I am a former urban planner and, every so often, I have to sit back and appreciate the wonder of the Bay Area. Many urban areas go wanting for green space, but here, we have green areas close to almost every citizen. From the East Bay regional parks to the Peninsula Open Space District to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and, of course, to the Point Reyes National Seashore, we are a short walk or bike/car ride away from wondrous beauty and terrific recreation.
So how this is come to be? Who had the vision, passion and the endurance to make it happen? Recently, I read two recently released books that documented the creation of the parks and greenbelts of the Bay Area.
The Country in the City is a broad, detailed and pretty academic, yet readable, history of the the Parks and Greenbelt development in the Bay Area. The book covers the entire San Francisco Bay Area and is a great overview.
New Guardians for the Golden Gate covers the impassioned personalities and events that led to the creation of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. The book also covers the Point Reyes are quite well.
These books were very inspiring and worth reading.