Green Foothills Remembers: Pat Barrentine, 1929-2022

Pat Barrentine photo

The Green Foothills community was saddened to learn of the passing of Pat Barrentine, our first full-time employee and one of our early Board members.

Pat was born near Spokane, WA and grew up in Olympia, WA, where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Gene Barrentine. They moved to Redwood City for Gene’s work as a chemist in 1961. Pat became involved in land use planning and environmental advocacy while also raising their three children, Alan, Lee, and Marcia.

Pat’s multifaceted talents were tremendous assets as she took on the job in the late 1960’s as Committee for Green Foothills’ environmental advocate for both San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, while also covering membership and administrative office duties. She was paid the magnificent salary of $200 per month.

A tenacious champion for protection of the Bay and Coast

Pat was instrumental in the battle to stop the indiscriminate filling of San Francisco Bay through urging the state legislature to pass the McAteer-Petris Act in 1965, which authorized the creation of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). She was also a key advocate for the permanent protection of the Bay shoreline and adjacent wetlands and salt ponds through establishment of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Pat’s in-depth knowledge of local county, state, and federal movers and shakers, and her tenacious advocacy and determined championing of open space protection were enormous assets in many other early battles. She was instrumental in stopping the Army Corps of Engineers proposal to dam Pescadero Creek, which would have inundated old growth redwoods in Portola State Park and enabled the urbanization of the San Mateo coast.

She left the world a better place

Pat was a remarkable, capable, and wise woman who loved life, cared deeply for the planet, and lived life to the fullest.

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