Marin County Parks

Measure A Annual Report
FY 2022–23

After considering community feedback, Marin voters supported re-implementation of Parks Measure A. Revenue from this quarter-cent sales tax began on October 1, 2022 and will continue for the next nine years per Marin County Ordinance 3760. In addition to supporting ongoing maintenance and operations at Marin County parks and open space preserves, Measure A funds key community priorities including wildfire safety, sea level rise adaptation, road and trail management, and equitable access to county public lands. 

The Year in Pictures

Revenue and Expenditures
FY 2022-23

This table summarizes actual revenues and expenditures handled by Marin County Parks.
Data used for creation of all the visualizations on this page can be found in the Marin County Parks Fiscal Year Revenue and Expenditures dataset. 

Marin County Parks expenditures are guided by the Parks and Open Space Strategic Plan, the department’s annual Performance Plan, the Measure A ordinance, the Open Space District’s Inclusive Access Plan, and the Road and Trail Management Plan. Parks staff also engage regularly with Marin County Fire and other regional fire agencies, community groups, and individual stakeholders on an ongoing basis. For example, an Environmental Roundtable conversation with a consortium of Marin environmental groups takes place regularly. These collaborations and community conversations provide important insights that inform department priorities.
County Service Areas (CSAs) allow small communities in unincorporated areas of the county to pay for and receive specific services from the county. Property owners within the CSA typically pay fees to the CSA, which are billed as line items on the county property tax bill. Marin County Parks provides services to CSA #13 (Lucas Valley), CSA #14 (Homestead Valley), CSA #16 (Greenbrae), CSA #17 (Kentfield), CSA #18 (Las Gallinas), CSA #20 (Indian Valley), and CSA #33 (Stinson Beach), as well as the Rush Creek Landscaping and Lighting District. 

Total Expenditures by
Revenue Source

Revenue Sources
Measure A: Fiscal year revenue from quarter-cent sales tax approved by Marin voters in 2022.
Open Space: Fiscal year revenue from property tax measure approved by Marin voters in 1972.
Parks: Fiscal year revenue from the County General Fund and park fees.
County Service Areas: Fiscal year tax revenue collected from County Service Areas.

Expenditures and
Set Aside for Land Acquisition

By Expenditure Categories

Capital Assets are held in the County General Fund, and by the Marin County Open Space District, until use of these funds is approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. In FY 2022–23, the Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of $1,850,000 from Measure A to the County's General Fund, to acquire seven acres at Buck's Landing. The Board of Supervisors also approved $876,284 of Open Space District funds to help purchase Bald Hill, as well as truck and trailer vehicles needed to support the management of open space lands.

Services and Supplies by Program

Number of Employees

Parks Measure A

Measure A protects the parks, open space, and farmland that make Marin County an extraordinary place to live, work, and play. Per Marin County Ordinance 3760, funds raised by Measure A must be spent on parks and open space, sustainable agriculture, and recreation in Marin’s nineteen cities and towns. Per the ordinance, funds are allocated as follows:
65%: Parks and Open Space
Maintain and improve County parks and open space preserves, and support acquisition of land with high natural resource value.
  • 25% of Parks and Open Space funds are designated for wildfire fuels reduction work on County parks and open space lands.
  • 10% of Parks and Open Space funds support land preservation.

20%: Sustainable Agriculture

Support and enhance ecosystem services, climate resiliency, and the protection, restoration and sustainability of Marin County agricultural working lands and food systems.
  • 50% of Sustainable Agriculture funds support perpetual agricultural conservation easements.
  • 30% of Sustainable Agriculture funds provide for Food, Agriculture, and Resilient Ecosystems (FARE) grants.
  • 20% of Sustainable Agriculture funds provide for grants to the Marin Resource Conservation District.

