Planning | Restoration | Funding | Historic Complex | Contact

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 its native grasslands, improve community wildland fire safety and protect the historic structures 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 to receive updates

Public Access Planning Process

The planning process will include identifying the project goals in alignment with Midpen's mission, a feasibility study and robust community engagement and feedback from project stakeholders. Conceptual designs would then need to go through an environmental review and public process. More details and a project schedule will be provided here as they become available. 


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 here, 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.


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