Wilder Arrival Makes for a Bright Summer

Devin Mottier, Columns and Reviews Editor

Summer is gone, but its memories will forever live on. A large portion of Lamorinda high schoolers’ summer memories include time spent relaxing in the un-gated subdivision of Orinda, Wilder. Although Wilder’s recreational facilities closed on Aug. 19, there are still many opportunities open to visitors.

Eighteen years have passed since the creation of the 1994 Montanera development agreement plans, and as of June 9, 2012, these designs turned into a reality.

The Montanera Project (renamed the Wilder Project), began as a dream for a neighborhood filled with housing, recreation and wildlife.

Over the summer,  it turned into a hotspot for high school get-togethers, kickbacks, and outdoor fun.

“The vision for Wilder was guided by an appreciation of the semi-rural landscape and natural surroundings. Once complete, Wilder will be a neighborhood of 245 homes nestled within 1,600 acres of the pastoral Gateway Valley, it will feature a network of trails and pathways that weave through the neighborhood and connect to existing Orinda trails and the East Bay Regional Park District,” Wilder spokesperson Jason Keadjian said.

Wilder is home to two sports fields, as well as three more under construction, all of which are owned and maintained by the City of Orinda and used by local sports groups like the Orinda Youth Association.

One of the most popular amenities is the Quarry House, which was utilized by over 350 Orinda families this summer.

“The Wilder Quarry House features a private swim and recreation center and opened this summer only to Orinda residents at no charge.  Designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, this gracious hacienda is the recreational and social heart of Wilder with an eight-lane competition-size pool, spa, kid’s pool, fully-equipped fitness facility, and plenty of areas to lounge and sunbathe,” Keadjian said.

Because of Wilder’s secluded location and fun features, it unfortunately became a hot spot for unwanted late night visitors.

“There were a few instances of trespassers entering the locked private swim facility after hours,” Keadjian said. “But the Wilder property includes private and public areas.  A security service patrols the Wilder neighborhood seven days a week in order to maintain the security of the site and the safety of residents and guests.  Wilder is still an active construction site, and caution and safety are of the utmost importance.”

Despite the amenities being closed during this school year, there is still much in store for Wilder’s future.

Wilder has made it a priority to team up with the Orinda community on important events such as the Third Annual Nor Cal Kids Triathlon, which they hosted on Aug. 25.

“Wilder reached many important milestones this year. Our first homeowners moved in, the first two playfields were completed and are in use, construction is under way on several new homes along Rabble Road, and we continue to partner with the Orinda community on important local events such as the fourth annual Norcal Kids Triathlon which was hosted at Wilder last week.  In the coming years, Wilder will welcome 245 homeowners, complete five playfields, and welcome hikers and equestrians alike,” Keadjian said.