15%: Cities and Towns

Support parks, open space, and recreation facilities in nineteen Marin cities, towns, and special districts.
65% of Parks Measure A funds parks and open space
20% of Parks Measure A funds sustainable agriculture
15% of Parks Measure A funds parks, green space, and recreation in 19 Marin cities, towns, and special districts

Measure A Grants FY 2022–23

Breathe/Respira Community Grants

Breathe/Respira community grants support bringing underserved, high-risk, and vulnerable community members to Marin County parks and preserves. In 2022–23, individual grants of up to $8,000 were awarded to 26 different community organizations across Marin, $198,106 in total.

Farmland Preservation Grants

Farmland Preservation grants funded by Parks Measure A help purchase permanent conservation easements.  These private properties in productive agriculture use also have significant ecological value. In July 2022, the Marin County Board of Supervisors awarded a matching grant of $1,817,300 to the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) to purchase an agricultural conservation easement for 723-acre McDowell Ranch near Tomales. Since 2014, 7,416.6 acres of ranchland and farmland have been protected with the aid of Farmland Preservation grants. 

Food, Agriculture, and Resilient Ecosystem (FARE) Grants

In 2023, the Board of Supervisors approved this new grant program, mandated by County Ordinance 3760. Competitive grants will be awarded to qualified non-profit organizations that support sustainable food systems, climate-beneficial land management, and improving natural resource values on Marin's working lands. The first FARE grants will be awarded in 2024.

Land Preservation and Park Access Grants

In July 2022, seven acres on Bucks Landing at the edge of Gallinas Creek in San Rafael was purchased for $1,850,000. This acquisition is adjacent to a 33-acre creekside property purchased two years ago. 
In 2022, the Board of Supervisors also approved designating $6,000,000 of these funds toward the future purchase of the 110-acre "Martha Property" on the Tiburon Peninsula, as part of a two-year plan with the Tiburon community to collaboratively raise funds.  
The total Land Preservation set aside remaining at the end of FY 2022–23 is estimated to be $1,080,947.

Marin Resource Conservation District Grants

The Marin Resource Conservation District (RCD) received matching grants totaling $377,399 in FY 2022–23,  to support RCD programs that increase biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and create wildlife habitat on Marin lands.

Grants to Cities, Towns, and Special Districts

Marin’s 19 cities, towns, and applicable special districts received $1,493,963 in Measure A funds in FY 2023–24 for fire fuel vegetation management, neighborhood park renovations, maintenance, and staff. The grants are awarded to Marin cities, towns, and special districts per a grant allocation process approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The following cities, towns, and special districts benefit from Measure A funds.
  • Mill Valley
  • Novato
  • San Rafael
  • Sausalito
  • Belvedere
  • Corte Madera
  • Fairfax
  • Larkspur
  • Ross
  • San Anselmo
  • Tiburon
  • Bel Marin Keyes CSD
  • Bolinas Firehouse Community Park Agency
  • Marin City CSD
  • Marinwood CSD
  • Muir Beach CSD
  • Strawberry Recreation District
  • Tamalpais CSD
  • Tomales CSD

Additional Land Acquisition

In February 2023, the Marin Open Space Trust (MOST) purchased and then conveyed the 60-acre Bald Hill property to the Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD).  Bald Hill’s iconic, scenic summit and the hill’s eastern face will be permanently protected and accessible to the public for recreational use as part of Bald Hill Preserve. MCOSD funds reserved for land acquisition contributed $850,000 and MOST raised $1.25 million to secure the property. 

Measure A Oversight

Appointed by the Board of Supervisors, up to seven community members sit on the Measure A Oversight Committee, to oversee Measure A expenditures, assist with compliance audits, and approve this annual report. Current committee members are:
Michael Dyett
Jonathan Kathrein
Tom Lamar
Pat O'Brien
Robert Steinberg
Pamela Tom
Andrew Ward

Each year Measure A funds undergo two compliance audits. The Marin County Department of Finance audits organizations other than Marin County Parks that receive Measure A funding. Badawi and Associates audits Marin County Parks and will issue its report in February 2024.
Marin County Parks reports to nine boards and commissions that regularly invite public comments.

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