Los Altos resident is passionate about protecting open space

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September 23, 2021 --- Claudia Newbold moved to the Terraces at Los Altos in 2017 following the death of her husband, and a desire to escape the responsibilities of home ownership. She had retired as VP Taxes at McKesson Corporation in 2001, and wanted to do “something useful” in retirement. Claudia already had a relationship with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MidPen), and continued volunteering to do twice-weekly patrols of the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, which is close to The Terraces at Los Altos.

Her volunteer work involves hiking ten miles during each patrol and documenting hazards such as fallen trees and any violations (e.g., dogs illegally off leash). She also answers questions from the public about the Preserve. Claudia has hiked all 240 miles in Midpen’s 26 different open space preserves, which encompasses over 60,000 acres.

Claudia became interested in protecting open space years ago, when she and her late husband hiked the trails on MidPen’s docent-led hikes. She inquired and received training to join their Volunteer Trail Patrol. In another MidPen project, she documents amenities including tables, benches and memorial markers, and uploads the data points and pictures to Midpen’s mapping system. Claudia has also accumulated research on the people who are named on these amenities either as a memorial or because of their contributions to the history of the area. Claudia also volunteers for the local Peninsula Open Space Trust, most recently leading a Conservation Easement monitoring team.

“I want to do things that are worth doing at this point in my life,” said Claudia. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, she also volunteered to take residents for walks in any of the 26 different open space preserves. Claudia’s other volunteer projects include travel with the Sierra Club and other organizations on their “volunteer vacations”. She especially likes the Four Corners area where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet, and has helped stabilize ancestral Puebloan dwellings.

“Living at the Terraces at Los Altos has allowed me to do things I couldn’t do with the responsibilities of a home,” said Claudia. In addition to her travels and volunteer work, Claudia is also involved in the Team Member Appreciation Fund at The Terraces at Los Altos.

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