December 13, 2023
  • Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) recently informed San Mateo County leaders, including San Mateo County Board President Dave Pine and Supervisor Ray Mueller, and San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon, of state funding for a series of historic monument sites that will be installed along the 90-mile Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail in San Mateo County. Senator Becker secured funds for the project during California’s 2023 legislative session.

    “I’m looking forward to hiking the same paths of the Ohlone ancestors and early explorers,” said Senator Becker during his presentation. “Through the information on these historic markers, I hope to gain a greater understanding of what life was like for each of them nearly three centuries ago.”

    In March 2020 the State Historical Resources Commission approved the redesignation of the Portolá Campground Historic Monuments to be the Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail in San Mateo County to ensure future state historic monuments include acknowledgement of Ohlone people during this period of California history.

    “This funding will allow us to inform visitors of a pivotal part of California’s history,” said Supervisor Pine. “I applaud the years of work and commitment by the Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail Committee, the San Mateo County Historical Association and San Mateo County Parks that resulted in this designation.”

    “The Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail is a treasure worth preserving,” said Supervisor Mueller. “I am thankful to Senator Becker for the funding to support the good work our Parks Department undertakes to ensure our local history is told while hikers can enjoy the pristine views that San Mateo County has to offer.”

    The monuments will reflect two stories -- the way of life of the Ohlone who inhabited the land before Gaspar Portolá arrived in 1769, and that of the explorers who came to rely on the Ohlone for food and wayfinding. The encounter carries significant importance in state and national history as the eventual sighting of what is now known as the San Francisco Bay eventually led to the colonization of California by the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition. Content for all posted material will be developed in collaboration with project partners, including representatives of the Ramaytush Ohlone Tribe.

    The Dec. 7 presentation occurred on the Sawyer Camp segment of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail, one of four sites where new historic monuments will be installed. Other locations include Crystal Springs Dam in San Mateo, and Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail and Tunitas Creek Beach in Half Moon Bay.

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