Mill Valley native Cris Chater was one of MALT's first and youngest donors back when the organization was founded in 1980. She grew up with MALT cofounder Phyllis Faber, whom Cris counts as a close family friend and mentor, and wanted to do what she could to support Phyllis' new organization. This enthusiasm and support for MALT has continued from Cris' teenage years through the past three decades. "Marin County is special because of the state parks, the county open space district, the national parks, and MALT," she says. "MALT has played a key role in preserving the natural beauty and rich agricultural heritage that the county was largely founded on. This contributes enormously to the quality of life we all enjoy and too often take for granted."
MALT was the first land trust in the country to focus on agricultural preservation and has been conserving farmland over 30 years, and is a "model land trust." With that in mind, Cris became a Legacy Giving donor by including a bequest to MALT in her estate plans. "I want to give back to my community that has enhanced my quality of life," she says. "Every time MALT acquires an easement and protects another farm or ranch from development, I feel proud that my philanthropic efforts are making a difference."
Cris now lives in Point Reyes Station and serves as the Executive Director of Senior Access, known in Marin as the favorite social club for people with memory loss. As an avid runner, swimmer, hiker and backpacker (she completed her 15th consecutive trek along the John Muir Trail this year – 200 miles from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney), she dedicated much of her free time to the outdoors in the landscape MALT has helped preserve.