The Portola Valley Town Council accepted the future donation of the Spring Down Equestrian Center to the town at its Feb. 10 meeting.
The gift includes an option to acquire the Western Parcel, including the existing single-family residence, and an endowment of $7 million to acquire the Western Parcel and to maintain both Spring Down and the Western Parcel, according to a town press release.
Spring Down owner Carol Goodstein, with late husband Stan who died in 2016, donated lands that now make up the Spring Down Open Space Preserve in 2005. Under the agreement made last week, the town will maintain the equestrian property at 725 Portola Valley Road (adjacent to the Portola Valley Town Center) in perpetuity. Should the town no longer be able to continue its equestrian use, the property would become open space.
"My goal for Spring Down has always been to keep horsemanship and connection with horses affordable to everyone," said Goodstein in a statement. "Spring Down has been my peaceful paradise in Portola Valley since 1984. It's been a gift to our horses, horse loving community and my entire staff. Our wonderful family atmosphere has helped support mental and physical health for both myself and our many clients..."
She said she often wondered about what she could do to show her gratitude for all the joy she's had living in Portola Valley. "Now you have my answer, it's Spring Down."
Goodstein, a San Francisco native, has ridden horses since learning at summer camp at age 7, according to Spring Down's website. She also took lessons at San Francisco's Stanyon Street stable across from Golden Gate Park as a child before teaching riding lessons.
Spring Down is a key part of Portola Valley's equestrian history, said Mayor Maryann Derwin in a statement.
"The town is honored to be considered as a future steward of this land," Derwin said. "Carol's generosity to the community will be enjoyed by generations of equestrians and the legacy she provides will enable the community to live the values we all cherish."
In July, the Town Council held a closed-session discussion on the possible town acquisition of a parcel at Spring Down.
"Ever since 1968, when our town was a mere four years old, Spring Down has been a fixture on Portola Road, beloved by children and adult riders, and even passersby," said Nancy Lund, the town historian and chair of the Historic Resources Committee, in a statement. "This remarkable bequest will allow it to continue as a key feature in town into a distant future. As a place with deep equestrian roots, we are grateful to Carol Goodstein for her thoughtful generosity."
After Goodstein's death the gift would need to be formally accepted by the Town Council at a public meeting.
Later this year, town officials hope to hold a public celebration once the pandemic restrictions have been lifted.