Planning | Timeline  | Restoration | Funding | Historic Complex | Contact  | Resources

The 79-acre Hawthorns Area of Windy Hill Open Space Preserve was protected from development when it was gifted to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in 2011. Since then, staff cleaned up the property and have been working to restore native grasslands, improve community wildland fire safety and protect historic features on the property. A multiyear public process began in 2021 to explore the feasibility of introducing ecologically sensitive public access to the undeveloped portion of the property. 

There will be multiple opportunities throughout the project for public input. To stay informed, please sign up using the comment card at the bottom of this webpage to receive updates. Additional information will be provided on this webpage as the project proceeds.

Public Notice: Hawthorns Area Boundary Survey

BKF Engineers will be conducting a property boundary survey for the Hawthorns Area. Work is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 20 and conclude by Sunday, September 26. This work will entail survey equipment and personnel along the Hawthorns Area property boundary and on nearby public roadways. To submit an inquiry, please use the comment card provided below or contact Alex Casbara at acasbara@openspace.org.

Anticipated Project Timeline

Here is the tentative schedule for developing the Hawthorns Area Plan. 

  • Develop vision and goals for the Hawthorns Area: 2021-2022
  • Prepare Public Access Conceptual Plan: 2022-2024
  • Conduct environmental review per CEQA: 2024-2025
  • Project approval and permitting: 2025


The Hawthorns Area includes rolling grassland, oak woodland and year-round flows in Los Trancos Creek that support a diverse community of native plants and wildlife. To protect the natural environment, Midpen removed debris and old vehicles from the property. Midpen staff have also partnered with Grassroots Ecology to restore the property's native grasslands, including carefully timed mowing to reduce the spread of non-native yellow star thistle and removal of non-native, highly flammable French broom. 

Working closely with the Woodside Fire Protection District fire marshal, Midpen has also completed significant vegetation management on the property to improve community wildland fire safety including creating a new shaded fuel break, emergency vehicle staging area and disced fire lines. 


This project is supported by Measure AA, a 30-year, $300 million bond passed by local voters in 2014 to support Midpen’s community-created Vision Plan top 25 priority projects.

Hawthorns Historic Complex

The property was originally developed in the late 1880s as a summer estate. For more information about the developed portion of the property, please visit the Hawthorns Historic Complex page. 


For questions about this project, contact Alex Casbara, Planner III, at acasbara@openspace.org.


May 18, 2021: Powerpoint Presentation to Planning & Natural Resources Committee: Hawthorns Area of  Windy Hill Open Space Preserve Area Plan

May 18, 2021: Report to Planning & Natural Resources Committee: Hawthorns Area Plan – Overview of the Proposed Planning Process



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