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instructor educating students in the field.
Science Education
The Reserve is convenient and accessible to undergraduates. A number of UC Merced professors now hold field trips there.
bobcat eating it's prey
Predation In Action
One of our automatic, motion cameras snapped a photo of a Bobcat carrying off a California Ground Squirrel, reflecting predator-prey relationships.
spotted lizard
Lizard Sighting
On August 6, 2015 we spotted the first common side-blotched lizard recorded on the Grasslands Reserve
Meadow foam & Whitetip Clover
Meadow foam & Whitetip Clover
These lovely wildflowers were in full bloom in early April. Photo by Jenna Heckel.


July 28, 2021

Happy World Nature Conservation Day!! Observed worldwide on July 28th of every year, this day aims to create awareness about protecting and conserving nature. The UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve (MVPGR) is a great example of protected conservation lands that create awareness about the natural world, land conservation, and stewardship. Located directly adjacent to the University of California, Merced campus, the reserve is comprised of 6,500 protected acres of intact vernal pool and...
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COVID-19 Update -Summer 2021

The following represents current guidance for the UC Merced Natural Reserve System Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve (MVPGR). We reserve the right to cancel any reservation to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff, and to revise policies in the event of specific campus, state, NRS, NPS, or CDC guidance.

Updated 7/8/2021

Note: As the UC Merced campus transitions back to in-person activities, our COVID-19 restrictions are rapidly changing. Please reach out to the Reserve Director at for the most current Reserve visitation information.

In case of emergency, call 911 or the campus police at (209) 228-2677

For non-emergencies such as gate lock issues:

Call Reserve Director, Joy Baccei, at (209) 291-6897

OR Campus Facilities Management at 209-228-2986