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Winter 2002

Park News

Windy Hill OSP Trail Named in Memory of Betsy Crowder (Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District)

Friends and associates of the late Betsy Crowder gathered at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve in July to dedicate a trail in the name of the longtime and sorely missed activist, who was killed in a freak accident in the September 2000. The Betsy Crowder Trail (formerly known as the Sausal Trail) was recently constructed to provide a link between the preserve entrance on Portola Road and Spring Ridge Trail. Speakers recalled her unceasing efforts to preserve and protect open space. More recently, the MRSOD Board voted to install a donated memorial bench along the trail, inscribed with a plaque reading "In Memory of Betsy Crowder."
      The trail is open year-round to hikers, dogs on leash and seasonally to equestrians.

Also at Windy Hill, the new bridge from Alpine Road leading to the house under construction in the inholding will be closed to hikers weekdays through summer 2002. No equestrian access is currently permitted from the Alpine Road gate.

[Information taken in part from Marion Softkey's July 11, 2001 story in the Country Almanac, "Trail on Windy Hill dedicated to Betsy Crowder"]

Acquisition of Tunitas Creek Property Proposed (MROSD)

The MROSD Board of Directors voted Sept. 26 to move forward with plans to acquire the 708-acre Tunitas Creek property from the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), using funds from the Habitat Conservation Fund Grant Program, which will be granted later this year. Although the property is outside the District's current sphere of influence, it does fall within the proposed coastal annexation. When acquired, the property will become a new open space preserve with little development beyond limited public trail access. It is an area of exceptional biological diversity. Several perennial and unpolluted creeks flow through the property, providing spawning areas for the federally listed steelhead trout and habitat for red-legged frogs, as well as numerous other species.
      An existing network of ranch roads could connect with trails in both El Corte de Madera and Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserves. Further down the road, trail connections could be made to link the urban areas of the Central Peninsula with the coast and the San Mateo Coastal Trail.

Strategic Plan for Santa Clara County Parks

Since the SC County Parks and Recreation Department was founded in 1956 with four parks, it has grown to include 27 parks encompassing over 45,000 acres. With current projections placing the county population at over 1.9 million by 2010, both the Department and the SC Parks and Recreation Commission aim to develop a strategic plan to guide the development and expansion of the county's parks system over the next five to twenty years to serve the expected population growth. The plan would incorporate and build on many existing documents including the county General Plan and Trails Master Plan. The Department highly encourages county residents to attend regular meeting of the Steering Committee, public workshops, and related Strategic Plan events throughout the 18- to 24-month process. Contact Jane Mark, Project Manager, at (408) 358-3741, extension 152, via fax at (408) 358-3245, or by email: , or visit the SC Parks and Recreation website:

New Trail Maps at Arastradero Preserve (City of Palo Alto)

Updated trail maps are finally available for Arastradero Preserve. The new maps feature the new names chosen for many of the trails in last year's Trails Management Plan for the Preserve. The most notable is Acorn Trail, which no longer winds through the entire preserve - the name has been kept for only the lowest segment of the trail. The maps also show which trails will close during the wet season (beginning next winter). The City expects to update the maps on a yearly basis and is in the process of installing new trail signs throughout the Preserve.

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