Greenspace…So Far

This volume, written by Wayne Attoe and illustrated with cartoons by Arthur Van Rhyn, is subtitled, “Greenspace – The Cambria Land Trust at 25 Years” and that is an exact description of the contents. The many accomplishments of this organization are described in sufficient detail to grasp their significance but without including so much minutia that it becomes tedious.

The current mission statement of Greenspace reads:

The North Coast area of San Luis Obispo County is a national treasure. Greenspace will protect and enhance its ecological systems, cultural resources and marine habitats through land acquisition and management, public education and advocacy.

The eight chapters which comprise the bulk of the book are organized around this mission statement with each chapter explaining what Greenspace has done and is doing to fulfill this aspect of their purpose.

Wayne Attoe, a retired professor of architecture and urban design, knows whereof he speaks. He has been part of this organization for sixteen of its twenty-five years and has been its president for many years.

The idea for Greenspace was conceived by Rick Hawley (currently Executive Director) and John Colgan in 1988 to create a conservation corridor along the lower reaches of Santa Rosa Creek from Coast Union High School down to the ocean including a hiking and biking trail. To accomplish this object, Greenspace: A Land Trust was incorporated as an environmental non-profit organization by John Colgan, Rich Davis, Rick Hawley and Ron Wyse in April, 1989. Over the years, however, the organization was forced to broaden its mission to include many aspects which, unbeknownst to the founders in 1989, are necessary to achieve the original purpose.

We have lived in Cambria for more years than Greenspace has existed so none of its accomplishments was news to us. But so see so many achievements listed in a single book was positively astounding. And Wayne does not shy away from “political” aspects of the organization, either. Over the years, Greenspace has been perceived by many groups of Cambrians as controversial, to say the least. In fact, in the late 1990s, Greenspace hired a consultant to analyze its operations and recommend changes. One of the comments by the consultant was “that Greenspace is perceived as combative and antagonistic, and also having organizational integrity.”

Greenspace…So Far is available at the Geenspace website which also includes a brief list of their many accomplishments together with much more information about this amazing organization.

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