Community Stories

By Helen Willms March 21, 2014 via NextDoor:

I happened to read Amber Wagner's comments about the acquisition of the Open Space south of Lucas Valley Rd. and since we were one of the first people to move in over 45 years ago I can tell you how it happened. The builders told us when we were buying our lots that the property off of the old Lucas Valley Rd (the part that is now closed off) would possibly have a Club House but that it would not be built on. Horses grazed there at that time. As time went on we got wind that homes were scheduled to be build on the ridge and elsewhere on that property and that they were looking into doing the same thing to the creek that they did in Terra Linda (making it a ditch). Jerry Russom, Larry Mulryan and my husband Maynard Willms were the driving force in convincing the neighborhood to bond ourselves and buy the property. Believe it or not there were lots of folks who had to be convinced. The details about the bond would have to be explained by my husband, but it was the first one of its kind where a neighborhood taxed themselves. We paid it with our property taxes. We had fund raisers to raise the money for some of the costs. Lots of legal services, etc. were given pro bono and lots of neighbors joined in the cause. I believe it was that early commitment to the neighborhood that has bound all of us together and kept it a great place to live. Catherine Munson, one of our dear friends who is irreplaceable, was involved in many, many projects and activities in this area but in this particular instance, it was pretty much the ones I mentioned above. When Jerry Russom died, it was decided that the park would be named in his honor and I am lucky to be able to see it from my back windows every day.

The longer I live here and am able to look out my windows and look down the "old road", the more grateful I am that we had the foresight to protect it (we were all in our 20's, early 30's). That's the story!

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