As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the San Mateo County Parks Department, there is quite possibly no one who has had more impact on the sustainability of our county’s outdoor space than Samuel Herzberg.

If you’ve visited a San Mateo County park, trail, beach or open space, you have benefited from Sam’s work. Sam has spent over three decades working in the Parks, Public Works and Planning Departments of San Mateo County specializing in regional, natural resource, sustainability and park planning.

  • He protected our shoreline from proposed offshore drilling.
  • He initiated four watershed planning efforts to prevent flooding, protect stormwater and restore salmonid fisheries that resulted in successful long-term collaborations between the county, the Resource Conservation District and the San Francisquito Creek Watershed Joint Powers Association.
  • He managed the first Habitat Conservation Plan on San Bruno Mountain for 25 years to protect, restore and monitor the habitat of federally listed endangered butterflies, facilitated limited development in three cities and the county, and led the dedication of lands.
  • He developed regional trail plans that have guided federal, state and local agencies for the past 25 years to complete the regional trail network.
  • He developed Master Plans for 10 county parks, developed over 30 capital improvement projects, facilitated numerous forestry, grassland, tidepool, creek and wetland restoration projects and opened beloved sections of regional trails in county parks across San Mateo County.
  • He has been a long-term supporter of Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) since its creation and developed the SSMC award-winning Sustainability Action Plan for County Parks.

What stands out about Sam is his method and focus. He’s able to engage diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, property owners and citizens, in a highly effective collaborative process. He’s focused on expanding access to recreational services, particularly for underrepresented groups. And he’s been a mentor for interns and students at various local universities.

We are thrilled to honor Sam for his long and distinguished public and community service, which has made San Mateo County significantly more sustainable.

Watch this short profile video to learn more about Sam!