The Power To Make Changes!

Lucky me! Last weekend I visited the Point Reyes area on the coast of Northern California. The landscapes are truly breath-taking. I excitedly took a walk along the beach, breathing in the fresh ocean air … I felt so fortunate to be able to enjoy such beauty and, not only that, but it’s only a couple of hours from my home. This energizing area needs to definitely be placed on my often to visit zone.

On this journey I began to question how this piece of nature had been reserved—especially so close to large cities like San Francisco; so I began to investigate and this is what I found …  

In the 1950’s a freshman Congressman instigated a complex effort to preserve the magnificent Point Reyes Peninsula. Ranches and food production have been part of the peninsula landscaped since the 1830’s. It took federal commitment to protect and preserve their way of life, to sway the peninsula’s ranchers to entrust ownership of their land to the government allowing formation of the park. In 1960 President John F. Kennedy signed legislation preserving more than 30,000 acres within the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Around that time, the spectacular Marin Headlands above the Golden Gate Bridge was about to become Marincello, a planned community of 20,000 residents. Powerful Gulf Oil owners did not foresee the great battle to preserve the 21,000 acre headlands and grassroots movement that defeated their plan.

Also in the 1960’s Bolinas Lagoon almost became a high density development around hotels and a yacht harbor, accessed by four lane freeway through Coastal Marin. A handful of resourceful people narrowly outmaneuvered that project, protecting rich wild life habitat in and around the Lagoon and the end of the Point Reyes peninsula.

In the 1960’s fierce determination and a strong sense of community among the small towns in San Geronimo Valley stopped massive developments from encrusting the ridges and a freeway through the quiet valley.

In the 1970’s, young visionaries in Bolinas stopped a projected sewer treatment plant that would allow for massive growth. They installed organic sewage treatment, established a water moratorium limiting growth and a Community Plan committed to preserving land and small community.

Also in the 1970’s, a young mother working out of her home, renowned conservationist, a master politician and hundreds of supporters brought about the formation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It would become one of the largest urban parks in the world, stretching from Marin County into Northern San Mateo County.

An exceptional film, “Rebels With A Cause” by critically acclaimed film makers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto documents many of the struggles and heroes who have saved so much of the remarkable landscape. This is a film I must see. It would be exciting for Tazz and I to interview with these ladies in the future. What an instrument of inspiration this is to give others … people do have power to make changes!

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