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One Tam: many ways to give back to the mountain that gives us so much

Roy’s Redwoods

Long loved by the San Geronimo Valley community, Roy’s Redwoods Open Space Preserve offers visitors an immersive experience in an old-growth redwood grove. Thanks to the diligent efforts of conscientious community members, Roy’s Redwoods was protected from development, and later purchased by the Marin County Open Space District in 1978, becoming the first public preserve in the valley.  

Today, the redwood understory vegetation is largely trampled and denuded by a spider web of informal trails. Additionally, informal trail use is contributing to soil compaction and erosion along creek channels, and it is compromising the natural hydrologic processes of the alluvial flood plain and ultimately the resiliency of the redwood forest. 

Many would like to see Roy’s Redwoods restored, thereby protecting the many special status species that call this grove home, including the Northern spotted owl, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. To better understand what makes Roy’s Redwoods special to the community, and the environmental challenges facing the preserve, One Tam partners - including Marin County Parks and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy - have completed a comprehensive analysis of the site to establish restoration goals for the preserve. This site analysis included: 

  • Talking with community members. 

  • Gathering expert knowledge of the site’s history and ecosystem. 

  • Conducting a hydrologic assessment. 

  • Conducting vegetation and wildlife assessments. 

  • Completing a thorough review of existing literature and data on the site.  

  • Hosting community science events to document the biodiversity of the Preserve. 

 

During the conceptual design phase, the team began developing a project that would enhance the health of Roy’s Redwoods while improving visitor experience. Specifically, we explored opportunities to slow, spread, and sink water to improve forest health, guide visitors through an immersive and accessible experience of the redwoods. This project has continued to take shape with the collaborative input of restoration planners, environmental scientists, landscape architects, trail construction experts, community members, and agencies with environmental regulatory authority. 

 

The designs detail an improved trail network that will provide a variety of experiences in exploring the old growth forest while allowing for the restoration of the creek floodplain close to a natural condition. This restoration will have immediate benefits to the forest understory habitat, water quality, and climate resiliency of this special ecosystem. The project team is now taking the next steps to analyze the environmental impacts of the proposed project and seek regulatory approvals and permits to implement its construction. The team is also considering how the community can continue to be involved with the preservation of Roy’s Redwoods for future generations and we look forward to announcing ways to participate soon.   

Initial funding for this project was provided through Measure A.  

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