San Mateo County Hires Natural Resource Manager

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. –San Mateo County parks are the pride of the Peninsula, possessing remarkable scenery from rocky ocean shores to towering redwoods to bayside beaches.
Now, for the first time in the 90-year history of the San Mateo County Parks Department, the County has hired a natural resource manager to help ensure our parks remain gems for years to come.

Ramona Arechiga will work with County staff, parks volunteers and other agencies to do what’s best for the parks, their visitors and plants and wildlife.20140208_NRM_hire_Press release

“When I was a teenager growing up in Redondo Beach, I dreamed of working in the coast range of northern California as a forest ecologist and resource manager. The position of Natural Resource Manager with San Mateo County Parks Department provides an opportunity to realize that dream. I look forward to working with communities throughout San Mateo to continue to steward, enhance, and sustainably restore the diverse array of ecosystems found within this county.”

The Department operates 19 separate parks, three regional trails and numerous other county and local trails encompassing 16,183 acres. They are located throughout the county and represent a wide variety of natural settings including a coastside marine reserve, a bayside recreational area, coastal mountain woodland areas, and urban sites.

Arechiga comes to San Mateo County after working in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where in the Bale Mountains National Park she coordinated multicultural work teams to implement public planting programs in national park buffer communities. Most recently, she moved to the Bay s degree in forest resources from Oregon State University.  Her background and achievements represent a strong sense of community and service.

She honed her program advocacy skills working for nonprofits in Portland, Oregon. In this role she coordinated volunteer-focused native tree and shrub restoration events, and with the help of the community planted over 16,000 plants annually. She has worked tirelessly to provide education and interpretation to the public concerning the importance of urban forests, open-space s work and research both collaboration and stakeholder engagement has been a critical component in in her success.

Turning to a more personal note, on weekends Ramona enjoys hiking and backpacking with her husband, Tracy, and dog, Tsuga. Ramona met her husband when he began to regularly volunteer at her restoration planting events. She also has two indoor-only cats, Go and Brain, which she rescued from a restoration site when they were only three weeks old and stumbling through Himalayan blackberry.

You will likely find Ramona bent over a plant or wildflower with a camera and identification book on the trail in a park near you – and now that means a San Mateo County Park!

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