August 2021: Due to the public health risks of Covid-19, the preserves are closed until further notice.

Four rugged canyons, a rich coastal wetland

ACR’s Martin Griffin Preserve encompasses 1,000 acres in West Marin, protected in perpetuity since 1962 as a wildlife sanctuary.

The Land

Mixed evergreen forests blanket slopes overlooking the Bolinas Lagoon. Open hillsides support grasslands and coastal scrub, while freshwater habitats nestle in canyon floors. The preserve is home to more than twentyfive species of mammals, over ninety species of landbirds, thirteen species of reptile, and eight species of amphibian.

The preserve’s frontage along Bolinas Lagoon brings more than 60 species of waterbirds and shorebirds into view—from sandpipers to Osprey to pelicans—as well as some of the resident harbor seals.

For a detailed look at how climate change and sea level rise may effect the four watersheds of the Preserve, read our geomorphic assessment report.

The History

Operating for many years as a family-run dairy ranch, the land is now protected in perpetuity thanks to the stalwart conservation efforts in the early 1960s of L. Martin 'Marty' Griffin, M.D. (then president of the Marin Chapter of the National Audubon Society), Aileen Pierson, Stan Picher, and other dedicated volunteers. 

For over 40 years, the Martin Griffin Preserve was known as the Bolinas Lagoon Preserve of Audubon Canyon Ranch. In July 2010, the ACR Board of Directors formally renamed the preserve the Martin Griffin Preserve in honor of Marty Griffin’s lifelong commitment to the environment and in recognition of the critical role he played in permanently protecting this unique section of the Marin County coastline. 

The Programs

The Martin Griffin Preserve is open seasonally for visitors and schoolchildren to explore. In the fall and spring, the preserve hosts its well-regarded nature education programs, which serve thousands of elementary schoolchilden every year. During the spring, summer and fall, the preserve is open to visitors. Information to help you plan your visit! 

Every two years, the preserve hosts its extensive docent training. This year, trainees have the option to earn a California Naturalist certification. Join us for an orientation hike this spring or summer. Training begins in September. Learn more about becoming a docent 

ACR Headquarters

Martin Griffin Preserve also serves as ACR’s headquarters and houses executive, finance, development and administrative teams.

Photo Credits: 

  • Jocelyn Knight