Local Demographics, Lifestyles,
Arts, Schools, Attractions
Note: to be updated; population
stats are per Mendocino
County - and thank you Vale Wippert,
Cartographer - as of 10-11-2007, followed by earlier data
10+ years old. Thank goodness we are "slow growth".
Now there's a new, 2010 census either in hyperextended completion
(we heard from them a lot this year, how 'bout you?) process
or ready and on its way to us. Results soon.
The quality of life on the Mendocino Coast
- in my opinion - is unsurpassed. The air is very clean - there
is no land mass upwind nor industry that generates significant
effluent - and it is freshened by the Pacific Ocean. Our environment
is pristine, well preserved, and sustains abundant wildlife.
The density of population is very low. People are receptive
to new ideas, and are independent while maintaining affinity
and involvement in support of community. There is much love
here, and like
everywhere, there is also room for more positivity, kindness,
mindful awareness and progress in spirit and deed.
This is a great place to retreat, heal,
be single, be coupled, be married, grow up, raise children,
work hard if you want to; be an entrepreneur, an artist; telecommute,
use as a home base, to learn, to leave and then return to,
to simply be or to live simply.
If you like the outdoors, there's plenty
of that here. Canoeing, running, mountain biking or road riding,
tennis, golf, swimming, kayaking, diving, fishing, hiking,
walking, mushroom picking, horseback riding, sitting on the
beach or gazing up into the forest canopy is all just outside
your door. Similarly there is plenty for a person to do in
art, theater, music, education and community service indoors
There is ample room for the do-it-yourselfers
who want to be off the grid, build their own home with wood
they have cut and milled on their own property, have a big
organic garden and develop a spring and gravity feed water
Mendocino Coast schools are great and
offer small class size, alternatives to traditional curriculum,
enthusiastic teachers and administrators, college preparatory
support, excellent participation and support from the community,
scholarships, a College of the Redwoods community College and
"Distinguished Schools" in both Mendocino and Fort Bragg. There
is at least one local private school. Many locals exercise the
option of home schooling their children with favorable results.
Mendocino schools recently (1999)
rated in the top 10 percent in the state.
Mendocino County Office of Education
also enhances areas of study at the schools countywide through
the Regional Occupational Programs (R.O.P.) which develop
vocational skills such as computer training, electronics,
horticulture, audio electronics, and video technology.
R.O.P. programs are available to people
of all ages and walks of life at an extremely low cost.
Mendocino High School offers four paths
of study and consistently graduates 80% of its students into
fine colleges and universities world wide. Students and teachers
greet each other on a first name basis and there is a strong
element of trust - there are no locks on the lockers.
There is a world renowned fine woodworking
program here at The College of the Redwoods directed by Krenov.
Having been to some great schools I
wish I could do "it" over again here. Great opportunities
for kids and "grownups" alike!
The arts are alive and well here, flourishing
in fact. There are Symphonies, a very popular music festival,
theater groups, numerous galleries, a well established Art Center
in Mendocino offering classes year round, and a strong community
of artists enjoying good support from the population at large.
The Mendocino Coast can be considered an artist's colony.
Ceramicists, Sculptors, Writers, Painters,
Actors, Musicians, Singers, Dancers, Printers, Photographers,
Wood Artists, Builders, Architects, Weavers, Glass Artists,
Jewelers, Metal Artists, Boatbuilders, Toy makers, Game Inventors,
Collectors, Interior Designers, Illustrators, Chefs, Instrument
Makers, Producers of Films and Sound Recordings, Songwriters,
Graphic Artists, Computer Engineers, Furniture Makers, Herbalists,
Crafts People, and those of us that are developing our vocations
- and vacations - as an art form are just a few of the Artists
Some of the above Artists are quite
famous. More, probably, are quite happy if not striving
You want, You got!
Few people dress formally for day to
day work here on the Coast; suits and ties are an anomaly.
The pace of life here is as calm as you wish or as busy as
any city can be... You can move at the pace of your choice.
Ideologically, The Coast embraces and
encompasses a broad spectrum of orientations from meditators
to staunch conservatives and from dropouts to doctorates.
We - these people - live and work side by side in an atmosphere
of affection, respect, and appreciation for our choices, freedom
and an elevated quality of life.
We have our workaholics and those without
visible means of support; we like each other and where we
have come together despite differences of opinion, allegiance,
There is an atmosphere of safety, trust,
knowing your neighbors, an interest in sharing, a respect
for privacy, a spirit of cooperation, a willingness to improve,
a common desire for positive change and strong community support
for one another. This takes time to assimilate, absorb and
appreciate; there seems to be plenty of time here for you
to create, develop and flourish in the choices and life that
work most elegantly for you.
Nurture in consort with Nature.
There are 129 miles of coastline in
COUNTY OVERALL 90445
Coastal Cities (?) Towns and Villages
FORT BRAGG City 6963,
Within a mile 2526,
MENDOCINO Town 824,
Within a mile 596,
LITTLE RIVER 183,
ALBION 114, (ask about the "Nation")
- somehow this population number seems substantially lower
than reality - My neighbors seem real enough to me, but who's
POINT ARENA City 501,
Within a mile 87,
ANCHOR BAY 100,
And the four "hamlets' inland
eastbound from the coast on Highway 128
and YORKVILLE, 79.
The County is (was) sparsely populated
with about 86,000 (according to the 1990census) people in
3,510 square miles. This means 24.5 people to the square
mile or 1 person every 26 acres. Just
for comparison, Los Angeles County, according to one source
recently (2007) has 1,000 people to each 1.07 acres!
About one third of the land in Mendocino
County is publicly owned with substantial tracts of the balance
of private land owned by corporate timber concerns.
The current County growth rate (1990
to 1995) is 1.4% per year.
The top five industries in Mendocino
County are: Manufacturing of wood products and food industries,
Services - largely health and social service, Retail Trade
by food stores and eating and drinking establishments, Wholesale
Trade, and Agriculture led by fruit production.
Ukiah, the County seat, is the
largest town with 15,059 population.
Fort Bragg, on the coast, is
next largest with 6,345 people.
Willits, about an hour inland
from Fort Bragg, has 5,234 people.
Point Arena, on the coast, has
a population of 432.
The above four towns are the only incorporated
"cities" in the County;
unincorporated area supports about
On the coast, The town of Mendocino
has about 1,000 residents,
Little River 213,
As you see, these are not large towns,
and one may have the impression that the coast is deserted.
This is not the case; in fact there are large numbers of individuals
and families inhabiting the ridges running inland from the
coast that come to town to do their business and then go back
to the comfort of homes and settings that are private and
as secluded as they wish.
Population on the coast is made up
of retirees (more and more of these), artists, individuals
that work in the timber industry, fishermen, people that
work in restaurants and the lodging field, teachers, government
workers, entrepreneurs, musicians, people in the building
trades, gardeners, caregivers, medical and healing tradespeople,
retailers, business people and numerous service providers.
Increasingly, tourism is the area's bread and butter. Frankly,
timber and fishing resources are nearing exhaustion and
habitat failure due to over 150 years of intensive exploitation
without renovation or consideration for sustainability.
Considerable effort is being made by
many here to preserve, nurture and replenish natural resources.