Summary & Blog

Hike # 10 - Flood Park - Thu Jun 27, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Post-hike summary - We did it! -- 2019 SMC Hike-a-Palooza for Local Environmental Leaders -- 10 Treks, 20 Weeks, 1 Great Community. We got social, enjoyed nature, and broadened our networks... at 3:00-5:30pm every other Wednesday (except this last one). We leisurely explored 10 San Mateo County Parks and brewery cuisine at 6:00pm after each hike.

On this last 'hike,' we skipped the strenuous part and went straight to the socializing and network building. At a beautiful picnic table in Flood Park, we toasted champaign, sipped beer, and soaked in the success. We shared fruits & vegetables, chips & salsa, and stories of our community work. And... plans for our next adventures to increase the sustainability of our community

Attendees (7) - Carol C, Dave C, Deborah, Doug, Kathleen, Larry, Ralph (full list)

Blog: We Built Community

Come for the hikes, brews, or both… and as often as you like! This was the invitation to the community and they accepted it. 

In total, the Hike-a-Palooza was a huge success. By the numbers we had... 

  • 41 unique hikers
    • sectors - 4 business, 5 government, 32 nonprofit
  • 24 organizations represented
    • sectors - 4 business, 2 government, 18 nonprofits
  • 112 attendances
  • 20 maximum attendance
  • 11.2 average attendance
  • 550+ miles hiked
  • 200+ beers consumed

I'm humbled by the community's response and participation. Thank you for shaping our community into a stronger group, more ready and capable to affect change than ever before.

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Summary & Blog

Hike # 9 - Quarry County Park - Wed Jun 19, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Post-hike summary - What a transformation from climate and vegetation of other hikes!. The low lands, slopes, and high points of Quarry County Park showed new growth unseen in any other hike. Almost surreal. 

Now close hiking buddies after sharing trails on numerous hikes, our tight clan on the coastside pushed up the hills, traversed above the quarry, and strolled back again, unfazed by the steep grades. Now nine treks into this Hike-a-Palooza adventure, our legs were primed and hearts were strong. 

Admittedly, the route was less planned but trail signage was aged (and soon to be replaced by county rangers). See maps below for routes. Post hike festivities continued at Half Moon Bay Brewing Co with ales, burgers, muscles and sodas. Cheers to all that have hiked so far.

Attendees (9) - Carol, David C, Doug, Helen, Kathleen, Larry, Leslie, Michele, Nicola (full list)

Blog: A Green New Deal for Every Peninsula City

(For today's blog, I want to share a Guest Opinion I had published in the San Mateo Daily Journal on this date. The article is a culmination of prior months' work and ideas, all of which was shaped by my continuous interactions with our amazing community.) 

Dire climate headlines combined with visible uprisings, from youth strikes to Congress resolutions, present a huge opportunity for Peninsula city councils.

At U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office in February, future leaders questioned our transition to a cleaner planet. Not satisfied with her response, 1000+ claimed city streets in March to sound the alarm and turn up the volume. Peninsula youth activists were among them.

With this new “political will,” all San Mateo County cities have an immediate chance to affect climate change. For each to create community Green New Deals that lower carbon emissions, one resolution at a time.

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Summary & Blog

Hike # 8 - San Pedro Valley Park - Wed Jun 5, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (theme - food) -  Rotating Crops, Turning Profits -- How Diversified Farming Systems Can Help Farmers While Protecting Soil and Preventing Pollution (new windows)


Post-hike summary - On hike #8, the nine of us that traversed Skyline and dropped into the West County were treated to an amazing afternoon. Choosing the Hazelnut Trail over heading upwards towards Mt. Montara peak, we wandered east into the valley, up and down 865 feet, on a 4.7 miles tidy loop. On shaded trails with lofty trees, we talked about water, land and food. On a Pacific Ocean overlook, we snapped a goofy group photo, a first, then peaked out and dropped into Weiler Ranch Trail -- an beautiful fire road that took us home. But not before discovering Walnut Grove picnic areas with horseshoes, volleyball courts and BBQs. bathrooms and plenty of shade. Wow, San Pedro Valley Park is beautiful -- both when heading straight up to Mt. Montara Peak, and when heading east out into the foothills.

Now thirsty, we darted over to the Devils Slide Tap Room back deck for cold beers, french fries and pretzels. Great selection on tap, sunshine on the deck, and a nice local crowd. I'll go back for sure. Too bad the Warriors lost game 3... by a handful. No matter, we claimed victory far before the game started.

Attendees (9) - Bob S, Carol, David J, Deborah, Doug, Isaac, Kathleen, Larry, Madeline (full list)

No blog this week... just pictures below... 

