In 1990, Mary Elena Phleger, widowed in 1984 and determined to keep her family's estate intact, offered Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) the opportunity to make it so. With only 5 paid staff and an exceptionally tight deadline, POST embarked on an ambitious fundraising, lobbying and public awareness campaign. POST staff and volunteers worked feverishly, drawing hundreds of letters of support from local and state officials. This outpouring of community support convinced Congress to provide matching funds-if POST could raise half the cost of the property. POST did just that, raising $5 million from Save the Redwoods League and from extraordinarily generous private donors. Then, literally agreeing to "buy or bust," POST staked their entire $3.5 million reserve and proceeds from the sale of the Phleger home to meet their final deadline, and the Phleger Estate turned from private property to public park early in 1995.
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Did You Know?
Dwight David Eisenhower, the 5-star general who served as the U.S. Army chief-of-staff, visited Fort Mason, between 1945 and 1948, to review the post’s demobilization efforts. In 1952, Eisenhower was elected America’s 34th President.