Environmental Stewardship in Action at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park

Members of the Leadership Council SMC community visited Cypress Memorial Park to learn about their preservation practices during Environmental Impact Month. (L to R): Claire Bleymaier, Phoebe Shin Venkat, Theresa De Dios, Diane Russell, Karen Hager, Kaarin Hardy, and Margi Power.

In the spirit of Leadership Council San Mateo County's Environmental Impact focus in April, we visited the historic cemetery and arboretum of Cypress Lawn Memorial Park.

Josh Gevertz, Cypress Lawn Arboretum Director and member of Leadership Council SMC’s Emerging Leaders Class of 2023, hosted a trolley tour of one of the Bay Area’s oldest and largest cemeteries, dating back to 1892 and now extending over 300 acres in Colma.

After gathering at the impressive foundational archway of Cypress Lawn’s East Campus, the group had a 1½  hour trolley and walking tour, followed by lunch in the shade of the Arboretum’s champion cork oak tree.

“This was a wonderful tour!” said Phoebe Shin Venkat, Foster City Planning Commissioner, CORA Board Member, and member of our Leadership CORPS Class of 2023. “I learned so much, and have a better understanding and deeper appreciation for what Cypress Lawn does to help bring the community together! Thanks so much to Josh for being a fantastic tour guide, and to Leadership Council SMC for organizing.”

Josh added, “As part of Environmental Impact Month for the Leadership Council SMC community, I enjoyed showcasing the living history of Memorial Park to hopefully help others to foster a kinship with trees and all of nature, that may sustain and uplift us into our shared future.”

Thank you to Josh and to the team at Cypress Lawn for sharing this living museum with us. We experienced the stewardship and proactive care that is being taken of both the botanical and human history at Cypress Lawn, and enjoyed taking time out of our busy days to enjoy some peace in the beauty of the Arboretum.

Cypress Lawn Memorial Park is a hidden gem in San Mateo County. You can learn more about their dedication to preservation and restoration, and how you can visit, on their website.