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Summary & Blog

Hike # 7 - Wunderlich Park, Wed May 22, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike video (theme - waste) - The Story of Stuff


Post-hike summary - On hike #7, we had fun. In the wilderness, and notably on the front deck of Freewheel Brewing Company where we ate, drank, laughed, and talked shop. Cruising on his new electric bike, Tom made it from Wunderlich in plenty of time to catch the first pint. David joined unexpectedly to share updates on fossil fuel divestment. And Marty talked up the June 17 CCL event featuring Carbon 180's founder. Despite prior day's rain, the Wednesday outing was sunny and serene. Kym gave a pre-hike history lesson and tour of the active, Arthur Brown, Jr., designed, Folger Stable. Then, with all the chit chat, the 4.5 mile trek through Bear Gulch, Meadow, and Alambique Trails went fast. Starting in the forest, we topped out at "The Meadows" for a beautiful group picture (below). What a nice end to the seventh hike, and the last one east of Skyline before two on the coast. More pictures below.

Attendees (20) - Alan, Bob M, Bob S, Carol, Dave, David, Deborah, Doug, Elena, Georgi, Helen, Jordan, Kym, Larry, Leslie, Marina, Marty, Nicola, Tobi, Tom (full list)

Blog: East and West of Skyline Boulevard (aka State Route 35 or SR35)


On January 8, at Philz Coffee in Burlingame, I met Michele Beasley, Executive Director of San Mateo County Parks Foundation, and pitched the crazy idea to hike all 20 County parks in the coming months with a pack of local environmental sustainability leaders.

I’m sure she thought I was nuts for the next 48 hours until I sent a 2-page Microsoft Word plan with this simple email cover note:

 “See attached… all 20 parks is [sic] way too much.” 

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Summary & Blog

Hike # 6 - Huddart Park, Wed May 8, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (sustainability theme - water) - Drying of the West - The American West was won by water management. What happens when there's no water left to manage? 

Post-hike summary - On hike #7, our ranks enjoyed 5.3 miles and 840 ft elevation of docent (Kym Teppo) led trekking across the Dean and Crystal Springs Trails. With a slightly smaller group, we maintained deeper conversations about a community approached to sustainable policy and programs for 2 hours and 9 minutes. Kym spoke of Coastal Redwoods fairy ring cloning and Huddart and Wunderlich Park’s youth programs. With hearty post-hike thirst and hunger, most plunged into Redwood City’s Gourmet Haus Staudt German beer and fare.  More pictures below.

Attendees (10) - Alan, Bob, Dave, Deborah, Doug, Isaac, Kym, Marina, Marty & Nicola (full list)

Blog: Are SMC Parks at Risk of Fires, Floods & SLR?

You bet they are! Unfortunately. Inconveniently. And sadly.

Coyote Point Recreation Area sits at sea level. Crystal Springs Regional Trail parallels an active reservoir. And dozens of other SMC Parks -- like Huddart, Wunderlich and San Pedro -- dot the expanse of our mature local forests.

Now 12 weeks and 6 hikes into the 2019 SMC Hike-a-Palooza, 40+ community leaders have collectively hiked  250+ miles of amazing San Mateo County Park trails.

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Summary & Blog

Hike # 5 - Edgewood County Park and Preserve, Wed Apr 24, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (land) - The Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network: A Regionwide, Cross-Sector Approach to Conservation—Executive Summary

Post-hike summary - On hike #5, 20 hearty trekkers withstood heat and covered 3.7 miles in 2 hours across Edgewood, Old Stage, Serpentine, Sunset, and Sylvan trails. Beside beautiful landscapes, we admired butterflies, birds, wildflowers, and a trickling canyon waterfall.  The faithful enjoyed Redwood City’s Ghostwood Beer Company including Guavzilla DIPA and Mawingu IPA.  More pictures below.

Attendees (20) - Barbara, Bob, Chris, Dave, Deborah, Devon, Diane, Doug, Helen, Jeremy, Jessica, Karen, Kathleen, Larry, Leslie, Marina, Melisa, Nicola, Rachel, & Valerie (full list)

Blog: Bush Whacking Sustainability Barriers & Clearing Trails For Progress

Oh, the benefits of hiking… aerobic exercise, budding friendships, and beautiful landscapes… especially at Edgewood County Park and Preserve (see below).

But it’s absolutely clear, halfway through 10 treks, the 2019 SMC Hike-a-Palooza is providing huge additional benefits -- building the network of 29 environmental sustainability leaders who’ve joined so far.

And more importantly, expanding our community’s capacity to make substantial progress towards specific sustainability targets – of 29 hikers and 17 organizations -- and our united environmental goals:

  • Lower our global ecological footprint to long term sustainable levels
  • Enable happy, healthy & equitable living within our county’s environmental limits
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Summary & Blog

Hike # 4 - Crystal Springs Regional Trail, Wed Apr 10, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (transportation) - Electric cars emit less CO2 over their lifetime than diesels even when powered with dirtiest electricity

Post-hike summary - On hike #4, our 16 fast paced hikers covered 6 miles in 2 hours on the lower Sawyer Camp Segment. Under breezy blue skies, the reservoir glistened and provided a perfect sedng for conversaaon and exercise. Appropriately, I learned about SMC water sources, management, and emergency availability from a fellow environmental leader. Great food & beer followed at Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus in San Mateo. More pictures below.

