Moraga (incorporating the former communities of Moraga Town, Rheem, and Rheem Valley) is a suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is named in honor of Joaquin Moraga, whose grandfather was José Joaquin Moraga, second in command to Juan Bautista de Anza. As of the 2000 census, Moraga was the 79th wealthiest place in the US with a population above 10,000.

As of 2010, Moraga had a total population of 16,016 people.

Geography

Moraga is located at 37°50’06” North, 122°07’47” West, at an elevation of 499 feet (152 m). It is located adjacent to the cities of Lafayette and Orinda, as well as the unincorporated community of Canyon. Other nearby cities include Walnut Creek, Oakland, San Francisco, Concord and Berkeley.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24 km2), of which, 9.4 square miles (24 km2) of it is land and 0.09% is water. Originally Moraga was abundant with pears, however, over the years more houses are being built and it is losing its pear trees. Large sections of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail pass through the town.

Moraga is a valley, surrounded by rolling hills (green in the winter, brown in the summer) and grazing cows. Residents enjoy walking or biking many trails in the Lamorinda area.

Moraga is well known for its school district, which attracts many people from surrounding cities, such as Berkeley, California, Walnut Creek, and even as far away as Martinez, California.

Climate

Moraga has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. In the summer, morning fog is a common occurrence, but it usually burns off by the late morning or early afternoon, giving way to clear skies the rest of the day. Most of the annual rainfall comes during the winter; snow is very rare, but occasional light dustings have been seen. Over the course of a year, the town averages 26 days of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher, 40 nights of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower, and 59 days with rain. In 2014, the southwestern US was plagued by a serious drought. Moraga was badly burdened, with high fire warnings.

Education

Moraga is home to the grade schools of Los Perales Elementary, Donald L. Rheem School, Camino Pablo School, and Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School; Campolindo High School, and Saint Mary’s College of California, a private college. In 2011 Moraga was named a top city to live and learn in,

Primary and secondary schools

The Moraga School District includes:

  • Camino Pablo Elementary School, grades K-5
  • Los Perales Elementary School, grades K-5
  • Donald L. Rheem Elementary School, grades K-5
  • Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, grades 6–8

The Acalanes Union High School District includes:

  • Campolindo High School, grades 9–12

Saklan Valley School (formerly, Moraga Country Day School and Carden School of Moraga), a private elementary school founded in 1954, is also located in Moraga. It is a co-educational school with around 155 students from preschool to 8th grade. The school is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (a member of the National Association of Independent Schools), and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It has a maximum class size of 16.

Moraga’s only public high school is Campolindo High School, although some Moraga students choose to attend Miramonte High School, located just across the town border in Orinda. Both schools are part of the Acalanes Union High School District, which encompasses Moraga, Lafayette, Orinda, and parts of Walnut Creek.

Orion Academy is a private secondary school for students with conditions such as Asperger syndrome, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and nonverbal learning disorder.

Colleges and universities

Saint Mary’s College of California is located just northeast of downtown Moraga; it is a Catholic university with 3,962 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the 2007–2008 school year. The college was originally located in San Francisco and then Oakland, but moved to Moraga in 1928.

Public libraries

The Moraga Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located along Saint Marys Road in Moraga.