A HISTORY of  Preservation

Herb Grench POST
Herb Grench: Visionary, Conservationist & Midpen GM 1973-1994

POST’s ability to carry out our bold vision is possible due to decades of experience, visionary leaders, scientific expertise, invaluable partnerships and community support.

In 1972, San Mateo County voters passed Measure R, creating the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) to “acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space land in perpetuity, protect and restore the natural environment, and provide opportunities for ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education.”

Five years later, Midpen’s first leader Herb Grench proposed forming a private land trust to work privately with landowners who were reluctant to deal with government agencies and to raise money to supplement public funding for land conservation.

And with that, Peninsula Open Space Trust or POST was born in Menlo Park.

Robert “Bob” Augsberger of Portola Valley served as our first executive director from 1977 to 1987. Early on, he recognized the value of protecting signature landscapes like Windy Hill and Mindego Hill from development.

Audrey Rust - POST
Audrey Rust: POST President 1987-2011

Bob was followed by Audrey C. Rust in 1987. For 25 years, Audrey worked to bring permanent protection to thousands of acres of open space.  She is widely recognized as a conservation leader and champion across the country.

In 2017, POST celebrated 40 years… 40 years of tenacity, vision and courage. Click here for a look at some of our milestones throughout the years.

Today, POST is one of the premier land trusts in the U.S., renowned for our deep technical understanding of our local lands as well as our expert ability to define and implement complicated land transactions of many types. In addition to our confidential work with private landowners, we partner closely with many public agencies on the national, state and county level to create a strong, effective network of conservation and stewardship.

We’re also taking a close look at how POST and the larger conservation movement can be more inclusive of all communities, many of which have been historically marginalized. Our Equity Commitment outlines the initial steps we are taking to improve — this will be an ongoing process, and we are dedicated to making meaningful change. In addition, we’re strengthening our relationships with the contemporary Indigenous people in our area and have developed a Land Acknowledgement that recognizes the past and present struggles and contributions of Native Americans.

Help us protect open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all.

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