From the forested skylines west of Redwood City, Palo Alto and Mountain View, San Gregorio Creek runs past towering redwoods and rich, productive farmland. It’s a landscape that still looks (and feels) much as it has for decades, with rolling, oak-studded woodlands and vast expanses of productive rangeland.
San Gregorio Creek and the land that surrounds it have supported life here for millennia. Endangered coho salmon still return from the Pacific in the winter months to reproduce in the safety of the creek’s fresh water, sometimes in the same pool where they were born. But what you may not know is that nearly all of the nearby farms also depend on San Gregorio Creek’s water, making the entire watershed a vital lifeline for many residents — both wild and human.
POST has long worked with our partners to safeguard this area. From the creek’s headwaters in the La Honda Creek and El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserves to its mouth at San Gregorio State Beach, we have preserved land to ensure the continued health of this living, thriving ecosystem.
Located near the junction of Highway 1 and 84, the property is bordered to the north by 952-acre Toto Ranch, which was protected by POST in 2009 and is managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen). To the south lies 74-acre San Gregorio Farm, which POST protected in 2015. Bookended by protected land in this way, the acquisition expands the network of protected land within the watershed.
The newly protected property’s lush, hilly grassland, called Gordon Ridge (pictured above) will continue to be grazed using practices that support the health of the land. This scenic location also opens up possibilities for connections to both the California Coastal Trail and the Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail. The latter trail is envisioned to follow the route Portolá took on his exploration of the Peninsula, in the footsteps of the ancient Ohlone trade routes. Opportunities to fill gaps in our regional trails are not possible without proactive land protection like this.
The property also boasts 38 acres of farmland, now known as Rising Acres, helping to further POST’s goal to preserve farmland along the San Mateo Coast under our Farmland Futures Initiative. We hope over time to revitalize the property’s agricultural operation. To do this, we are excited about the possibility of partnering with a local farmer to revive the farm’s soils and infrastructure — making it a productive and sustainable farm once again.
It’s remarkable to live where we do with thriving, dense communities so close to healthy watersheds like that of San Gregorio. We’re grateful to our partners at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their $1.2 million grant that made this acquisition possible, as well as to our private donors, large and small. It’s because of POST’s work, that you so generously support, that our region continues to benefit from the amazing balance of urban and rural landscapes that makes this place special for all who live here.
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more