Attendees (17) - Alan, Becky, Bob, Carol, Chris, Dave, Deborah, Doug, Jennifer, Karen, Kathleen, Larry, Leslie, Marty, Michele, Nicola, & Petra (full list)

Blog: Building Human & Natural Relations on Crystal Springs Trail

Visualize your fast-paced workout on the treadmill at the gym. Just left is your good friend Jill, and beyond her worked-over brows are two dozen grunting, bouncing millennials and gen X, Y, and Z’ers.

“How you doing?”you scream, checking Jill’s speed to justify your deep chested panting.

“I just got back from a <muffled>… [gasp] … <inaudible> conference!”

“WHAT, a gelled hair bomber jet?”you yell over the colossal weightlifter’s rumbling clean-and-jerk.

Whoa… wait a second. Time out!!!

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Summary & Blog

Hike #3 - Coyote Point Recreation Area, Wed Mar 27, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (energy) - New Mark Z. Jacobson Study Draws A Roadmap To 100% Renewable Energy

Post-hike summary - On hike #3, under blue skies after a rainy morn, our smiling group of environmental enthusiasts traced the park perimeter and encountered beaches, playgrounds, sailboats, monuments, and the treasured CuriOdyssey museum. Building new relations and sharing ideas, pre-hike reading dialog then spilled onto Steelhead Brewery’s back deck at 6p, balanced by tasty ales, lagers, nachos and burgers. And more sunshine!

Attendees (11) - Andrea, Carol, Dave, Deborah, Diane, Doug, Jennifer, Karen, Larry, Marty, & Nicola (list)

Blog: 7 Wondrous Activities at Coyote Point Rec Area

On the afternoon of Wednesday March 27, Coyote Point Recreational Area’s 149 acres appeared a bit under-discovered for a such an extraordinarily beautiful, diverse and accessible destination, just seconds from Peninsula Avenue exit of Highway 101.

At this third outing of the 2019 SMC Hike-a-Palooza for Environmental Leaders -- 10 Treks, 20 Weeks, 1 Great Community -- every other Wednesday from February 27 to July 3, our team of sustainability leaders traced 4.1 miles of costal trails in just under two hours to find out why.

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Hike #2 - Junipero Serra Park, Wed Mar 13, 2019

by Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (climate) - Study compares carbon footprints of Bay Area communities

Post-hike summary - On Hike #2, our happy team of environmental enthusiasts enjoyed the sun and shade of every path in the park including the beautiful Quail Loop Trail. We discussed pre-hike reading on the virtues of consumption- vs. production-based greenhouse gas inventory measures. And the 6pm 47 Hills Brewing Co. cold ones in SSF were excellent!

Attendees (5) - Dave, Deborah, Doug, Karen, & Nicola (list)

Blog: Delightful Starter Park -- Perfect for young, active family!

Charming starter park in a lovely hillside setting! Close to SF and mid-Peninsula, 8 delightful dens, 5 bathrooms, 103-acre lot, bay views, gentle slopes, grand entrance, 2 side doors, and tree covered parking. Perfect for young, active family.

Backyard bonus includes 2 playgrounds, double 54-foot-long slide, plenty of shade and dozens of BBQs. Open house Sunday-Saturday 8am-sundown, 365 days a year.

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A Rain Soaked Jaunt up San Bruno Mountain

Hike #1 - San Bruno Mountain, Wed Feb 27, 2019

By Doug Silverstein

Pre-hike reading (sustainability) - GDP ignores the things that matter - like climate change

Post-hike summary - On Hike #1, our small hearty group fought the rain and reached the 1314 foot peak via the partially closed Summit Loop Trail. We discussed the pre-hike reading on GDP’s lack of social and environmental accounting and a variety of other sustainability topics. And the 6pm Armstrong Brewing tasting flights in SSF was excellent!

Attendees (4) - Andrea, Dave, Doug, & Nicola (list)

Blog: A Rain Soaked Jaunt up San Bruno Mountain

Know the Land on Which You Stand. Two environmental leaders in San Mateo County spoke of this to me last month, yet I don’t think I’d heard it once before. Nor have I spent much time in my decades on the Peninsula thinking of who came before me. Long before me.

Nevertheless, the afternoon of February 27, while hiking San Bruno Mountain, a prized San Mateo County Park, seemed just the perfect time to reflect. So, during the first of ten 2019 SMC Hike-a-Palooza outings – every other Wednesday afternoon until July 3 – I shared the mountain’s history with my fellow trail mates.

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