Wright Bastian, an octogenarian dynamo, is known rightfully as the
Tiburon Penninsula's "community organizer extraordinaire."
founded the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society in 1959. Under her
direction, the Society acquired, restored, and maintained the peninsula’s
most cherished historical landmarks: Old St. Hilary’s, the
Social Saloon of the S.S. China (China Cabin), the Tiburon Railroad-Ferry
Depot Museum, and the 19th century farm cottage and garden, AKA
the Landmarks Art and Garden Center in Tiburon. The Society’s
archives center in the Boardwalk Shopping Center is the most significant
repository of the art, images, papers, and ephemera documenting
the community’s past. Bastian is the only Tiburon Peninsula
resident to be named “Citizen of the Year” by Belvedere
amazing woman is also recognized for her work in education. Bastian
established six nonprofit cooperative nursery schools in southern
Marin. The co-op in Marin City predated Head Start service in that
community. She also founded the Marin Child Development Center for
neurologically handicapped preschool children. As executive director
of the co-op schools for 20 years, Bastian was a role model for
mothers, many of whom were inspired by her example to return to
school for advanced degrees.
the years Beverly Bastian has worn other hats. She was appointed
to the first board of directors of Marin’s Family Service
Agency in the 1940s. She served on Belvedere’s Parks and Recreation
commission and chaired it for seven years. She worked as a journalist
for The San Francisco Chronicle, Marin IJ, The Ark, and the Mill
Valley Record. She co-authored A Pictorial History of Belvedere,
1890 – 1990.
has also enjoyed success in business. She opened Custom House Antiques
on The Boardwalk. Bastian achieved all this despite having narcolepsy,
a lifelong disability that prevented her from getting a driver’s
1992 Bastian was honored for Distinguished Public Service by her
Alma Mater, the University of the Pacific. She was honored by the
Conference of California Historical Societies and received the Jefferson
Award from the American Institute for Public Service. Awards also
came from the Family Service Agency, the Marin Child Development
Center, the Marin Conservation Council, and the Daughters of the
American Revolutions (DAR).
recognition of her remarkable contributions, the Marin Women’s
Hall of Fame joins the Landmark Society in calling Beverly Wright
Bastian “the catalyst, the master mind, the guiding spirit”
behind much that is good in the County.
Hilda Castillo has not wasted a minute of her 22 years in the US.
She came to Sonoma State as an international student to learn English
and earn a master's degree, then returned to Venezuela, Before long
the University recruited her so back she came with her children, this
time to stay.
Her education, talents, vision, perseverance,
and experience as an immigrant helped Hilda find ways to empower Marin's
diverse ethnic population. Helping other Latinas has been especially
important. Knowing that Spanish-speaking women had no chance
to find jobs that would support their families, Hilda collaborated
with the Marin Child Care council and the Canal community Alliance
to develop a Spanish-language Family Day Care Training series.
Its graduates earn licenses that qualify them to open their own childcare
businesses. These women are independent because of Hilda Castillo.
Hilda is the director of Bilingual Studies &
Outreach at Headlands Institute. In 1993 she created the
bilingual program for Pacific Environment and Resources Center to
provide access to environmental education for Latino students who
are English learners. Recently she developed the bilingual "Family
in Nature" program to educate low-income families and children
about the environment.
Her work with English language learners often
involves diverse school groups from under-served communities.
She even provides scholarships when money is tight. She forged
a groundbreaking partnership between the Headlands Institute and the
Sausalito-Marin City School District to provide the district's students,
families, and teachers with ongoing environmental education and field
Hilda's influence is international.
She has designed environmental activities for Bolivia and other Latin
American countries. She has collaborated with natural history
museums, nonprofit environmental organizations, governments, and universities
the world over. "You have no idea how much satisfaction
I get from doing this work," says Hilda Castillo, truly a contemporary
Long before waste management became popular, Gloria Duncan was a leader
forging a coalition of environmentalists, consumers, business communities
and local governments. Their task was to address issues associated
with recycling, resource recovery and litter control. Working
closely with the garbage industry, she played a major role in pioneering
curbside recycling. She also assisted in the development of
an internationally-recognized recycling facility in San Rafael, one
of the first of its kind in the world.
