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Theme: Parks with a Past

A Brief History of Bay Area Parks and Open Space
   Pt. 1, 1840s-1950s

A Conservation Timeline
   Pt. 1, 1840s-1950s

Up and Down the Peninsula and South Bay

Names on the Land
   Pt. 1, San Mateo County

Other Features

Sudden Oak Death

Oak Mortality Syndrome

Grazing Through Huckleberry Heaven

Old-Fashioned Huckleberry Muffins

Wild Lit

Note from the Literary Editor

Blacksmith Fork and Fox - Megan E. Hansen

Down Harkins Fire Road (El Mar de la Purissima - Greg Dunn


From the Editor

Park News

Trail Center Notes

Upcoming Events

The Trail Companion

Fall 2000

From the Editor

By Scott Heeschen

Our theme for this quarter is the history of the parks in our area, and we've got three articles which cover that topic. Geoffrey Skinner found so much information that we may continue seeing historical tidbits in issues to come.
      As usual, we've got updates on our activities and news from the parks in our area. In addition, Bob Kelly has written a good article on the problem plaguing several types of oak tress in the area. He includes several great tips on keeping your trees healthy, too.
      Our hike for this issue goes into detail about Geoffrey's love for the huckleberry. And the accompanying picture? Trust me, as long as you don't come between Geoffrey and trailside berries, you're safe.

      Unfortunately, I have some sad news to report this issue. Betsy Crowder, a founding member of the Trail Center, recently died in a freak car accident in Portola Valley. A car had knocked a telephone pole to the ground. Betsy's car hit the pole and got a flat tire. While Betsy was standing outside her car, another car hit the pole and a cable that had come down with the pole whipped through the air and struck her, killing her instantly.
      I was stunned when I heard the news. I didn't know her very well, but rather knew of her. Everyone who knows about trails on the Peninsula knows of her. She served as a director with the Midpeninsual Regional Open Space District. She co-authored the Peninsual Trails guidebook. She was a member of the San Mateo County Trails Advisory Group. For her 1998 election for MROSD Ward 6, she described herself as a "grandmother of 4-year-old twin hikers". In other words, she loved hiking and the outdoors.
      All my interactions with Betsy were via written word. The first was after I wrote an article for this newsletter describing the excitement of discovering new trails to explore on my mountain bike. She wrote a letter back to the Trail Center admonishing us for promoting reckless mountain biking. Sandy Nichols, our Executive Director at the time, reread the article, and, interpreting it differently, called Betsy to explain how he saw it. He's often mentioned how he enjoyed talking with her that day, primarily for the chance to learn where she was coming from - from a concern about nature and the trails.
      The most recent letter we received from Betsy was in response to our Winter 2000 issue where we listed our trailwork projects through the years. She had some corrections, and mentioned how she was glad to see us continue on with our mission after the massive changes over the previous year.
      She will be missed.

Coming up...

Winter 2001 Giving Back to the Parks: Trail building is only one of the many ways we can give back to the parks. We look at docent programs and other volunteer activities in Bay Area parks and open spaces. We're also continuing this month's theme with an additional looks at history in the parks.

Spring 2001 Natural History: The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to a rich community of flora and fauna. Learn about our unusual plants, rare habitats and the geology underfoot well as news of Trail Center events, park news, and new literary works.

We're always looking for contributions to the newsletter - trail and park issues, hike/bike/ride descriptions, book reviews, volunteer opportunities, and literary works (poetry or prose) on wilderness, the outdoors and human-powered outdoor recreation (and you needn't be restricted by the issue theme). Articles may be up to 250 words in length (feature articles may be longer). We may also be interested in reprinting or adapting articles published elsewhere in print or linking to articles published electronically. See our website or inquire for full guidelines.

Deadlines for upcoming issues: Winter 2001: Friday, Dec. 9
Spring 2001: Friday, March 9.

Submit literary works or questions to Geoffrey Skinner, Literary Editor, c/o of theTrail Center or by e-mail, ; all others, to Scott Heeschen, Trail Companion Editor, c/o the Trail Center or by e-mail, .

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