Major Wildfire Safety and Conservation Improvements Envisioned for Marin County at Announcement about the Future of the San Geronimo Valley

May 17, 2019
Marin County, CA

Today, The Trust for Public Land, along with community leaders, a retired fire battalion chief and representatives of local and national conservation groups announced a new beginning for a landmark San Geronimo Valley property in West Marin.

The Trust for Public Land acquired the 157-acre former golf course in 2018 after it had been closed by the prior owner.

After months of conversation with diverse stakeholders, The Trust for Public Land today announced that it will convene an enhanced community engagement process to develop a plan for the property. The process will begin this summer and activities will include tours, visioning workshops and pop-up events. More information is available at www.ReimagineSanGeronimo.com.

The opportunities that the property will provide include:

  • New and enhanced public access for all for recreation, education and community gathering.
  • Connectivity to over 100,000 acres of protected lands from the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Comprehensive fire safety, including the ideal site for a new fire station, staging for emergency response, emergency refuge for West Marin residents, and proactive fuels management.
  • Restoration of the Bay Area’s last great salmon run.
  • Multi-use recreational and community facility with amenities including a restored community gathering place.

“The people of West Marin have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect, connect and restore this magnificent place in San Geronimo Valley, not only to better prepare for the growing threat of wildfire, but to enhance recreation and enjoyment for all,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California Director for The Trust for Public Land. “We look forward to a community engagement process that brings the residents of Marin together around the immense benefits this property can provide to people today, and for future generations.”

“I was a Firefighter for 40 years in Marin County. The last 4 years of unimaginable devastation from wildfires in California have highlighted the need to be better prepared and give our local firefighters the facilities and tools needed to prevent and control a major wildfire,” said Brian McCarthy, retired Ross Valley fire battalion chief. “That is why I am strongly supportive of the project to carve out a section of the property for a Fire Headquarters. This could be accomplished without compromising other uses of the property. Reducing response times and providing modern, safe facilities for our Fire Station should be a priority for all Valley and County residents.”

“Lagunitas Creek is home to the Bay Area’s the strongest remaining run of coho salmon – which were historically the premier native fish of Marin County but are now one of California’s most critically endangered species,” said Matt Clifford, a water rights specialist for Trout Unlimited.  “For many decades, Trout Unlimited members have been working with others in the watershed to preserve these fish.  This property, which has some of the best potential habitat value in the watershed, offers us the chance to write the next chapter of that effort – an opportunity to implement restoration on a regionally significant scale.”

“At 87, I join the salmon as being one of the oldest residents of the San Geronimo Valley. Today is a new day,” said Jean Berensmeier, a community advocate who has lived in the Valley since 1953. “TPL has come to us with a wonderful proposal that will connect and restore the heart of the Valley in perpetuity and in the process, work with the community to create a place that brings us together and improves our quality of life.”

“As a mother, resident of the San Geronimo Valley, and leader of a local environmental group based in Point Reyes Station, I wear multiple hats when it comes to this property and what its future holds,” said Morgan Patton, a local parent and the Executive Director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin. “We have to come together to tell a story of our community rising to the challenge to restore our watershed, provide habitat for endangered salmon, remove pesticides from the environment, and allow public access to all.”

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.