In addition, Ms. Duncan has a record of achievement
with environmental issues. She has served on the statewide committee
of the League of Women Voters relating to water issues and solid waste
management. She was a member of the advisory council to the
Bureau of Land Management, and participated with the Association of
Bay Area Governments in designing the environmental management plan
dealing with air, water and solid waste problems of the San Francisco
area. Ms. Duncan served for eight years on the Marin County
Planning Commission. A Fairfax Town Council member for four
year she also served as Mayor of Fairfax. She was President
of the Marin Conservation League, and has maintained an active involvement
for twenty-five years. She continues a 20 year membership in
the Environmental Forum of Marin, also serving as its President for
a term. She served on the boards of the Marin Conservation
Corps and the Marin Waste Management Advisory Council for many years.
Additional leadership roles are with the Bay Model Association, where
she is currently the Chair, and the Marin Economic Council, where
she is the Vice-Chair.
Read her extended biography by Shari Rice
Phyllis Faber graduated with a Master's in Microbiology from Yale
University and attended San Francisco State. She is a recognized
authority in the area of environmental issues, particularly wetlands.
Her work in long-term monitoring of wetlands in San Francisco Bay
is providing data for a new round of marsh restoration projects.
She is the author of two wetland field guides, published through her
own Pickleweed Press. Under her ten-year editorship, the California
Native Plant Society's journal, Fremontia, has become the
most influential native plant journal in the country. Ms. Faber combines
talents in science, politics, education, environmental policy, and
She co founded and served as chairwoman of
the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) and, in 1972, she was in
the forefront of the fight to attain coastal zone protection for California.
She served on the California Coastal Commission for eight years.
She was a founding member of Marin Discoveries and the Environmental
Forum of Marin in whose training program she has taught for 22 years.
In addition to local interests, she serves on a number of statewide
boards including the Planning and Conservation League, the League
for Coastal Protection and Pro Esteros.
She received the Environmentalist of the
Year award from the Marin Environmental Alliance in 1990, the Marin
Green Award from the Marin Conservation League in 1990, and the Coastal
and Ocean Management Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers
Read the extended biography by Barbara J. Euser
Patty Garbarino, President of Marin Sanitary Service, has been
at the forefront of recycling technology nationwide. Her company
began the first curbside recycling program and she was instrumental
in beginning Marin's Hazardous Waste Collection program. In
the male-dominated waste management business, Ms. Garbarino has demonstrated
courage and leadership. Despite the less than welcoming attitude in the industry toward women,
she has won the respect of her colleagues. In the year 2000,
she will serve as the first woman president for the Refuse Removal
Besides running a successful business, Ms.
Garbarino contributes her company's time, services and money, as well
as her own, to support community projects. She serves as Chair
of the Marin County Planning Commission and serves on both the Marin
Ballet Board and the Rafael Theater Renovation board. In addition,
Ms. Garbarino spearheaded the Dominican College's campaign to renovate
and expand its campus.
As president of the San Rafael Chamber of
Commerce, Ms. Garbarino aided in raising of $500,000 from the business
community to support the public schools. She was also instrumental
in organizing a transit tax campaign. Ms. Garbarino was a board
member and a major fund raiser for the San Rafael Public Education
Foundation in its early years. She also organized and energized
hundreds of volunteers through 4 parcel tax campaigns in 2 bond measures benefitting the San Rafael city schools. During the first campaign,
she deferred critical surgery in order to shepherd the campaign through
the election. The campaigns were successful, aided by her efforts,
and have provided the San Rafael Schools with critical funding.
Ms. Garbarino went on to found a state level lobbying organization
for the California public schools called Kids Voice.
