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Photo by Velvy Appleton

About the Exhibit

This Online Exhibit is being put on collaboratively by San Anselmo Open Space Committee(SAOSC) (San Anselmo Open Space Committee) along with Fairfax Open Space Committee (FOSC) , (Fairfax Open Space Committee - Town of Fairfax)who often work jointly because of the contiguity and integrity of our natural lands including ridges, valleys, water ways and wildlife corridors.

San Anselmo

Open Space Committee

San Anselmo Open Space, Created in 1981, the SAOSC is a group of eleven volunteers and one student representative who are appointed by the San Anselmo Town Council to four-year terms. The Committee’s mandate is to fulfill the Open Space Element of the Town’s General Plan -- to save from development over 400 acres of greenbelts and scenic ridgelines that the Town has designated as desirable open space. If preserved from development, these lands would provide recreation, beauty, and convenient access to the natural world, and serve as wildlife corridors and natural buffers between our neighborhoods.

Primary among these lands is the sixty-acre summit of Bald Hill, the backdrop and symbol of our town. Though most residents are shocked to hear it, this majestic jewel of the Ross Valley remains privately owned and has been targeted for development before. The acquisition and permanent preservation of Bald Hill remains the primary goal of the Committee.

The Committee monitors the targeted properties and, when an opportunity arises, we work to acquire them. We raise contributions through an annual newsletter, a Spring Benefit, and other activities. Using these funds as seed money, we seek matching grants from various governmental agencies, conservation groups, and charitable trusts. Starting with just a ¼-acre parcel, the Town purchased Kite Hill, which stands above Sleepy Hollow at the highest elevation in San Anselmo. Working closely with the Town Council, the Marin County Open Space District, and other environmental agencies and neighborhood groups, we purchased the Bald Hill Ridge Preserve (46 acres) and Hawthorne Canyon (22 acres). But there have been losses as well. Almost 30% of the designated lands have been lost since our inception. However, the most prominent and important parcels, such as Bald Hill and portions of the Memorial Ridge between Memorial Park and Sorich Park, are still in private hands and at risk of development. These areas remain a key part of the greenbelt plan and we work diligently to preserve them.


Open Space Committee

FOSC's mission is to preserve the visual and environmental values of our community through the purchase of undeveloped land in and around Fairfax. 


Our goal is to provide sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna for future generations. FOSC is an advisory body to the Town Council and its role is to advocate for open space. 


It is FOSC’s responsibility to survey the lands within, and adjacent to, the Town of Fairfax in order to determine the availability of unique, threatened, or environmentally sensitive land parcels that may be appropriate to acquire to hold in perpetuity as dedicated open space for the public.  FOSC is also responsible for the consideration of long term planning of open space in and near Fairfax, for the generation of community support for the implementation of that program and for the fund raising necessary to implement the plan. 


FOSC may also serve as an advisory body in the consideration of long term planning for the Town and also review planning and development matters in order to formulate policy it may deem appropriate to advocate.