County. For many years she served asco-chair of the county committee andhelped dedicate the trail in Ed LevinCounty Park and Joseph D. GrantCounty Park. She enjoyed working withthe council’s dedicated board and staff.
a landscapearchitect and Marin County resident,started volunteering for the Bay AreaRidge Trail in 1987 when the NationalPark Service managed the project. Inthose early days he served on the tech-nical advisory committee, whichestablished design guidelines for thetrail and produced a sign manual.Doug even designed the Ridge Trailsigns! When the Ridge Trail incorpo-rated as a nonprofit, Doug was afounding board member. He thenserved on the gap committee (which isnow the trail committee), and willcontinue to be involved in helping tocomplete the trail.At the Ridge Trail Council’sMarch board of directors meeting, theboard re-elected its current slate of officers: Bill Long, chair; Mary Burns,vice chair; John Harrington, treasurer;and Michael Kelley, secretary. Thanksto Bill, Mary, John, and Michael fortheir years of dedicated service andtheir ongoing commitment!
Camp Near the Ridge Trail!
You may think of the Ridge Trailas a daytime destination, but you’d besurprised at the number of campgroundsand trail camps in parks where theRidge Trail is located. GreenInfo Net-work and
magazinerecently published a Bay Area mapthat highlights the Ridge Trail, as wellas campgrounds and trail camps onpublic open-space lands. More than 20campgrounds are located near theRidge Trail. Check out this new mapand plan your Ridge Trail campingexperience! To obtain the map, pick up the April-June 2003 issue of
or visit GreenInfo’s web site atgreeninfo.org for ordering information.For an interactive guide to camping youcan also visit the Bay Area Open SpaceCouncil’s web site at openspacecouncil.org.This online map enables you to zoominto a subregion, which highlights nearbycampgrounds. By clicking on a camp-ground, you can obtain detailed writteninformation on the park and its campsitesand view a slide show of the park.
Ridge Trail AdvocatesFeatured in Book
Shepherd Canyon Booksrecently announced therelease of
We’re in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill: Tales and Tips from Sea-soned Women Backpackers,
by RidgeTrail member Susan Alcorn. The book is a collection of stories about womenin the prime of their lives, from 40 toover 80, who continue to challengethemselves on the trail. Ridge Trailvolunteer and hike leader Doris Kleinis featured in the book, as well as IreneCline, the oldest woman to walk theAppalachian Trail; Emma Gatewood,the first woman, at age 67, to walk thelength of the Appalachian Trail; andLaurie Foot, the first woman over 45to hike and bike the American Dis-covery Trail. For information on howto order the book visit backpack.comor call 510-339-3441. If you want toexperience Doris in action, join her onan upcoming outing on June 1 or Sep-tember 20 (see
Outings & Upkeep
Ridge Trail CouncilProjects Funded
In April the Coastal Conservancyapproved four Ridge Trail constructiongrants. The grants are funded byProposition 12, the state park bondthat provided $3.48 million in fundingfor Ridge Trail-related projects. TheBay Area Conservancy Program of theCoastal Conservancy administers thepark bond monies by approving andmaking grants to the council. In turn,the council makes grants to its partneragencies and organizations.•
Almaden Quicksilver Staging Areaand Trail Improvements:
A $130,000 grant to the Santa ClaraCounty Parks Department will fundthe construction of a new stagingarea at Almaden Quicksilver CountyPark, as well as trail and signageimprovements. The staging area willprovide parking for 25 cars and 7horse trailers, and will haverestrooms and picnic tables. Fourmiles of Ridge Trail traverse the4,000-acre park and with theseimprovements, the trail will now beaccessible to all three trail-user groups.•
Sierra Azul Staging Area:
A $60,000 grant to the MidpeninsulaRegional Open Space District willfund the construction of a new stag-ing area at Sierra Azul Open SpacePreserve located across from AlmadenQuicksilver County Park. The stagingarea will have restroom facilities andprovide parking for 14 cars. Theimprovements will include creating asafe road crossing between the twoparks. An 11-mile Ridge Trail seg-ment is planned for the 15,000-acreSierra Azul Open Space Preserve.•
Crockett Hills Staging Area
: A$100,000 grant to the East BayRegional Parks District will fundconstruction of a staging area formulti-use access to the district’sC&H Sugar property in the City of Crockett in Contra Costa County.The district will match this grantwith its own funds. The 1,300-acreoak woodland/grassland property is just south of the Carquinez Bridgeand east of Interstate 80, and is notcurrently accessible to the public. A4.5-mile segment of the Ridge Trailwill be routed through the propertywhen the staging area and trailimprovements are completed.•
Petaluma River Trail
: A $120,000grant to the City of Petaluma willfund the design and construction of a new section of the Ridge Trailalong the Petaluma River. This isthe first phase of a multi-year projectto realign the trail route off citystreets onto the Petaluma RiverTrail. The grant funds the first seg-ment of the eventual two-mile RidgeTrail segment.
