Land Protection, Supporting MALT

Supporter Spotlight: Mary Love

January 13, 2020

In 2019, MALT supporter Mary Love made an incredible gift: $250,000 to MALT, with another $250,000 to be used as a match challenge to encourage charitable giving throughout the fall and early winter. She made the same pledge to Sonoma Land Trust, part of a greater vision she and her late husband, David, shared for this region.

A Love of Open Space

Mary was born and raised on a ranch in Colorado. Her father had been a banker, but during the Great Depression, he moved his family out west and became a cattle rancher. From a young age, Mary learned how to take care of animals. By the age of five, she was riding horses, a passion that remains with her to this day. These formative years in Colorado instilled in her the value and importance of open space for people and wildlife.

After completing her education on the East Coast and in California, Mary moved to Berkeley, where she met her late husband, David Love. They lived in the East Bay where Mary worked as an ICU nurse and David as a physicist.

After Mary and David moved to the Bay Area, the impact of urban development on open spaces and agricultural lands became apparent to them. They witnessed firsthand the encroachment of development and subdivision, from San Jose to Petaluma, causing irreparable damage to wildlife habitat and working lands.

The Lure of West Marin

Longing for open space and nature, they moved to Marin County in 2006. David, who was a well-known vintage racecar driver, loved driving the backroads of Marin County and the Pacific Coast; Mary loved riding her horses through Marin’s pristine landscapes.

While spending time in West Marin, they began to notice MALT signs dotting the rolling hills, with the words “Protected Forever.” This was Mary and David’s introduction to MALT’s work. MALT’s mission to preserve agricultural land strongly aligned with Mary and David’s appreciation for natural landscapes, farmland and protecting land from the negative impacts of urban development. Mary and David have been dedicated MALT supporters for years now.

Creating a Legacy

David passed away in 2014, but Mary continues to do all she can on behalf of native wildlife — and to honor husband David’s shared wishes — to preserve open spaces, critical wildlife habitat and the migration corridors they need to thrive.