In the 1960’s the Town of San Anselmo acquired the approximately 60 acres at the end of San Francisco Boulevard. Rumor has it that the name "Sorich Park" was based on the dairy farm that occupied the land in the early 1900's. People thought the milk was "so rich" that the new name seemed appropriate. Unfortunately, the park was largely neglected. Around 1990 the Open Space Committee, with the support of some of the neighbors, took the initiative to turn it into a real park that could be enjoyed by everyone. The Committee helped plant native oaks and convinced the Marin County Open Space District to install a new trail connecting San Anselmo to the Mt. Tam Cemetery and the Terra Linda divide.
The next step involved the development of a Master Plan for the Park to preserve its open space quality. With the assistance of Tom Murphy, a landscape architecture graduate student from UC Berkeley, the plan was prepared and eventually approved by the Town Council. This enabled the Committee to seek and receive a matching grant for $20,000 from the State of California. For every dollar and volunteer hour the Town invested in the Park, the State agreed to match that amount. Improvements have included native plants and trees, a drinking fountain, new picnic tables, a new arbor, as well as drainage improvements. In addition, the parking area was relocated away from the central feature of the park, a fabulous rock outcropping. Subsequently, the Committee applied for and received another $5,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation and a $5,000 grant from the Longs Foundation.
In 2005 the Open Space Committee placed a memorial plaque in the redwood grove to honor John Walters, who worked for years to preserve and protect open space in San Anselmo. The plaque was made by local artist Jonathan Braun, co-chair of the committee.
In 2006, local Eagle Scout Liam Hughes constructed a new trail from the redwood grove to an old rock fort in the upper reaches of Sorich Creek. The trail was named the Dean Nyberg Trail in honor of the longtime Parks Director and friend of open space.
A volunteer community group, the Friends of Sorich Park, meets on the second Saturday of each month to mow weeds, pull broom, plant native trees and grasses, and maintain an irrigation system.
The fate of nearby private lands will be critical to the long-term success of this wonderful open space.
From the Hub, proceed west on Sir Francis Drake past Red Hill Shopping Center. Turn right at the next light onto San Francisco Boulevard and go to the end of the road, straight into Sorich Park. Recommended Walk
DOGS: Dogs are permitted off leash. Do not allow your dog to chase wildlife or harass other park visitors. Please clean up after your dog. Poop bags and trash cans are available near the parking lot. A dog-friendly drinking fountain is near the redwood grove. NOTE: Dogs must be on six-foot leashes on Sorich Trail once it enters the eucalyptus forest. Hefty fines are imposed.
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Friends of Sorich Ranch Park
Today, I see many new faces hard at work, giving up their Saturday morning once a month to keep the park alive and vibrant. The group, known as the Friends of Sorich Ranch Park, has logged thousands of man-woman hours. The Park is now a transformed place while restoring its wild side and open spaces. The Friends of Sorich Ranch Park meet the 2nd Saturday of each month starting at 9am. To be included on the e-mail list, please contact Ted at email@example.com.