M-A alumni

Post image for Kim Young works with POST to preserve and protect Peninsula lands

Looking back, Kim Young realizes she was too young to fully appreciate the Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Program at Stanford. “I went straight into the program after graduating from Dartmouth,” she recalls. “Most of the people were older. It was a bit intimidating.”

During her studies, which focused on poetry, she did meet writer and environmental activist Stegner, and the conservationist seed was planted. Always a nature lover, she’s now on the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST).

We were visiting Kim to talk about the work POST has done and plans to do on the occasion of the organization’s 40th anniversary. Kim has a particularly local perspective; she grew up in Atherton, attended Menlo-Atherton High School, and still calls Atherton home.

After a career in advertising, she stopped working outside the home when her children were young, turning her considerable talents to school fundraising, such as M-A’s Big Bear Run, which she helped inaugurate. She joined the POST board in 2015, after serving on the steering committee for the organization’s Heart of the Redwoods Campaign, which achieved its $50 million fundraising goal.

“I’ve seen our population explode and watched residential and commercial buildings spring up in every direction,” she said.  “It’s such a comfort to know that POST has protected 75,000 acres of land from being developed. When I sit in traffic on 101 — or in downtown Menlo Park — I know that trails through magnificent redwood forests or along the coast will always be there for us.”

Kim explained that while many people think of POST as a land trust organization that protects open spaces, they may not know that the organization’s mission also includes helping to protect coastal farmlands, establishing wildlife corridors and maintaining trails for recreation purposes.

“POST is working hard to attract all communities on the Peninsula to enjoy our protected landscapes” she said. “We are hosting hikes for people of all ages and provide bird watching opportunities or the chance to see spectacular wildflowers. We also have a “NextGen” group that offers young people the chance to enjoy hikes and bike rides or casual barn dances far from the urban sprawl of Silicon Valley.”

The Wallace Stegner Lectures, founded by POST in 1993, features writers, thinkers and activists who explore issues related to land, nature and conservation. Past speakers have included Robert Redford, Al Gore, Alice Waters and Jimmy Chin. “Recently,  I watched 86-year-old poet Gary Snyder take the stage to talk about land conservation and to read poems that celebrate wilderness in nature and the human heart,” Kim said

The next Wallace Stegner lecture features journalist, author and former New York Times columnist Mark Bittman.  It will take place on March 21, at 8:00 pm at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. Tickets can be purchased online.

During her time as POST board member, Kim has come to appreciate the diversity of passions that the organization and its supporters have. “For some, it’s about preserving redwood forests,” she said. “For others, it’s coastal farms or keeping at-risk wildlife, safe. POST has something for everybody.”

Photo by Irene Searles

{ Be the first to comment }

Ed Dobbs, local business owner and mentor to many, passes away at age 68

Thumbnail image for Ed Dobbs, local business owner and mentor to many, passes away at age 68

Edward Francis Dobbs, 68, passed away on February 22 at his home in Redwood City after a short and aggressive battle with brain cancer. He will be missed for many reasons, but most certainly for his warm smile and his love of life. A memorial service for Ed will take place at Peninsula Bible Church (3505 Middlefield Rd) […]

Click to read more →

M-A grad Alan Masaoka is respected glass artist with many private and public installations

Thumbnail image for M-A grad Alan Masaoka is respected glass artist with many private and public installations

Given his robost portfolio of private and public glass art, Menlo-Atherton High School alum Alan Masaoka surprised us: He didn’t go to art school nor even study art at either M-A nor the College of San Mateo. During a recent visit to his Carmel Valley studio, he explained: “I’ve always been interested in art and was […]

Click to read more →

Lifelong Menlo Park girlfriends double down on the Women’s March, walking in Oakland and The City

Thumbnail image for Lifelong Menlo Park girlfriends double down on the Women’s March, walking in Oakland and The City

One was not enough for a group of friends who grew up in Menlo Park and all graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School. Julia Sommer, Rebecca Strehlow, Rachel Fox, and Leah Worthington (pictured above, left to right, at Oakland Women’s March on Saturday) crossed the Bay Bridge to also participate in the San Francisco March. There they were joined […]

Click to read more →

Jordan Stone is taking “solar suitcases” to Kenya as part of a PG&E program for students and teachers

Thumbnail image for Jordan Stone is taking “solar suitcases” to Kenya as part of a PG&E program for students and teachers

Menlo Park resident Jordan Stone may teach social science at Independence High School in San Jose, but it’s solar energy that’s taking him and two students to Kenya this February. “I got an email from another teacher about PG&E’s We Share Solar Suitcases® program,” Jordan explained. “It looked like a great opportunity to learn about solar design […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: M-A Class of ’66 parties on at Zott’s today

Thumbnail image for Spotted: M-A Class of ’66 parties on at Zott’s today

The Menlo-Atherton High School Class of ’66 held its 50th reunion last night at the Elks Lodge in Palo Alto, the same location they’d held their grad night festivities. And like most every other reunion that takes place locally, Sunday meant a “morning after” reconnection at Zott’s in Portola Valley. The inclement weather had them […]

Click to read more →

Marshall Magoon brews up magic shows from his Menlo Park home

Thumbnail image for Marshall Magoon brews up magic shows from his Menlo Park home

When Marshall Magoon was in high school at Menlo-Atherton, he and some friends performed a magic show at Hillview. “We did the water tank escape and ended up damaging the stage, warping it,” he recalled. “We had to do another show the next year — for free.” Magic has been front and center in Marshall’s […]

Click to read more →

M-A grad Zachary Clarence’s video is a Facebook hit, but his passion is acting

Thumbnail image for M-A grad Zachary Clarence’s video is a Facebook hit, but his passion is acting

Menlo-Atherton High School grad Zachary Clarence found himself in the spotlight last month when he made a two-minute film focusing on police and race relationships called Feeling Hopeful that was posted on Facebook. But it isn’t filmmaking that is first on Zach’s agenda but rather acting. “Ever since my parents dragged me kicking and screaming to theater camp, I’ve loved acting,” […]

Click to read more →

Peck family with long-time Menlo Park roots, own and operate JP Digital Imaging

Thumbnail image for Peck family with long-time Menlo Park roots, own and operate JP Digital Imaging

JP Digital Imaging may be located in Mountain View, but there’s a lot of Menlo Park in the building. Jim, wife Leslie, and daughter Ashley are all Menlo-Atherton High School grads, and they all grew up here. Jim was first a photographer, shooting architectural interiors for his mother, much-respected local interior designer Mary Peck. “I started […]

Click to read more →

M-A alum Susan Samuels Drake chronicles her work with labor organizer Cesar Chavez in a book

Thumbnail image for M-A alum Susan Samuels Drake chronicles her work with labor organizer Cesar Chavez in a book

Susan Samuels Drake grew up on Walsh Road in Atherton, graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School and then attended Occidental College. It was a life, she says, that was both “white and privileged” —  hardly the background that would lead to working for and volunteering with the California farm workers movement in the ’60s. “Looking back, when […]

Click to read more →

Former M-A athletes gather for lunch at the “O” prior to Canada Athletic Hall of Fame dinner

Thumbnail image for Former M-A athletes gather for lunch at the “O” prior to Canada Athletic Hall of Fame dinner

A group of M-A grads who played baseball during high school and then at Canada College gathered at the Oasis before this year’s Canada Athletic Hall of Fame dinner. From left to right: Dick Budelli (a St. Francis interloper!), Rob Brassea, Tom Vignou, Lou Vanoli, Bob Budelli and Gary Cunningham. Of note: Menlo Park resident […]

Click to read more →