Patty Garbarino is a woman who dares to be
courageous, especially on behalf of issues about which she cares deeply,
of which there are many. She is a public servant, a dynamic
business leader and an outstanding spokeswoman.
2010-2011: She currently sits on the Marin County Office of Education Board of Trustees.
Click here to
read more about this woman.
Remmy Kingsley remembers the moment, years ago, when she spotted a
mushroom growing through the macadam in her driveway. "I was awed, “ she
says. “Right then I saw the power of nature." That moment set the
stage for a lifetime of environmental activism.
Born Rembert Brimm 87 years ago in Providence, R.I., Remmy’s
early responsibilities when her mother was ill, created the woman she
was to become – an activist and champion not only of the human condition
but also of the environment and how we connect together.
In the 1970’s, Remmy was a pioneer in environmental education,
helping to form Marin County's Environmental Forum and leading her own
organization, Natural Science Education Resources (NSER), which
trained docents for Audubon Canyon Ranch and designed classes for
teachers and students - among them a training program showing Mill
Valley teachers how to teach ecology in the schoolyard- funded by a
grant from the National Science Foundation. She taught schoolchildren
about the interconnectedness of plants and animals in classes at the
Richardson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Tiburon.
She holds a degree in Chemistry from Cornell University and one in Environmental Ecology from San Francisco State.
She and three other female environmentalists founded their own
company, Madrone Associates, to furnish environmental impact reports for
developing companies, a new necessity in a nature conscious world. One
such report was for the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.
In 1944,after graduating from Cornell University with a degree in
Chemistry, and while working for the National Defense Research
Committee in Washington, D.C., she met her future husband, Paul
Kingsley, also a chemist. The two moved to Ross, their present home, in
1962. They have two children, Bruce, an anesthesiologist in Phoenix,
father of a boy and girl, and Judy, a management consultant and mother
of twin sons.
In 1993 she produced a standing room only conference at the College of Marin honoring the spirit of older women.
In 2008 Remmy was honored as one of the Magnificent Women of
Marin by Search for the Cause, an organization dedicated to identifying
environmental risk factors for cancer in Marin County.
Today, Remmy leads an older women's drumming group, the Druid
Drummers. The group meets weekly at her home in Ross and occasionally
performs for groups such as Wind Chimes, an Alzheimer facility.
Remmy Kingsley began with the environmental movement that swept
the nation in the 70's and 80's and influences our lives every day and
remains committed to protecting the environment.
CAROLINE S. LIVERMORE
Beginning in the 1930's, Caroline Livermore realized that the beauty
of Marin could not last forever without protection and planning.
She devoted her life to that end. She helped to halt development
of Mount Tamalpais, saving its slopes for the valuable watershed it
has become. Later, she was instrumental in having part of the
mountain formed into California's first state park. The Marin
Conservation League, under her leadership for twenty years, made successful
efforts to save Stinson Beach, which later became California's first
state beach park. She negotiated for the purchase of lands which
were subsequently formed into Samuel B. Taylor Park and Tomales Bay
State Park. To protect the scenery from the presence of unsightly
roadside billboards, Mrs. Livermore worked with the county supervisors
to pass the county's first anti-billboard ordinance.
Mrs. Livermore spearheaded a drive to save,
relocate and restore the historic Lyford Manson, now a Marin historic
site located in the Richardson Bay tidelands area, which she also
helped to preserve and protect. In leading the efforts to preserve
Angel Island from private development, Caroline Livermore worked tirelessly
for fifteen years lobbying state and national policy makers.
In 1970, Angel Island was declared a state park and a national landmark,
with Mt. Livermore, the highest peak on the island, named in her honor.
In addition to these conservation efforts, Mrs. Livermore was a founder
of the Marin Audubon Society, the Marin Art and Garden Center, the
Richardson Bay Foundation and the Point Reyes National Seashore Foundation.
