Friday, November 23, 2018
Protected Lands: Rush Ranch
"Rush Ranch Wins Hearts." That could be the headline for any story about Rush Ranch. Whether you're a child or an adult, a hiker, birdwatcher, biologist, teacher, photographer, poet or painter, or just out for a picnic, this Solano Land Trust jewel will win you over.
Rising out of the northeast edge of the Suisun Marsh, Rush Ranch stretches across 2,070 acres of marsh and rolling grassland. Purchased in 1988 by Solano Land Trust, Rush Ranch provides recreational and educational opportunities to thousands of visitors each year. The Ranch, with its historical buildings and self-guided trails, is located approximately two miles south of Highway 12 on Grizzly Island Road.
With funding provided by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Coastal Conservancy, Solano Land Trust has completed a new Nature Center to showcase the many natural and historical features of the property. Donate now to the Rush Ranch Stewardship Campaign.
Within the property’s boundaries is one of the best remaining examples of a brackish tidal marsh habitat in the United States. Once a continuous tidal marsh habitat, the greater Suisun Marsh is now a vast complex of wetlands owned privately by local duck clubs. Only about 10 square miles of the historic tidal marsh remains, one-tenth of which occurs at Rush Ranch.
What’s special about a brackish tidal marsh? It is an important habitat for fish, bird and plant species, including many that are threatened and endangered such as the salt marsh harvest mouse, Suisun ornate shrew, Delta smelt, Sacramento splittail, giant garter snake, California clapper rail, California black rail, Suisun song sparrow, and the American white pelican. Approximately 230 different species of birds have been seen throughout the marsh and grassland habitats, and plant communities range from spring wildflowers to native bunchgrass and marsh-adapted vegetation.