Fostering Community Under the Grove of Old Trees: LandPaths Celebrates Five Additional Acres at the 14th Annual Grove Stewardship & Potluck Lunch

Fostering Community Under the Grove of Old Trees: LandPaths Celebrates Five Additional Acres at the 14th Annual Grove Stewardship & Potluck Lunch



Where: Grove of Old Trees, 17400 Fitzpatrick Lane, Occidental, CA

When: Sunday, November 10th 8:45am-3:00pm

What: More than 50 friends and neighbors expected to chip trails, remove old fencing and clear brush.  Special events will include installing the long awaited Kiosk at the entrance of the preserve and acknowledging the donation of five additional acres to the Grove.  The Grove of Old Trees is LandPaths’ first “People Powered Park” and is stewarded primarily during this Annual Grove Stewardship Day & Potluck Lunch. 

Special Guests: Emily Burns, Director of Science from Save the Redwoods League, Meghan Walla-Murphy, Wildlife Tracker and Environmental Educator, and invited guest Gary Carmignani, representative of the Stanchfield Trust.

Additional information:

Occidental, CA (November 7th, 2013) From its inception as a LandPaths-owned, publically accessible preserve in the year 2000, the Grove of Old Trees on Fitzpatrick Lane in Occidental has remained an enduring model of neighbors and community members working together to ensure the protection, conservation, and ongoing stewardship of this magnificent stand of ancient trees.  The Grove of Old Trees stands apart as theonlyprivately-owned wildland preserve in Sonoma County that is publicly accessible and free to all.

This year there is much to celebrate.  In keeping with over a decade of neighbor and community support for these towering and awe-inspiring trees, LandPaths is delighted to announce that Grove neighbors Alan and Gordana Stanchfield have bequeathed five additional acres to the preserve, to be protected forever and open to the public. 

In a decision brimming with exemplary foresight and vision, the Stanchfields resolved that upon their passing a portion of their estate would go into a “forever wild” status, mandating that none of the old trees could ever be cut down.  Early in 2013, LandPaths gratefully stepped forward to help manifest this vision by incorporating five additional acres of the Stanchfield’s estate into the Grove of Old Trees. The public preserve now includes 33 acres of ridge-top, old-growth forest, providing essential habitat and a refuge where people can wander among trees that have persevered since well before the time of Columbus, dating back more than 1,000 years.

This Sunday LandPaths will be celebrating and stewarding these five new acres at the 14th Annual Grove Stewardship and Potluck Lunch.  We warmly invite the public to join neighbors and friends on November 10th, from 8:45am-3:00pm at the Grove of Old Trees in Occidental.  

Following a morning of collective stewardship beneath the Old Trees, folks are invited to take part in a festive potluck lunch and two brief lectures from expert speakers Emily Burns (Director of Science from Save the Redwoods League) and Meghan Walla-Murphy (Wildlife Tracker and Environmental Educator).  Lunch and guest speakers will take place at the house of a neighbor. The public is welcome to attend the work and/or food/social portions of the day. 

Pre-registration is required for this event.  Please follow this link for more information and to register:  /eventdetails.aspx?EventId=17180 or call LandPaths at 707-544-7284 ext. 10.

“I thank you for moving parks into the center of Sonoma County society. …before the Grove of Old Trees event, I truly had not imagined all the possibilities for human and societal growth that our public lands hold.”  ~ LandPaths Participant, November 2011

Brief History of the Grove of Old Trees

LandPaths became the stewards of the Grove of the Old Trees in September 2000 with the assistance of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Save-The-Redwoods-League, California Coastal Conservancy and numerous generous private individuals and families. A group of county residents - "Friends of the Old Trees" - pioneered the years-long campaign to save this remnant stand from being logged. Absolutely instrumental in the final successful push to preserve this grove was Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks, and founding LandPaths board member, Caryl Hart. 

The Grove is a vibrant reminder of a redwood stand that escaped the common fate of other such stands throughout the surrounding area-logging. Historically, the families that owned the Grove operated sawmills locally, yet upheld a tradition of sparing this Grove, using it instead as a family gathering place. However, in the 1990's this changed. Within the Grove it is not hard to spot blue stripes painted on selected trees. The blue stripes were made by a forester, working for the former owners, to indicate which trees were to be cut in the first phase of the approved Timber Harvest Plan. Thanks to the many activists, neighbors, and concerned citizens that worked to preserve the Grove, these blue stripes now symbolize a fate unrealized. 

About LandPaths

LandPaths, established in 1996, is a Sonoma County-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a love of the land.   We provide exceptional learning experiences and inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship. LandPaths enables residents to experience the beauty of Sonoma County, understand the value of regional ecosystems and local open spaces, and assist in stewarding the land. LandPaths works with public agencies, community groups, individuals and other nonprofits to accomplish this mission. 

For more information about LandPaths and the 14th Annual Grove Stewardship and Potluck Lunch, please visit

Posted by Meg Hamill at 11:47


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