Barry Christian has been appointed to the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District Board of Directors to serve out the term of Myrna Abramowicz who died May 11.
“She did an outstanding job representing American Canyon, even though she didn’t live here,” Christian said. “I wanted to do what I could to keep it going.”
Christian, who was sworn in July 1, represents Ward 5, which includes American Canyon, areas of Alta Heights, Coombsville, south Napa and adjacent unincorporated county. He will serve until a full-term director is elected at the November 2014 election.
A graduate of San Francisco State University, Christian is retired and is well known in American Canyon, where he lives, as an avid outdoor enthusiast and advocate. Bicycling, hiking, kayaking and sailing are among his favorite outdoor activities.
Christian worked on the 2006 campaign in which county voters established the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District.
“The district has been tremendously successful in its first six years,” Christian said. He said the district has raised $16 million for projects and has been able to leverage $5 in grant money for every $1 contributed.
“The district played a big part in developing the trails in American Canyon,” Christian said. He credited the district for helping create the landfill loop trail and the wetlands trail to Green Island Road. Additionally, Christian said, the city of American Canyon “piggybacked” on a county study to create the trail out to the Napa River, saving thousands of dollars.
After completion of the master parks plan update last year, Christian said it may be time to reach out to the community for guidance on future direction.
Christian is currently a member of the American Canyon Open Space Advisory Committee and the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency Active Transportation Committee. He is a board member with the Friends of the Napa River, Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition, and Bay Area Ridge Trail Council.
In 2012 Christian won the Gateway Award, an honor given by the city of American Canyon and volunteer service groups to recognize outstanding contribution to the community.
Councilmember Joan Bennett praised Christian’s appointment at Tuesday’s American Canyon City Council meeting.
“It’s a good thing for American Canyon and a good thing for the county,” Bennett said regarding Christian’s selection.
Christian said it was too soon to know whether he would run for the seat in next year’s election.
This story was updated by including comments from Christian and Joan Bennett.