Background: Green Gulch Zen Center
Historically, the Miwok, a group of Native Americans, occupied Green Gulch. Artifacts of their culture, such as stone tools, may still be found on site. The land was then granted to William Richardson 1838 as a part of what came to be known as Rancho Sausalito. Green Gulch was one of five dairy ranches that were established by Richardson. The barn built by Ray Button eventually became the zendo of Green Gulch. The next owner, George Wheelwright, was an innovator and bulldozed the valley floor, straightened the creek, and created a system of reservoirs to aid in irrigation. The land was then given to the San Francisco Zen Center with the help of the Nature Conservancy under two conditions: a working farming would be maintained and the land and trails would be open to hikers. Understanding the history of how Green Gulch came to be a Zen Center is an important part of the heritage of the site.