Read Mrs. Livermore's extended biography
Pamela Wright Lloyd of Mill Valley has devoted much of her life to
safeguarding the environment. She was a founder of the Marin
Conservation Corps (MCC), the first local community conservation corps
in the U.S. which provides disadvantaged youth with opportunities
to learn land stewardship and develop job skills through community
service. In 1972 Lloyd co-founded the Environmental Forum of
Marin to inform community members about the environment. She
was also instrumental in developing the nationally recognized Marin
Countywide Plan which continues, 20 years later, to provide real protection
to Marin's natural environment.
Lloyd was the first women President of the
Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors where she
helped guide the county through its first major drought and established
policies that were later replicated in other parts of the country.
In 1987 she was appointed to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water
Quality Control Board, and has been called one of its most respected
and effective members. In 1990, she was awarded the Ted Wellman
Memorial Award by the Marin Conservation League for outstanding community
service in protecting water resources.
Lloyd has demonstrated leadership and vision
in all her undertakings. As former Marin County Supervisor Al
Aramburu said of Lloyd, his former aide, "She is a woman of uncommon
intelligence, dedication and integrity, serving as an exemplary role
model for women of all ages." Lloyd is highly respected
for the strength of her environmental convictions, her willingness
to respond to the concerns of others, her fair-mindedness, and her
general good nature. Her achievements will benefit Marin County,
the Bay Area environment, and its people for decades to come.
Read the extended biography by Stephanie Douglass
Jean Starkweather has worked for many years to preserve the beauty
and natural features of Marin County. One person has commented
that "Anytime there is a public hearing on an issue that will
affect the environment, Jean Starkweather is present, both with information
and a readiness to take action."
Ms. Starkweather has worked on preservation
and restoration of wetland habitats. She has taught classes
and led fieldtrips for children and adults to further their knowledge
and enjoyment of the natural environment. Acting on her firm
belief that the natural resources are valuable community resources,
and that people must work to protect them, she insists "the quality
of the community is dependent on the people getting involved in it".
Among her many civic activities, Ms. Starkweather
has been President of Marin Audubon and the Marin Conservation League.
She is a long term docent and board member of Audubon Canyon Ranch.
As a member of the Marin County Parks, Open Space and Cultural Commission,
she served as Commission Chair for two years, and works on issues
in county parks and open space, and on the extension of bicycle paths
and routes throughout the county.
Ms. Starkweather is the recipient of the
1979 Environmental Award from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in
recognition of her outstanding environmental contributions to the
continues to serve on the MCL Board of Directors and is active on
several committees. She served as MCL President from 1993-95
and received the Marin Green Award from MCL in 1998. Jean is
particularly known for her knowledge of San Rafael shoreline ecology,
her habitat restoration work in that area and her suggestions regarding
San Francisco Bay Trail design.
Read Jean Starkweather's extended biography
TIRZA LOTTE STRAUS
Ellen Tirza Lotte Straus is a rancher and an environmentalist who
has dedicated her life to preserving a viable agricultural community
in West Marin. She is credited with building a bridge between
Marin's dairy ranchers and its environmentalists. She co-founded
the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), the first agricultural land
trust in the nation and a model for protecting agricultural lands.
Almost alone among the ranchers, she and her husband supported the
creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore, opposed high-density
in the West Marin General Plan, and supported A-60 zoning. Mrs.
Straus and her family have been dairy ranchers for more than fifty
years, providing a model for environmental awareness within the farming
community. Since 1960, she has opened the ranch to students
and others to teach about agricultural life. Her family recently
transformed their dairy into an organic operation, the first one west
of the Mississippi.
She helped conceive and produce "Farming
on the Edge" by John Hart, the story of agricultural land preservation
in Marin. She holds a B.A. in Natural Science and Mathematics
from Bard College in New York. She is on the board of the Greenbelt
Alliance, the Tomales Bay Advisory Committee, and the Rural Land Use
Committee of the Marin Conservation League, and is a member of the
West Marin Growers Group. She has also served on the environmental
Action Committee of West Marin, the Environmental Forum of Marin and
the Community Partnership Committee of the Marin Community Foundation.
