FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 20, 2021
Contact: Leigh Ann Gessner
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District concludes 50th anniversary with new documentary
Capstone to yearlong celebration airs December 24 and 25 on NBC
Los Altos, CA — The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) celebrated its 50th anniversary throughout 2022. As a capstone to the yearlong celebration, Midpen partnered with NBC Bay Area to develop a television documentary about the public agency titled “50 to Forever: Midpen’s Mission to Preserve Nature & Open Space”, which airs on Saturday, December 24 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, December 25 at 10 p.m.
Midpen was created by local voters in 1972, following a grassroots effort by community members concerned about the impacts of rapid development and growth in the area. Since then, Midpen has protected a regional greenbelt of more than 70,000 acres of public open space and agricultural lands throughout the greater Santa Cruz Mountains region. Midpen also restores the ecological health and function of the natural environment, encourages viable agricultural land use on the San Mateo County Coastside and provides nearby access to nature for the community through programs and more than 250 miles of trails in 26 preserves.
The documentary will take viewers on a journey back into local history, out on the trails, up to the mountaintops and into the secret lives of local charismatic wildlife. From preserving natural wildlife habitats to purchasing and restoring thousands of acres of land including bay wetlands, redwood forests and coastal grasslands, the 48-minute film (hour broadcast) takes a closer look at the work Midpen and its partners have achieved through in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.
The documentary caps off a milestone year for Midpen. Highlights from the anniversary celebrations include the Bayside Family Festival at Ravenswood Preserve (April 30, 2022) and Coastside Community Celebration at Johnston Ranch (September 10, 2022), events which drew over 2,000 attendees combined. Other anniversary activities included the “Open Hearts” campaign, which gave community members the opportunity to submit stories and memories about the open space preserves, the “Open Stories” campaign which profiled 50 individuals to help tell the myriad of ways folks were involved with Midpen and #SpottedAtMidpen, a social media campaign that encouraged visitors to post photos of observations made at Midpen preserves.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s mission is to acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space land of regional significance 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 also includes preserving agricultural land of regional significance and rural character and encouraging viable agricultural use of land resources. Midpen has successfully protected more than 70,000 acres of public open space land in the Santa Cruz Mountains region since 1972.