Photo: David Baselt / Redwood Hikes Press
Photo: David Baselt / Redwood Hikes Press

Golf Ends, But Recreation and Restoration Continues

On January 1, 2018, the San Geronimo Golf Course ceased operations and shortly thereafter the 157-acre property ownership was transferred to the Trust for Public Land (TPL), who brokered the deal on behalf of the Marin County Parks department, which aims to take ownership over the next couple years.

In the meantime, the Marin County Parks department will manage the property on behalf of TPL for recreation while it begins a public “visioning” process to determine the property’s final management plan.

The visioning, designs and fundraising to complete the purchase is estimated to take up to two years, and the County has signaled its interest in maintaining golf operations during that two-year period and is considering bids from golf management companies who may wish to take over operations.

Simultaneously, a Turtle Island Restoration Network is continuing to maintain and complete its many restoration activities on the property through its Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) program. We’re moving forward with ourrecently funded $3 million projects to remove the fish migration obstacle at Roy’s Pools, create backwater channels and other “refuge habitat” so juvenile salmon can survive high flows during storm events and stabilize banks and prevent erosion along the half-mile stretch of the San Geronimo Creek.

Meanwhile, golf advocates and members of the San Geronimo Stewards have sued the County in hopes of scuttling the County purchase and maintaining golf operations. Groups are now lobbying for the land to be used for agriculture or proposed affordable housing.

Turtle Island Restoration Network will continue to push for re-wilding the land to promote the ecosystem services wildlands provide in terms of improved water and air quality, reduction of flooding downstream, carbon sequestration to fight climate change, and enhanced wildlife habitat, especially for endangered coho salmon, but also benefiting a wide array of species from migratory songbirds to bobcats and otters.

What you can do: Contact Marin County Supervisors and let them know you support “re-wilding the San Geronimo Golf Course” and consider submitting letter to the editors to the Marin IJ and Point Reyes Light newspapers indicating your support for the re-wilding the San Geronimo Golf Course property.

Here are talking points for your letter to the editor:

Restoration of this land to a public park will pay multiple dividends for all Marin County residents, including the 90% of the population that don’t golf, including:

  • Saving over 49 million gallons of municipal water used each year to water grass;
  • Eliminating the use of fertilizers and pesticides that get into our water and air;
  • Re-creating floodplains that help reduce flooding of downstream houses built along the creek;
  • Allowing for the planting of trees, especially redwoods, that sequester large amounts of carbon and help fight climate change;
  • Protecting a host of wildlife species, especially many species of migratory birds that are dependent on creekside (riparian) habitat; and
  • Providing for a safe and healthy walking and biking corridor between San Geronimo Valley villages while maintaining the rural character of the San Geronimo Valley community.

Check out our executive director’s letter to the editor to the Marin IJ from Nov. 2017: http://www.marinij.com/opinion/20171111/marin-voice-re-wilding-golf-course-purchase-is-the-right-thing-to-do

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