is collaborating with organizations throughout the county to educate the public and raise awareness of the Napa County Ag Preserve. These include the County of Napa, Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Visit Napa Valley, Napa Farm Bureau, Napa Valley Museum and Napa Valley Vine Trail.
Among the various activities in the works are:
The launch of a new website: www.napaagpreserve.org
- A series of short films documenting personal testimonies from three generations of locals describing the economic, cultural and environmental importance of the Ag Preserve to the County
- Four new highway signs on Highway 29 and Silverado will welcome visitors as they enter the Ag Preserve
- A new kiosk on the Napa Valley Vine Trail, located near Oak Knoll Avenue, will help inform the public of the importance of the Ag Preserve for future generations
- A new exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum which will highlight the historical significance of the Ag Preserve and its impact on the present day
For this year’s Auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Vintners have included a special auction lot where the lucky bidder will receive a collection of 300 magnums from around the valley, as well as a day in the Napa County Agricultural Preserve with friends experiencing its wines, its vines and its people. Many wineries located in and around the Ag Preserve will also be distributing educational materials in their tasting rooms to further promote the Napa County Ag Preserve to locals and guests.
Additional programs and activities are planned for 2018 and will be announced as more information becomes available. Those interested in finding out more about the Napa Ag Preserve and the activities planned around the 50th anniversary are encouraged to visit NapaAgPreserve.org.
About the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund:
In 2003, recognizing a mutual commitment to preserving the agricultural lands and heritage that are fundamental to Napa County’s rural character, the Jack L. Davies Fund, the Napa Valley Foundation and the Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund united to create The Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund. Guided by a volunteer board of directors, the JLD Ag Fund operates under the premise that only an educated electorate can protect the integrity of the land, and is dedicated to a mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting agricultural land in Napa County. More information about the Jack L. Davies Ag Fund are available at JLDAgFund.org.