Kelly Runyon - POST
Kelly Runyon, a POST donor and a member of POST’s stewardship team, in his element at POST-protected Cloverdale Coastal Ranches. Photo: Paolo Vescia

Open space is a rarity in the New Jersey suburb where I grew up. My father used to drive me out to explore remote farmlands and forests so I could learn to appreciate the countryside as much as he did.

When I moved to California after college, I brought this love for the outdoors with me, and it continued to grow. I spent a lot of time backpacking, building trails in the woods with service groups, and getting to know the character of our local landscapes.

Being outside and accomplishing something of value has had a profound effect on me. It is where I am comfortable. My favorite thing is to be in the redwoods, alone, immersed in the sounds of nature instead of the city, without distractions.

I have been a POST volunteer and donor for many years. Here’s why. POST buys open space in order to preserve it from development, and also manages and repairs the land. It is the nature of POST’s work to be committed for the long-term, taking on projects that require decades for the healing process to really take root.

When I decided to retire, and get my plans in place, I realized that even though I don’t have a lot of resources, I could include my favorite charities in our family trust. My modest gift will support POST’s work down the road, protecting everything I’ve helped them with over the years. I know my gift will be used to preserve what I value, a topic I explore in greater depth in this short video:



I hope future generations will be able to experience the land and understand what it takes to protect it, appreciating open space for its own sake and for the peace of mind and good feelings that come from simply being outside.

As a member of the POST community, you have shown that local open space is important to you as well. I hope you will join me by including POST in your long-term plans. A simple gift of any size in your will or trust, which you can modify at any time, will be combined with my gift and many more to protect and care for our local lands.

Thank you for your support of POST. If you have questions about how you can do more to help, you can learn more here or contact Jeanine Crider to discuss options that may work for you.

If you have included POST in your will or other plans, please let POST know so we can thank you. You’ll join me as a member of the Open Space Legacy Society and receive an invitation to POST’s special luncheon for Society members this June.


Kelly Runyon is a longtime supporter and volunteer for POST. In 2011 he was awarded the volunteer of the year award for his extraordinary commitment to the stewardship of POST-protected lands.


In past years, we’ve had several other devoted supporters share their stories about how their connections to POST’s work eventually led them to include POST in their estate plans. You can read about them here:

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About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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