What is Open Space Sausalito?

Open Space Sausalito (OSS) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that acquired Lincoln-Butte Parcel for open space in June 2016 thanks to donations from hundreds of Sausalito residents and the Mays Foundation, and an environmental mitigation grant from the Transportation Authority of Marin and CalTrans. After acquiring it, OSS renamed the Lincoln-Butte Parcel the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge. OSS maintains and improves the habitat so it can continue to flourish as an undisturbed wildlife refuge.

Donations to OSS (corporation number C3681513) are fully tax deductible.

What is the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge?

The Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge is two acres of undeveloped land in northern Sausalito located between Butte Street, Buchanan Drive, and Lincoln Drive. It is a beautiful piece of wilderness in the heart of our City that has been set aside for the sole use of the wildlife that live or visit there.

Why do you spell it “Saucelito”?

“Saucelito” is the archaic nineteenth century variant of Sausalito that the City was originally registered under. The name is Spanish for “little willow grove”.

The Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge (SCWR), formerly known as the Lincoln-Butte Parcel, was renamed in July 2018 using the old spelling to hearken back to a time when Sausalito had many willow trees growing around spring fed creeks as can still be found at the SCWR today.

How can I see the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge?

You can’t. The land has been set aside for wildlife only, and tresspassing laws and fines are strictly enforced. This policy is necessary to prevent erosion, trampling of plants, and any disturbance of the birds and animals that live there.

You can view our Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge Photos.

What kinds of plants, birds and animals are found at the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge?

The Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to Heritage Oak, willow, California Bay Laurel and pine trees, deer, fox, and uncountable varieties of birds that nest there. Coyotes regularly visit, and thousands of hawks pass through the area during their Fall migration to southern California, perching in the towering trees that line the southern ridge of the refuge.

What is the role of the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge within the surrounding ecosystem?

The Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge (SCWR) is a critical part of 50 acres of undeveloped woodlands that runs from Spring Valley to the south to the SCWR to the north. The SCWR contains a 900 foot long daylighted creek, the only creek within this region, making it a vital source of water for all the wildlife in the area.

The 50 acre region includes Cypress Ridge Open Space, a ten acre open space preserve with a habitat nearly identical to the SCWR. It is located half a mile to the south. The two preserves are connected by a wilderness land-bridge that runs alongside Lincoln Drive.

The SCWR is also adjacent to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, home to 35 endangered, rare, and threatened species, more federally protected species than any other national park in the continental United States.

What needs to be done to maintain the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge?

Before OSS acquired Lincoln-Butte Parcel, the property was not managed. OSS management efforts undertaken or under consideration include:

  • Gradually reducing non-native plants such as French Broom and Himalayan Blackberry and replacing them with native plants such as Coffeeberry, California Goldenrod, and Ceanothus.
  • Maintenance of appropriate liability insurance.
  • Occasional trimming of the trees and undergrowth to reduce any fire hazard.
  • Occasional clearing of the creek channel to reduce flood risk.
  • Adding small pools to the creek channel to reduce channel erosion, and to provide a year-long habitat for native amphibian species.

What can I do to help Open Space Sausalito maintain the Saucelito Creek Wildlife Refuge?

Who is Open Space Sausalito?

Open Space Sausalito currently has the following Directors and participating Members:


  • Bill Monnet, President
  • Leon Huntting, Treasurer
  • Linda Pfeifer, Secretary
  • Jim Richard, Native Plant Restoration and Web Design

Participating Members:

  • Kay Mitzel
  • Veronique Stamets

For more background on the Directors, see Who We Are.

Where can I learn more about the history of Lincoln-Butte Parcel with the City of Sausalito?

City council member Linda Pfeifer wrote an informative guest op-ed for the Marin IJ on December 12, 2013:  Benefits of a Sausalito Land Move.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s