Building a new relationship with the land

We are excited to announce that Audubon Canyon Ranch has engaged Siegel & Strain Architects for the rebuilding of the Bouverie Preserve facilities in Glen Ellen, destroyed by the Nuns Fire of 2017. Siegel & Strain is THE architectural firm for nature education facilities and comes highly recommended.

Over the past six months, ACR’s Board of Directors interviewed several firms and chose Siegel & Strain because of their impressive track record of innovative and functional design, creative solutions for indoor/outdoor flow, sensitive handling of site and cultural history, and deep commitment to framing a vision that is uniquely ACR’s.

Siegel & Strain’s master plan process for this project has already begun and over the next four months will include listening sessions and workshops to gather the necessary feedback from ACR directors, volunteers, staff, regional leaders and others in the ACR community.

While there is much to do and we are all eager to begin the important work of rebuilding, we want you to know that, with your help, our education programs on the preserve are operating at 80% of pre-fire capacity! Over the past two years, dedicated stewardship volunteers, education docents and preserve staff have put in hundreds of hours on daunting and dirty tasks—clearing hazard trees, replacing bridges, recreating educational tools—with the singular purpose of bringing kids back on the land.

This month we also are celebrating another milestone as ten members of our staff return to work on the preserve after a two-year hiatus in rented office space nearby. Many of you will remember that David Bouverie’s house sustained damage from the fire, yet was saved by staff and neighbors. Now dubbed The Bouverie House, it has been repaired and repurposed to support our administrative needs while still retaining the graceful spaces, original aged-glass windows and special architectural touches David so loved. The House now stands as a cornerstone for our new facilities—and eliminates the need for those workstations in future development.

While the Nuns Fire was a calamity, it has given us remarkable freedom to literally reframe our relationship with these resilient 535 acres. Under the guidance of Siegel & Strain—and your help—the Bouverie Preserve facilities master plan will not only provide practical solutions to our operational needs, but also serve as an example of responsible green building and be a nexus for collaboration, healing, continued nature education and positive energy for all.