Why I Love Marin

Ireally love living in Marin! In fact, I’ve lived here off and on since 1960 when our family first moved to Tiburon. Hard to believe but true! When I graduated from high school I had to go away to college because I felt like there wasn’t enough action in “sleepy Marin” so I selected Santa Clara University a whole hour and a half away from my family’s home in Mill Valley. While I enjoyed making new friends, and loved my new found freedom I quickly realized that Marin was way cooler than Santa Clara and knew that I would eventually return to the county that I knew so well and called home.

What do I cherish most about Marin? First from the perspective of a child, I felt very safe living here. As children we spent a great deal of time playing outside freely moving around neighborhoods on bikes or on foot in search of fun. I was also very aware of just how beautiful this area is, remembering family road trips and trips to foreign countries like Argentina where I learned first-hand that although beauty is found everywhere, there are few places in this world that so wonderfully combine a gorgeous bay, the Pacific Ocean, picturesque mountains, historical landmarks, reservoirs that provide drinking water and encourage outdoor activity, amazing hiking trails, a variety of weather and microclimates, diverse topography, and as a bonus is strategically located close to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and many other neighboring communities and activities. Secondly, I felt like it was a small, friendly area where everyone seemed to know one another. People were kind and families connected easily through schools, church, kid’s sports activities, and the common knowledge that we lived in a very special place. Much like today, Marin’s citizens really cared about preserving the environment, maintaining open space, keeping streets and neighborhoods clean, and keeping their children safe.

So what has changed about Marin? First and foremost the population is much larger now then it was then. We currently have about 250,000 people in the county including West Marin. By comparison in 1960 there were only 146,000 residents. The larger population has of course added greatly to traffic congestion as many roadways in Marin remain antiquated and are not meant to handle so many cars. There are many more traffic lights also. Mill Valley for example even up until the late 60’s did well with 4 way stop signs as there were no traffic lights! Additionally, the air probably isn’t as clean, crime is more prevalent, Marin real estate is very expensive and unaffordable for many, and we now have a homeless problem. Our demographics have also changed as today’s Marin has tremendous wealth as compared to the Marin I grew up in which was mostly middle class.

In summary, many things have indeed changed in Marin but I believe that its core foundation remains the same. People choose to live in Marin because of beauty, lifestyle, and its close proximity to SF. The population is more educated, wealthier, and diverse but remains grounded enough to appreciate the splendor of the area. I consider Marin my home and am proud to state that the common values that attracted people for decades continue to draw people to put down roots and consider this their home as well. Together newcomers and longtime residents will continue to be grateful to be living in Marin County above all for its location, natural beauty, and welcoming community. Those who visit are often those who stay for a lifetime! I invite you to come to Marin and explore and experience this place we call home.

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