Thank You, Marin Conservation League

Yesterday friends Mary Van Zomeran, MB Fribley with dog Ricky, and I walked on the ridge that separate two parts of San Rafael. That ridge and many others were preserved by the efforts of folks who are part of the Marin Conservation League. The green hills separate towns from one another as well as neighborhoods in a town as large as San Rafael. It gives the county its look and grants lots of open space for hikers and bikers – and most of wild creatures.

Marin Conservation League (MCL) began in 1934. Aside from making a political base for the purchase of lands on the ridges and development of the Marin County Parks Department, the group was instrumental in other efforts. Over the years it has helped put together Save the Bay, a push to preserve the San Francisco Bay from development (you can see Foster City for an example of what might have happened), and in the making of the Golden Gate Recreational Area out of the forts, bases and ports owned by the Department of the Defense (they were parts of the Departments Army, Navy and Coast Guard prior to the establishment of DOD). It has also developed policy papers on energy conservation and open space policy with enough clout to have politicians pay attention.


Looking south from the top of the trail Ricky has found some interesting local treat. Looking at the furthest ridge, that is Mount Tamalpais, one of our landmarks. Note that the tops of all the hills between are NOT crowded with houses and other development – they are simply green, well,  so far – since the drought has made the tree weak an open to attacks by bugs and disease we an only hope that we receive enough rains to keep them healthy.


Looking east on a adjoining trail, there is the County Offices designed by Frank Lloyd Wright – notice that the metal roof is being repainted for the first time since the buildings completion in 1962. The old paint looks gray, I like the new/old color a lot better.


Walking down an adjoining trail, there is Mount Tamalpais Cemetery where Bob’s plague marks his remains and where the redwood tree we planted in his honor was cut down, along with 7 other redwoods all dying from an invasion of beetles taking advantage of the drought weakened condition of redwoods.

In part due to the Marin Conservation League and the cities and towns which made policies preserving open space, Marin County almost 40% of the land in public hands for recreation and open space, the highest percentage in California. I love it, but I also know that it puts housing costs out of the reach of many. A real conundrum.



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