One of the most recognizable features of the Bay Area landscape is the dark green spine of the Santa Cruz Mountains, connecting the San Francisco Peninsula to the San Mateo County Coastside and the South Bay.
More than 70,000 acres of this land is now your land, forever preserved as public open space to fulfill the grassroots community vision that created Midpen as an independent, single-purpose special district.
We work with state and local governments and nonprofit community partners to build a regional greenbelt for the greater good, by purchasing or acquiring interest in lands of strategic significance, primarily seeking lands that connect with other protected open space, park or watershed lands to create wildlife corridors and regional trail linkages.
Native Americans and Open Space Lands
Midpen preserves are located on lands that have been cared for by indigenous people for many thousands of years. Within the District’s jurisdictional boundary, there are 10 state-recognized tribes (as identified by the Native American Heritage Commission) that represent groups of individuals, families, or many hundreds of people in a tribal government. Additionally, there are descendants who are not associated with a state-recognized tribe. Read more about their history and our work with descendants here.
Coastside Protection Area
In the 1990s, as development pressure threatened the Coastside’s scenic beauty, rural character and agricultural heritage, Coastsiders expressed their support for extending District boundaries to include the San Mateo County Coastside. In 2004, the coast to ridgeline, from Montara to the San Mateo-Santa Cruz county line, officially became Midpen’s Coastside Protection Area.