Marin residents looking for an authetic (and free) holiday tree harvesting expereince are in luck this year.
Marin County Parks is organizing a San Geronimo Valley event where families can pick out, cut down and take home their own holiday tree. It’s the second annual holiday tree harvest in Marin. Last year’s harvest was a hit when more than 300 invasive Monterey Pine trees were removed at Ring Mountain in Tiburon.
They moved the event, originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, to Saturday, Dec. 8 due to the recent storm. The rescheduling didn’t seem to bother most of the roughly 300 people who have made reservations for the event, according to Marin County Parks Natural Resource Specialist Matt Sagues.
Sagues said the department isn't taking any more reservations, but people can be added to a wait list in case there are any cancellations. “It filled up faster than I expected but we’re pleased by the potential turnout," he said.
Parks staff will assist families as they use maps to locate and pick out a pine tree from the preserves before cutting it down. Brownie Troop 32311 from San Rafael will offer baked goods and hot chocolate to raise funds for local schools at the event.
Monterey Pine trees have recently spread rapidly into native habitats in the San Geronimo Valley. Open space preserves and conservation easements, which cover more than 40 percent of San Geronimo Valley, are home to rare plants and the valley’s streams are habitat for threatened steelhead and endangered Coho salmon.
The 411: Meet at the San Geronimo Valley Golf Course parking lot at 5800 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Participants should dress in layers and wear clothing that is appropriate for hiking through scrub in difficult terrain. The trees are scattered throughout the preserves and may be difficult to access. Refreshments, tools and interpretive talks will be provided.
For more information, or to make a reservation, contact Natural Resource Specialist Matt Sagues at email@example.com. Heavy rains may cancel the event. Call (415) 473-2686 on the morning of Dec. 1 to hear a recorded message if the event is cancelled.
If you are a person with a disability and require assistance to participate in this activity, contact Steve Petterle at (415) 473-6387, TTY (415) 473-2495, CRS dial 711, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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