New Board Members,Board Departures
The Bay Area Ridge Trail Councilis pleased to welcome three new boardmembers: Thomas Beck, Kathy Blume,and Frank Morris.
a native of Texas, moved to the Bay Area fiveyears ago after spending more than tenyears working for the Union Bank of Switzerland in London and Zurich.Thomas joined a Peninsula Watershedhike two years ago and has been acounty committee member and hikeleader ever since. He will also chairthe council’s outreach committee.
is a lifelong hikerand lover of the outdoors, and cur-rently leads hikes on the King andSwett Ranches in Solano County thatwill soon have a segment of the RidgeTrail. Kathy retired after a 20-yearcareer in the U.S.Air Force thatincluded stints inSoutheast Asiaand Europe. Sheplays the cello,and every week plays chambermusic with friendsand also plays inthe local community symphony. Kathyhas been active with the library foun-dation and her homeownersassociation.
is a Bay Areanative and enjoys being involved withcommunity-oriented projects thatshare a vision of preserving open spaceand promoting natural resource con-servation. He isemployed as asenior waterresources special-ist with theSolano CountyWater Agencyand has workedon water qualityand water resource issues for over 25years. He is presently vice president of the Solano Land Trust’s board and hasserved as a board member of theGreen Valley Landowners Associationfor over ten years. He enjoys hiking,boating, and exploring new regionsand habitats.The council says goodbye to threeboard members and thanks them fortheir many years of dedicated service:Mim Carlson, Judy Etheridge, andDoug Nelson.
served on theboard for seven years and during thistime was a member of the governance,strategic planning, and executive com-mittees. A hiker from Contra CostaCounty, Mim is a leadership consul-tant for nonprofits; she currentlyserves as an interim executive director.Mim led the search effort for theRidge Trail Council’s executive direc-tor in 2001 and early 2002.
is an avidequestrian who served on the RidgeTrail board since 1995. She now lives inthe East Bay but during most of herboard tenure she lived in Santa Clara2
THE VIEW FROM HERE
Dear Friends,Thank you for making last year such a special one for the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. On a personal level, it marked my first year as the new executive director, but more importantly it marked our 15th anniversary year. This past year again proved the rule—your ongoing generous support enables us to make great progress at completing the region’s premier long-distance trail. And in completing the Ridge Trail, we also preserve, pro- tect, and connect some very special open spaces along the way.In a year when staying close to home to enjoy one’s family and friends seemed ever more important, thousands of Ridge Trail Council members and volunteers joined together to make a positive difference in their communities. By constructing new segments of trail, protecting open lands along the ridgeline for a future trail,convincing local officials that trails are indeed very important for our health, well- ness, and wellbeing, and exposing schoolchildren to a trail for the first time in their lives, we’re leading the way toward a more connected and livable Bay Area.I hope you will take a moment to review this annual report to see the many suc- cesses you have made possible. We could not create and protect the Bay Area Ridge Trail without you. Thanks for all your support, encouragement, and involvement.We’ll keep up the good work and be sure to stay in touch as together we preserve the best of the Bay Area for future generations.Happy Trails,Holly Van Houten
Big Rock Trail Opens
On April 1, the Marin County OpenSpace District opened the Big Rock Trail tothe public. The trail will be dedicated this fall.This new three-mile multi-use trail off Lucas Val-ley Road in San Rafael is a critical segment of theRidge Trail that climbs to Big Rock Ridge. Anunderpass is also planned for Lucas Valley Road,which will connect the Big Rock Trail with the new 2.5-mile Loma Alta Trail tothe south, dedicated in 2001. On June 21, two outings are scheduled on the trail.This is an opportunity to hear about how the project came together from twoinsiders—John Aranson, who constructed the trail for the district before comingto work for the Ridge Trail Council, and Steve Kinsey, Marin County supervisorand Ridge Trail board member (see
Outings & Upkeep
). Stay tuned for more infor-mation about this trail in a future issue!
Above: Trail users in Almaden Quicksilver County Park can learn mining history. Themine’s dust precipitators cooled the fumes and reduced the amount of ash and vapor that escaped into the air while the ore was heated tocondense into mercury. Photo by JohnFalkowski, Santa Clara County Parks Depart-ment. Below: The C&H Sugar property will feature a segment of the Ridge Trail and be opento the public in the near future. Photo courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District.The entrance to the new Big Rock Trail. Photo by Chris Bramham, Marin County Open Space District.
Kathy BlumeFrank Morris