Marin Dreaming

Did you know that Samuel P. Taylor State Park — a 3,000-acre, redwood-dense campground — is facing drastic service cutbacks, if not outright closure, within the coming year? Despite being a popular park, it’s become a victim of California’s budget cuts. You see the park, along with Lagunitas Creek, as you head to West Marin on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. People are always there.

The hopeful news is that Tony Magee, the CEO of Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, is proposing a public-private partnership to keep the park open. His plan, still being developed, involves volunteers, public donations and a lean-and-mean staff. “I just love the area,” Magee says, “and I hate to see things closing down.” Let us wish Magee the very best in his inspired effort to keep Marin an ideal place to live and work.

Which begs the question: Are there other areas in which successful, creative and community-minded individuals — like Magee — can organize projects benefiting Marin County? Because I’m a habitual dreamer, here’s what I came up with.

 • Let’s assume that Magee’s public-private partnership is successful, and Samuel P. Taylor State Park stays open: How about a group that organizes summer and fall Bohemian Grove–type programs to be held there featuring Marin musicians, dancers and comedians along with talks by the county’s many authors, artists, thinkers and entrepreneurs?

• How about something similar happening at China Camp State Park (which, sad to say, is also slated for closure)? Only in this instance, a community leader steps forth with the know-how — and the financial resources — to both keep it open and convert it into a “mountain bike–only” venue complete with all-new twisting trails, high-altitude jumps and water hazards.

• A project worthy of a consortium involving Marin’s many designers and landscape firms would be the planting out of the hillsides surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Center in keeping with the master architect’s original vision. And while doing so, let’s thin out the trees surrounding that world-famous building so motorists on Highway 101 can get a better view of it.

• Here’s a related fantasy — one calling for deep pockets and a desire to see Marin looking its best. Another result of California’s budget cutbacks is that Caltrans has only two workers tending to Marin’s 100 miles of state highway roadsides. Therefore, it’s time to create “Marin Beautiful,” a public-private partnership that would clean up and beautify the roadsides along Highway 101. This means picking up litter, pulling out and cutting back invasive weeds and landscaping the interchanges. This would provide jobs for hundreds who would be paid a living wage, with benefits.

This is my fantasy list of what would make Marin an even better place to live and work — and it never hurts to dream. What’s on your list? Email pov@marinmagazine.com.