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Theme: Giving Back to the Parks

The Edgewood Preserve Docent Training Program

Docents: Sharing Nature with the Bay Area Community

Meeting the Land at Fairfield Osborne Preserve

Other Features

A Brief History of Bay Area Parks and Open Space
   Pt. 2: From the 1960s through the Present Day

Names on the Land
   Pt. 2, Santa Cruz County

Education Stations "Smooth" the Trails

"Dish" Argument Continues on New Terrain

Sudden Oak Death: New Victims


Letter from the Trail Center

Park News

Trail Center Notes

Upcoming Events

The Trail Companion

Winter 2001

Letter from the Trail Center

By Scott Heeschen.

Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter this year. It's larger than most because we're including an activity schedule for the whole year and a contact list of organizations leading hikes, trailbuilds and other trail-related events. We're also including the second part of Brian Kunde's article on the history of parks and open space in the Bay area.
      The theme of this issue, however, is giving back to the parks in ways other than building trails. One of those ways is by educating the visitors to those parks. By doing so, you can help others gain a deeper appreciation for the plants and animals that live in the area, or the natural history that has shaped the region. There are many ways of learning and teaching this knowledge, and one of the more organized ways is by becoming a docent. We've got two articles this issue de-scribing the docent programs at Edgewood County Preserve and at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Another way of educating trail users is talking to them about being responsible for their actions while on the trail. Rod Brown and Jim Owen discuss ROMP's efforts to educate in their article.
      Also in this issue we feature two contributions from students in Stanford's Community Service Writing Program - a part of the University's Program in Writing and Critical Thinking. The CSW provides an opportunity for students to connect with area non-profits and gain some experience in "real world" writing, from grant proposals to web pages, and from brochures to newsletters. We expect to feature more work from this program in future issues.
      I'm also happy to make some new introductions. We've got two new editors for this newsletter, Mary Simpson and Megan Hansen. I certainly appreciate their help in getting the articles ready for publication, and for proofreading. Mary is an outdoor enthusiast originally from Wasilla, Alaska. She is currently working as a technical writer in Santa Clara. Megan is a poet and proofreader newly wed and newly transplanted from Ogden, Utah. She and her husband Brian make their home in Palo Alto.
      Amy Morris has also signed on as our new outreach coordinator. She will be emailing volunteers and responding to phone calls about our events. In her own words: "I am a California native who grew up in a family of outdoor enthusiasts. I enjoy being outdoors - either hiking or playing at the beach with my favorite canine companion, Cody. I also lead Farm Tours at Hidden Villa (an Educational Organic Farm in Los Altos) and do volunteer work for Common Ground Organic Garden Supply and Education Center in Palo Alto."
      Geoffrey Skinner, our president, has been acting in the role of outreach coordinator lately, and Amy's timing was very fortuitous. Geoffrey has begun the Master's of Library and Information Science program at San Jose State, and has less time to devote to the Trail Center.
      A new map case! About a year or so ago, we stopped distributing maps out of our office - we had no office staff for people to visit if they wanted to pick up maps, nor did the Board have the time to handle map orders by mail. Since then, we've been discussing how to distribute the free maps that we used to carry, and decided that a map rack outside our office would work. Well, the project grew and continued, and now we have a wonderful map case on the first floor at the Peninsula Conservation Center (PCC). Long-time volunteer Bill Henzel contributed many days of effort to create the beautiful case (thank you, Bill!) and we're currently in the process of stocking it. We hope to eventually be able to offer all the free maps for the area, and they'll be available during the PCC's normal business hours. We'll send out more news when it's all stocked!

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