Green’ turns silver

Cambria conservation group marks 25th anniversary

Special to The CambrianJanuary 28, 2013 

Yes, Greenspace — The Cambria Land Trust is marking 25 years of community-supported conservation in the North Coast area.  To celebrate this milestone a number of events are lined up for the next months.

First, a surprise: The Greenspace story will soon be in print. Called “Greenspace. . . So Far,” it’s written by me and is enlivened with a collection of Art Van Rhyn’s cartoons.

I’ve spent many absorbing hours over the last 12 months digging through newspaper clippings and other files in order to understand how Greenspace evolved over a quarter-century. Making a chronology like this was itself a challenge, for Greenspace records were lost in the infamous March flood of ’95.  A savior in this regard is Joan Hawley-McGrath (Rick’s mom), who keeps records of her progeny’s activities like a pro.

The book begins with the story of a contractor and a carpenter having a chat while mountain-biking on a local ranch. They imagine a possible hiking/biking trail, and conservation easements and how a land trust may facilitate this. Then, quickly, other folks join in. Soon a call went out to the broader community, a call from yet another guy in the building trades who asserted, “Our Land is Sacred.”

Yet at that time hundreds of houses were slated for construction on what has become the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, a huge office/retail center was planned around present-day RaboBank, Santa Rosa Creek was likely to be channeled, and several local and threatened animal species seemed doomed.

That was 1988. It’s cool, I think, that the book ends with that author of “Our Land Is Sacred” saying 25 years later that the evolution of Greenspace’s purpose has been very gratifying to see and that he is pleased to have been a part of it.

Who are these people? What happened? What does the future hold?  The book goes on sale at the . . .
Birthday Party

… Greenspace birthday party on Saturday, April 20, at the Greenspace Creekside Reserve at 2264 Center St. in East Village. It’s free. Everyone’s invited. Look for live music, popcorn, birthday cake and beverages.

At that event, expect a “Tip o’ the Hat” to local businesses that have supported our conservation work during the last quarter-century with donations of food, gift certificates, auction items and cash. Details about the birthday party will be broadcast in early April. 

Event No. 2 is the annual Wildflower Walk. The first of these walks was 20 years ago on the Fiscalini Town Ranch at a time when its future was uncertain. Last year the walk explored a ranch near the headwaters of the Salinas River. This year’s location is still a secret, as is the date.

The Creekside Art Festival will be on Saturday, July 27. Free and open to the public, it features artists demonstrating their techniques and selling their work. This is part of the 25-year-long Greenspace Art Auction tradition. Last year we reconfigured the familiar Art & Adventure Auction to maximize the opportunities to raise funds and to increase accessibility and affordability. In effect, the traditional live auction was transformed into a fine dining occasion, and the traditional silent auction became a free public art festival.

The new Art & Adventure Dinner & Auction in the garden at Robin’s Restaurant on Friday, Aug. 16, will bring together fine dining and the excitement of active bidding for select art works and adventure travel opportunities. Among this year’s offerings is a “Heritage Adventure” cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, donated by UnCruise.

Protecting more forest

A special goal of this silver anniversary is acquisition of a 4.5-acre forest stand on Lodge Hill, in the Highway 1 viewshed.  The last hurdle is completion of a $40,000 endowment, of which the 13-member Board of Directors of Greenspace has already raised half. Can we do it in time to announce the acquisition on April 20?

During the next few months, please help celebrate what we as a community — along with many supporters from beyond Cambria — have accomplished over 25 eventful years.

Wayne Attoe is president of Greenspace — The Cambria Land Trust. A column featuring updates from Greenspace appears every fifth Thursday of the month. For more, go to or call 927-2866.

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