Update to Strategic Plan offers an opportunity to speak on behalf of trails Marin Water’s Strategic Plan Update
Marin Municipal Water District is updating its strategic plan, and on November 27 the Board met to discuss goals related specifically to the Watershed. Two of the objectives, Recreation and Stewardship, are key to our initiative to Reimagine Mt Tam.
Off-Road Director Tom Boss spoke at the meeting calling out that a legacy of recreation on the 22,000-acre watershed predates the 1912 creation of the District. The Mt. Tamalpais Railroad and East Peak Tavern were built in the late 1800’s. The West Point Inn was built in 1904 and the first Dipsea race ran in 1905. The open-air theater was first introduced on the Mountain in 1910, and many of the most popular Watershed trails were built over 100 years ago. William Kent, who conceived the first municipal water agency in the country, framed the creation of the District as a water supply and a magnificent park for the public.
Many speakers, as well as Board Directors, shared the opinion that it makes sense to embrace recreation and expand resources to manage use, as the Watershed sees over 2 million annual visitors.
Stewardship is one of the objectives, with a goal to enhance the District’s volunteer program. Recently, Watershed staff took part in a week-long trail crew leader workshop. These crews will help with projects such as Azalea Hill and future actions identified in the forthcoming Watershed Recreation Management Plan.
Regarding the strategic plan’s Recreation Objective, MCBC and others advocated for inclusive language related to facilities. For example, the draft language mentioned “hiking trails” only. We suggested they drop “hiking” and just call them trails. We also recommended a goal to promote harmony among all Watershed visitors and called out the need for collaboration with surrounding land managers such as State Parks, GGNRA, and Marin County Parks, as the Watershed is a thru-point for all of them.
Work continues on the Draft Watershed Recreation Management Plan and staff will provide an update at the Watershed Committee Meeting on Tuesday, December 12th. Join the Reimagine Mt Tam Team to receive an email reminder and other updates. We expect the Draft Plan to be released to the public in early 2024 and we continue to push for interim actions to provide bicyclists with trail experiences on the watershed.
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