Funds will support education, volunteer involvement and public outreach for open space preservation
5/3/2017 – St. Helena, CA – The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) will contribute $25,000 to match a challenge grant made earlier this year by renowned Napa Valley vintner Warren Winiarski in support of the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District. NVV made the announcement at a reception last night for community leaders at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the Napa Valley winery Winiarski founded in 1970.
Karen Bower-Trajanis, Napa Open Space District; Warren Winiarski; Russ Weiss, Napa Valley Vintners – Photo: Jon McPherson
Established in 2006, the Open Space District is authorized to protect and preserve natural areas, wildlife habitat and other open space resources in Napa County. It also works to improve and operate a system of public parks, trails, outdoor recreational facilities and outdoor science and conservation education programs.
“Protecting Napa Valley for future generations is a top priority for the NVV,” said Michael Honig, chair of the nonprofit trade association’s board of directors and president of Honig Vineyard & Winery in Rutherford. “We were inspired by Warren’s leadership and generosity and are proud to join him in this effort to educate and broaden community support of land preservation and open space, something we strongly believe in.”
Winiarski is a longtime advocate of land preservation in Napa County. He was among the original promoters of the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve established in 1968, the first of its kind in the U.S. He advocated for Measure J in 1990 and its extension Measure P in 2008, both of which helped to strengthen the Ag Preserve. He also supported Measure I in 2006, which helped form the Open Space District, and Measure Z in 2016, which did not pass, but would have provided the first guaranteed funding for the District.
“A financial model to ensure the longevity and success of Napa County’s open space for future generations and the health of our beautiful Napa Valley is so important,” said Winiarski. “I’m thrilled that the NVV is matching my challenge grant, which will promote education and outreach to our community and raise awareness of the good work being done by the Napa Open Space District. There is a critical need for funding to protect the environmental quality of life that makes the Napa Valley so special.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased about this news,” said John Woodbury, General Manager, Napa Open Space District. “This combined donation of $50,000 will allow us to redouble our efforts to engage with the community we serve about the work that we do, including protecting our watershed, improving outdoor recreation facilities and providing conservation education.”
The Open Space District manages the day-to-day operations of nine locations in Napa County that are open to the public, including, Bothe Napa Valley State Park, the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, EcoCamp Berryessa, Oat Hill Mine Trail, Napa River and Bay Trail and Moore Creek Park, protecting nearly 5,000 acres. In addition, the District has six properties in development for which it is seeking additional funding to open for public access. The district receives an annual grant from Napa County, which it uses to leverage other funding. However, it is approaching capacity while the need to protect remaining open spaces continues to increase.
Community members wishing to make their own financial contributions to the Open Space District, to volunteer or to simply learn more, can go to napaoutdoors.org.
About the Napa Valley Vintners The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its more than 530 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at napavintners.com.
About Warren Winiarski
Warren Winiarski is a Napa Valley resident, grape grower and philanthropist. His well-noted Arcadia Vineyards in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley grows Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. A longtime advocate of Napa Valley land preservation, Mr. Winiarski has backed legislation over the past 50 years to protect agricultural and open space for future generations. He has donated six conservation easements to the Land Trust of Napa County, protecting almost 200 acres of wild land and vineyards in perpetuity. Founder and former proprietor of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Mr. Winiarski is a Napa Valley winemaking icon with a deep legacy commencing when his 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon won the Judgment of Paris in 1976, helping put Napa Valley on the global wine map. He lives with his wife Barbara overlooking the Napa Valley that he loves.