Cambrian: Opinion

Retiring executive director is sticking around until a successor can be found

The 2013 Creekside Art Festival, as viewed from above. This year’s event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25.
The 2013 Creekside Art Festival, as viewed from above. This year’s event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25.

For those asking “How does Rick like retirement?” The answer is, “It hasn’t happened yet.”

While the search for a new executive director proceeds, Richard Hawley will serve halftime in that position, supported by Holly Sletteland as assistant executive director.

Holly’s background as volunteer coordinator for The Otter Project and preserve manager for the Morro Coast Audubon Society in particular make her an excellent addition to the Greenspace team.

We’ve opened escrow to purchase more forestland adjacent to our preserve in Strawberry Valley. Yes, “Valley.” That’s what it originally was called. It was popular with locals who enjoyed — you guessed it, picking strawberries. The name “Strawberry Canyon” appeared before 1980, but we haven’t been able to track how the change happened.

The 26th Greenspace Art & Adventure Auction in July was our most successful yet. Eighteen works of art and engaging adventures were auctioned after a dinner served in the Garden at Robin’s Restaurant. The first Art Auction in 1988 was held to raise money to develop a plan for enhancing Santa Rosa Creek.

Two grant applications have been submitted for improving local creeks as habitat for fish. We’ll hear about those in six to 10 months. The projects Greenspace has already undertaken on Santa Rosa Creek aren’t very visible, but they’re important. California has ranked it as one of the most important in the state for re-establishing steelhead runs.

Speaking of creeks, we’re looking for volunteers and participants for a new kind of festival next year. The watershed of Santa Rosa Creek encompasses 47 square miles, with ranches, farms, homes, businesses, forest, shoreline and conserved land. It’s one of our two sources of water.

To generate “watershed pride” and awareness, Greenspace plans a Made in the Watershed Festival for 2015. Anyone who grows, manufactures, or creates in the watershed is welcome to demonstrate, show, tell and sell. Food, produce, beer, art, books, crafts — you name it.

To help flesh out this idea, we are looking for creative minds and committed energy. Let Rick or Holly know if you want to help make this happen.

More immediately, put the Greenspace Creekside Art Festival on your calendar: Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Creekside Reserve on Center Street. Admission is free. Look for artists, music, food, drinks, and sale of affordable art treasures from the Greenspace vault.

Finally, I want to congratulate the directors of the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and all the FFRP members on the $3 million bequest recently announced. Not only does this help secure the future of this incredible resource, it also affirms the importance of efforts made in years past to save it.

To volunteer and get answers to questions, call Rick or Holly at 927-2866, or email

How to apply

Applications for the executive director position are due Nov. 1.

For information about the job, contact columnist Wayne Attoe at