Detail of 1966 aerial view of Bolinas with green highlight of BCPUD land featured in this exhibition.
Photo by Ed Bradley. Courtesy Bolinas Museum.
More than forty years ago Bolinas Community Public Utility District purchased ninety acres of land running from Olema-Bolinas Road leading into to town, to Overlook Road on the mesa. Fifty acres were used to develop a new low energy biochemical sewage treatment plant, known locally as the ponds. The vision for the remaining forty acres, which slope down toward the town, was to make them available as a community resource. Today, you can see several areas of table crops and orchards, a goat farm, the Resource Recovery compost facility, as well as bike, horse and walking paths surrounded by wildlife-rich woods and open land.
In the fall of 2013, BCPUD created the advisory Land Stewardship Committee to study the current and historical uses of the forty acres. The Committee invited people from the community and specialists to share their information about fire prevention, botanical and wildlife diversity and habitat, the interface of public and private uses along with physical conditions, management constraints, and the complexity of issues regarding stewardship of this unique community resource. This exhibit shares some of this thoughtful study with the community and its visitors. While it focuses specifically on a Bolinas issue, the process may be inspiring for other communities and neighborhoods as well.