Skip to Main Content
Chico State

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve Extends Opportunity to Community to Adopt an Acre

Acres of grass and trees sit upon the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Students work on a project to monitor the trail cams on the Adopt-An-Acre spaces up at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER) as part of Chico STEM Connections Collaborative (CSC2) on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU Chico)

California State University, Chico’s Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER) is excited to announce an opportunity for the community to support innovative programming in their backyard through the Reserve’s Adopt an Acre Campaign. Reserve supporters can adopt an acre for as little as 34 cents a day.

The BCCER’s Adopt an Acre program will allow friends of the Reserve to further its important environmental and educational work by providing philanthropic support. By adopting one of the BCCER’s 3,950 acres, supporters become a direct steward of the diverse ecological landscape that Reserve staff work to preserve, maintain and restore to vibrancy. Supporters’ commitment will directly advance one or more of the following:

  • Fire mitigation projects
  • The development of future land managers and environmental stewards
  • K–12 outdoor education programs
  • Innovative student research
  • Community workshops

Additionally, BCCER manager Eli Goodsell said support from donors, among other things, allows the Reserve to expand its innovative sustainable land management activities for devastating wildfire mitigation, forest health, cultural practices and wildlife habitat conservation.

“The work we do at the Reserve has the potential to impact land management decisions in our community and throughout California,” he said.  

Owned and operated by the Chico State Enterprises, the BCCER contains 3,950 acres of exceptionally diverse ecosystems and 4.5 miles of Big Chico Creek. Since its creation in 1999, the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve has provided students and visitors with opportunities for hands-on experiences with nature and continues to be a hub for innovative research and best practices in land management.

Maggie Hill represents the fifth generation of her family to grow up along Big Chico Creek. For decades, she and her family have visited what is now BCCER property, including trips traversing the wild landscape in the family Jeep with her mother, Dorothy Morehead Hill, an acclaimed documentarian of the culture, language and life of Northeastern California’s Native American tribes.

This year, Maggie Hill and her family adopted a BCCER acre in Dorothy Morehead Hill’s memory for Mother’s Day.

“It’s a unique piece of property. It’s relatively untouched in a millennium,” Maggie Hill said. “If people want to see what can happen with things like the Nature Conservancy and the reserve, it helps them realize what they can save for future generations.”

In addition to serving as an outdoor classroom for CSU, Chico students, the BCCER partners with Cal Fire and local nonprofits to prioritize projects that mitigate hazardous fire conditions and advance land management practices statewide. Additionally, each year, more than 1,400 local third, fourth, and fifth graders visit the reserve for science-based learning, and another 1,200 community members attend public events and enjoy its natural beauty. With a few exceptions, the reserve is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset, except for posted hunt days.

Adopting an Acre is easy! Simply visit the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve website at and click the, “Adopt an Acre” button. There are five levels at which community members can Adopt an Acre, with each level providing its own unique benefits.