Mike Vasey helped save the land at Mori Point in 2000. Georgia Vasey works for the Conservancy stewarding that land nearly every day.
How does it feel having your daughter carry the legacy you built, one trail at a time?
“Well it kind of chokes me up to tell you the truth,” Mike says. “It really is a great honor.”
Pacifica’s Mori Point was a candidate for development throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Mike was the president of the Pacifica Land Trust in 2000 when the land at Mori Point came up for auction. He worked with the Trust for Public Land to win the auction, and by 2002 the land was part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Now Georgia leads a dedicated team of volunteers as the San Mateo Community Programs Manager with the Parks Conservancy. She helps organize weekly stewardship events that involve pulling weeds, building trails, or restoring swaths of wildflowers.
A fun father-daughter moment among the famous blooming wildflowers of Mori Point. Video
In the last few years she’s seen Mori Point reshaped. Her team has helped build a pond for California red-legged frogs, a boardwalk for endangered San Francisco garter snakes to slither under, and actual trails to replace the social trails trampled down by previous park users.
“It really has been a success for endangered species, it’s been a success for the community,” Georgia says. “Mori Point is one of those places that everybody just loves.”
That bond with the community has been there since the start. Mike and Georgia remember a special Pacifica EcoFest after the transfer of the land, where people wore snake and frog costumes and danced in a giant circle at Mori Point with former GGNRA superintendent Brian O’Neill.
Mike says Mori Point is one in a chain of major land decisions that have benefitted San Mateo County. He says he was inspired by the restoration work done at Milagra Ridge, which joined the GGNRA in 1987. And the restoration of Mori Point helped make the case to start similar work at Pedro Point in 2009. The Pacifica Land Trust manages the restoration efforts at Pedro Point today.
Local residents have shown their appreciation at Mori Point through volunteer programs, where Georgia has seen the same volunteers show up week after week, year after year.
“If you want people to care about the land you need to invite them onto the landscape, you need to get their hands dirty,” Georgia says. “I’m getting out there with all different kinds of people teaching them about these plants and these animals, and letting them form their own connection.”
And she thanks her dad for starting her down the trail when she was young.
“It’s special because, for me, I’ve always felt like that’s why I was inspired by nature, getting to be out there on the landscape as a child.”
Like father, like daughter: Loving the lands around them, taking great care of the flora and fauna, and transferring that spark to other people for the future health of Mori Point.