She is an artist and a former member of Artisans Gallery.
Read the extended biography by Barbara Euser
Growing up in Fairfax, the young Karin Alstrom spent long, happy hours
roaming Marin's hills. In the early 1970's when her favorite
Cascade Canyon was targeted for development, Ms. Urquhart declared,
"Over my dead body!" and launched a career that swept
her from devoted mother of seven to environmentalist with respected
credentials and political sophistication.
Ms. Urquhart's environmental work as an early
organizer of People for Fairfax Cascades dovetailed with the creation
of the Marin Open Space District which now manages over 10,000 acres
of recreational land in Marin. Ms. Urquhart has served as a
commissioner for the district since its creation in 1973.
For many, Ms. Urquhart's name is synonymous
with the Marin Conservation League whose board she joined in 1976
and then presided over from 1977 to 1979. She became MCL's Executive
Director in 1980 and successfully managed its steady growth in membership,
community respect and credibility. She has served on the boards
of a multitude of local groups including the Marconi Conference Center,
Marin County Chamber of Commerce, Marin Society of Artists, Marin
Agricultural Land Trust, Environmental Federation of California, People
for Open Space, and the Environmental Forum of Marin. In 1982,
she was the founding chair of the Marin Conservation Corps.
In 1996, she retired from the Conservation
League and became Executive Director of Digital Village. She
was also appointed by the Board of Supervisors to represent the County
of Marin on the board of the Marin Community Foundation. Retired
once again, she is enjoying her garden, her business (Urquhart and
Associates), and continues to be active on many non-profit, Marin
Read the extended biography by Sheri Rice
Rodrigues da Fonta Verrall (1883 - 1964)
Giving to the community is an inherent part of life in Marin. But
giving one’s entire inheritance of shoreline property to become
a wildlife sanctuary is extraordinary generosity. This is the story
of an incredible gift by a unique woman known as “Tiburon’s
Rose Rodriques da Fonta immigrated with
her parents from the Portuguese Azores when she in 1886 when she
was three years old. They were tenant farmers at the Reed family’s
ranch in Tiburon. Rosie grew up on the 11 acre knoll along the shore
of Richardson Bay, an arm of the San Francisco Bay.
A romance developed between young John Paul
Reed and Rosie, but it was squelched by his family and John never
married. Before his death in 1919, Reed gave Rosie and other long-time
ranch tenants parcels of his land. Rosie now owned the 11 wondrous
acres overlooking the Golden Gate, where she grew up and still lived.
She stayed on the knoll after her marriage
to Arthur Verrall in 1933, witnessing the seasons, wildflowers,
and flocks of migratory water fowl. Rosie also witnessed developers
fill her beloved marshes for construction. She found these changes
alarming. She was determined that her property and its abundant
wildlife would not fall to the developers.
In 1957 Caroline Livermore and Elizabeth
Terwilliger, legendary Marin conservationists, persuaded Rosie to
donate her precious 11 acres to the National Audubon Society as
headquarters for the Richardson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Her parcel
was the key to saving the 900-acre bay from being filled, and to
preserving the Tiburon shoreline for public use. Her donation is
considered the single most important act of environmental preservation
in the history of Marin County. Her gift opened the door to saving
San Francisco Bay and protecting all the great bays of Marin as
Rose Verrall understood the impact development
would have on the quality of life. She had the confidence and support
to do something about it. Because of her determination Rose was
able to preserve a unique part of the threatened landscape. And
generosity! Who among us would give all we owned to the community?
About those goats: turns out Rose was green
before her time. She considered her goats not only as pets, but
as efficient lawn mowers. Hats off to Rose Verrall, one of Marin’s
treasures. (For more details see Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast by
Rosie’s doctor, Martin Griffin.)