Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) Formed

1981 – MRT was formed by the California Coastal Commission and the California State Coastal Conservancy to assist the Coastal Commission with required mitigation in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Became a Nonprofit Corp.

1984 – MRT became a California public benefit nonprofit corporation no longer under the umbrella of governmental agencies. That same year, The Nature Conservancy transferred the 525-acre Murphy Preserve to us. This property was the start to our Cold Creek Preserve, which is now designated as a County of Los Angeles designated Significant Ecological Area (SEA).  MRT now owns and/or manages approximately 2,000 acres in the Cold Creek watershed.

Commemorative Oaks Program

1992 – MRT partnered with California State Parks and initiated the Commemorative Oaks program in Malibu Creek State Park. With the help of volunteers, non-native vegetation has been removed and replaced with more than 2,500 oak trees. Since starting the Commemorative Oaks program, we have completed numerous restoration projects and have become a valuable partner with state and local government agencies in environmental management.

La Sierra Preserve

1997 – Acquired an initial 38.7-acres for the La Sierra Preserve.  We are working in partnership with Los Angeles County to maintain and restore the now 130-acre La Sierra Preserve.  It is a designated SEA within the Santa Monica Mountains. La Sierra is a prime wildlife habitat, biologically diverse, and rich in willow riparian habitat, oak woodland, mixed riparian woodland, coastal sage scrub, wetlands, grassland, and chaparral. La Sierra provides habitat linkages to springs, seeps, and wetland areas that are critical to wildlife in the Malibu Creek watershed.

Headwaters Corner at Calabasas

2004 – Headwaters Corner at Calabasas was established in collaboration with the City of Calabasas, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Los Angeles County, and National Parks Service.  Headwaters Corner, now 92-acres, is a community resource providing interpretive programs, passive recreation, native plant gardens, and the Masson House – a historic homestead.  Our main office is located at Headwaters Corner and is a 12-acre environmental and cultural interpretive center, which includes Dry Canyon Creek, a Los Angeles River headwater.

Malibu Creek Habitat Restoration

2010 – Began removing non-native crayfish and other aquatic invasive species from the Malibu Creek watershed in order to enhance and restore habitat for southern California steelhead trout and other endangered species.  This grassroots effort began with the help of a hardworking group of local fly fishers. The effort brought about grant funds and lead to our launch of the Adopt-a-Creek Program in 2014. This program focuses on members of the community helping to restore the streams of the Malibu Creek Watershed by removing non-native crayfish and trash.

Adopt-a-Creek Program

2014 – This program focuses on members of the community helping to restore the streams of the Malibu Creek Watershed by removing non-native crayfish and trash.

2016 – Celebrating 35 Years!


Celebrating Over 35 Years

In 2016, we celebrated our 35-year anniversary. We continue to add parcels of land to the Cold Creek Preserve and other areas within the Santa Monica Mountains. We hold volunteer events nearly every weekend, providing people with opportunities to take part in restoration. We run a plant nursery where we sow and grow native plants used in restoration projects. We have opportunities for youth to experience nature first-hand. We have monthly nature walks through our Cold Creek Docent program. In 2016 we celebrated what we have accomplished, now we continue our vision to protect and preserve the Santa Monica Mountains. Protecting a mountain range bordered by one of the largest urban centers in the world takes partnership and public support. With the ongoing support of donors and the community, MRT will continue to broaden the scope of environmental protection.