A Candidate’s Plea from Caroline Bird

Dear Friends of Starr King Open Space,

When I moved to Potrero Hill fifteen years ago, I quickly discovered Starr King Open Space.  I didn’t know it had a name, I didn’t know it was protected, and I didn’t really care.  It was my urban oasis.  Over time I learned that neighbors helped tend it, but I was more interested in enjoying the space quietly on my own.  It wasn’t until a neighbor approached me two years ago and told me that the Open Space was in trouble that I decided to give back to this land that I loved.

Many of you also rallied to that cry for help two years ago—some of you were the ones doing the rallying!  Nineteen of us ran for the election, and over 50 of you showed up to vote.  You have written letters, spoken at hearings, come to work parties, supported the organization financially, and much, much more.  Together, we have saved a struggling organization and have turned it into a vibrant organization.

But it cannot manage itself.  Starr King Open Space needs you to rally again. We are about to have our first election since the restructuring of the board, and we need candidates who care about the Open Space to run. Most of our board will be turning over.  This is a pivotal moment in the history of the organization.  All of the organizational structures are back in place—now we need a board to sustain the Open Space and to involve the community in its stewardship.

Do you go to Starr King Open Space to watch the sunset?  Do you walk your dog there?  Do you appreciate its openness as part of the view from your house, or use it as a landmark when you look at Potrero Hill from afar?  Do you find solace in the quiet beauty of this wild grassland?  You are an owner and a steward of this land.  No governmental agency is going to manage it for us.  It is ours, and we need to take care of it.

Volunteering on the board of Starr King Open Space has only deepened my personal connection to the land.  I still go there to seek solitude, but I also take pleasure in greeting friends and neighbors there.  I have learned so much about nonprofits, about land use, and about communities and nature.  In my case, these experiences have inspired me to go to graduate school in the fall to study urban and environmental planning.  Who knows what your experience will be?  You don’t need to give your life over to it—you can give what you are able.  The most important qualification is that you care about the Open Space and want to help take care of it.

Candidate Statements are due this Thursday. If you are interested, please contact us at starrkingboard@gmail.com right away.  Thanks so much for all that you do!

Sincerely,

Caroline Bird

President, Starr King Open Space Board of Directors

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