Over 300 Celebrate Half a Century of CGF Work

‘Thank you for your care, passion, and love for the environment! You’re an inspiration for so many and you make a huge difference. Looking forward to your vision leading to the future and growing from the past. Congratulations!’

Mary Ann Ruiz

So wrote Mary Ann Ruiz in our 50th Anniversary Annotated Guestbook this past Sunday as over 300 of our closest friends came out to celebrate half a century of CGF advocating for the protection of open space, farmland, and natural resources in our region.  
Thank you to the remaining founders, past and present board members, elected officials, and many faithful supporters who spent the afternoon together at Runnymede Farm in Woodside in honor of CGF’s 50 year body of work. 
We were honored by the attendance and the many accolades and kind words we received:

Assemblymember Rich Gordon
  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo presented CGF (see video excerpt of speech) with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.
  • Assemblymember Rich Gordon gave CGF a Resolution recognizing our community service on behalf of the California Legislature Assembly (right: with CGF President Margaret MacNiven and Vice-President Matt Burrows)
  • Supervisor Dave Pine presented a Resolution on behalf of the San Mateo Board of Supervisors, and
  • Supervisor Liz Kniss’ Office bestowed on CGF a Resolution on behalf of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
Author Lynn Stegner

Speeches by Jon Christensen, Executive Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and  Lynn Stegner (see video excerpt of speech), author and daughter-in-law of CGF founder Wallace Stegner, inspired the audience with its look at CGF’s past, present, and future.

CGF VP Matt Burrows
Our Golden Celebration had much to offer, whether it was previewing CGF’s new promotional video narrated by Doug McConnell, exploring the sculptures of Runnymede Farm along three different loops dotted with student docents, learning of CGF’s rich legacy and dedication to open space preservation at our history corner, striking a pose in our photo booth, bidding on some beautiful art at the Inspired by Nature silent auction, or toasting CGF for its 50 years of advocacy.

CGF’s event also featured a wonderful array of local family-owned businesses’ goods:

So by all accounts a good time was had by all.  But in the end, it is the comments of our guests who sum up our 50 years best:

‘Congratulations on this great milestone. CGF has made a difference for which everyone in the community has benefitted for generations to come.’
John Ward San Mateo County Board of Supervisors 1975-1986

‘Committee for Green Foothills is the gold standard for environmental and community organizations. Here’s to the next fifty years!’
Sally Lieber

‘Hard to believe that 50 years went by so fast. Here’s to several more centuries of making the world a better place for all of us!’
Jerry Hearn

“Dearest Committee for Green Foothills – thank you, thank you, thank you – for your wonderful gift of fighting for open space , happiness and joy- we live in a wonderful place thanks to you and we must be good – no GREAT stewards of our land and water. Happy Birthday year!!”
Sincerely Kirsten Keith – Mayor of Menlo Park
Dear CGF, happy birthday and please keep watching for us.
– Mark Anderton


Gary Gerard, founding member
I am so proud of my Mom (Betty) and Dad (Gary)!!! Yesterday at a lovely gathering in Woodside at the Runnymede Farm, they both were honored as founding members of The Committee for Green Foothills (my dad came up with the name for the group). Betty and Gary (along with Lois Crozier-Hogle, Ruth Spangenberg, Wallace Stegner, Don Aitken, and Tom Jordan) played integral roles in defeating developers who in 1962 aimed to build a 70,000 unit community in the Palo Alto foothills (near Page Mill Rd and highway 280). This would’ve forever changed the landscape and life as we know it in our little hamlet. Thank you SO MUCH to all the folks who led the charge to protect the open space and habitat we all love so dearly. If you truly love the outdoors and these beautiful foothills and shorelines of ours, I strongly urge you to support this organization. They greatly appreciate your contributions. THANK YOU!!
Steve Gerard
“What a great privilege to be among so many torch bearers.Thine in faith,”

Lynn Stegner

Photo Credits:  Don Weden

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