Marinwood Community Services District is an agency of local government providing fire protection and emergency response services, street lighting, recreation programs and facilities, and parks and open space to the unincorporated community of Marinwood.
The Marinwood area is part of an original Spanish Land Grant to Don Timateo Murphy. It was operated as a ranch, and then as a dairy farm, until it was sold for development in 1954.
In 1955, the first homes were built near Highway 101, then a four-lane undivided highway. At that time the boundaries of San Rafael were four miles to the south, at the top of Puerto Suello Hill, and the boundaries of Novato were six miles to the north. To provide improved local services, particularly fire protection, and to be able to secure bond financing, the Community Services District was formed in 1960. With bond funding, the CSD was able to purchase the land for Marinwood Park and to develop the firehouse, park, community center and pool.
In 1972, the community again voted to tax itself for the purchase of the ridge of open space bordering the community in order to preserve it from development. The original purchase of 321 acres has grown to 812 acres as additional parcels were purchased and developers were required to set aside land as open space.
From a volunteer department with one paid firefighter, the Marinwood Fire Department has grown to its present staff of 11 full-time professional firefighters. An agreement with San Rafael guarantees adequate response in Marinwood when additional resources are required. Marinwood firefighters respond to portions of Terra Linda, Smith Ranch Road, and Upper Lucas Valley.
The Recreation Department has continually expanded its program offerings, and now has a full-time staff of four, with over one hundred instructors and seasonal employees to provide recreation opportunities for all ages. The summer day camp programs and the pre-school are department mainstays.
The Parks Department’s staff of five oversees Marinwood Park, Las Gallinas Park, and Creekside Park, which include four playgrounds and five tennis courts, as well as some areas of roadside landscaping.
The Marinwood Community Services District Fire Department, the Community Center and Pool recreation programs, the parks, and the community open space are all central to the identity of the Community of Marinwood.