Midpen helps plants, animals and people thrive throughout the greater Santa Cruz Mountains region by preserving a connected greenbelt of more than 65,000 acres of public open space. These diverse and scenic landscapes, from bay wetlands to redwood forests and coastal grasslands, host an incredible diversity of life, making our region one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
Midpen preserves have long and complex histories of human use prior to becoming public open space. We actively manage the land and waterways to restore their health and function, helping our local ecosystem become more resilient in a time of climate change. By caring for the land, the land in turn takes care of us, providing tangible and intangible benefits like clean air and water, flood protection and the opportunity for restorative experiences in nature.
On the San Mateo County Coast, where local agricultural roots run deep, our mission also includes preserving viable working lands. We partner with small-scale local ranchers to use conservation grazing as a land management tool for enhancing native coastal grasslands and providing wildland fire protection.
By preserving, restoring and providing access to our region’s iconic, cultural, working and scenic landscapes, Midpen lands offer us opportunities for health, climate change resilience and refuge.
Midpen preserves are free and open to the public daily, providing an extensive trail network for low-impact recreation. Our programming connects people to nature through enriched experiences including environmental interpretation, docent-led activities and volunteer opportunities.
Preserves include redwood, oak, and fir forests, chaparral-covered hillsides, riparian corridors, grasslands, and wetlands along the San Francisco Bay. Ranging from 55 to over 18,000 acres, 25 preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year. Visitors will find over 240 miles of trails, ranging from easy to challenging terrain.
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.
On the San Mateo County Coast, our mission includes:
To acquire and preserve in perpetuity open space land and agricultural land of regional significance, protect and restore the natural environment, preserve rural character, encourage viable agricultural use of land resources, and provide opportunities for ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education.
Coastal Protection Program
Through its Coastal Protection Area Service Plan the District is committed to protecting our coastal watershed and agricultural lands and preserving the rural character of the region. Learn more