The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy acquired 77 acres of land in upland Encinitas for $112,500.

Money for the purchase came from a donation by Ann Dunne of Solana Beach, a longtime conservancy supporter.

“I stared at that jewel of nature, still wild, for hours from the top of Annie’s Canyon Trail at San Elijo Lagoon,” Dunne said. “It belongs in safe hands, and now it is.”

The 77-acres is the largest addition to conservancy preserved land in more than 30 years, according to Doug Gibson, executive director and principal scientist for the conservancy.

“We’re thrilled to add this new property to the assets of our future and healthier communities,” Gibson said. “One of the key access points will connect Lake Drive in Encinitas westward to the 16 acres of land at the western strawberry fields that the conservancy secured last year, totaling 93 acres of continuous habitat at the lagoon.”

Starting next year, the conservancy’s habitat restoration staff will work with community volunteers to restore the property for native plants and animals and to establish trail connections.

The property is home to at least two endangered species – the San Diego pocket mouse and the California gnatcatcher.