Stewardship Excellence Award: The Sea Ranch Association
Conceived to “serve as stewards for the conservation and enhancement of the environment and administer Sea Ranch affairs,” The Sea Ranch Association was established by the developers at its founding, along with a Design Committee to guide/control any physical improvements at The Sea Ranch (TSR). This revolutionary idea was given real teeth by a comprehensive set of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, known as “the CC&Rs.” Building on these early planning and design principles, dozens of stewardship activities have been accomplished. A centerpiece of these efforts is the Commons Landscape Committee (CLC), whose members work in concert with other groups. Hundreds of member volunteers target such activities as monitoring and planting hedgerows, actively maintaining trails, and addressing TSR’s overall vision, with special attention to its meadows, native plants and forests. Of note is The Sea Ranch Landscape – Summary of Commons Landscape Planning and Management 2010-2016, a concise treatise for managing the natural and cultural systems of TSR.
Equally significant is the work of The Sea Ranch Design Committee whose efforts are central to the stewardship/protection of all Sea Ranch development – whether held in private or in common. Its oversight during the half century since the founding team, led by Larry Halprin and Al Boeke, created the community’s overarching planning and design intentions, has been fundamental to the quality and character of TSR today. Finally, a very conscious strategic effort is underway to actively document and interpret TSR for new generations – making visible and instilling respect for TSR’s unique character and design legacy through workshops, lectures, websites, and publications.