Bret Harte is a beautiful, walkable residential neighborhood along the southern border of San Rafael in Marin County. The earliest homes date from the late 1930s. The neighborhood is tucked into the hillside with ample green space, tree-lined streets, and the secret bootleg trail. It features Bret Harte Park—the neighborhood's social center—and a diversity of families that call Bret Harte home.
On Halloween 2020, the community held an informal parade through the neighborhood, check out the photos on the Past Events page.
(October 1, 2020)
Bret Harte residents have always been well represented in local politics, and this year is no different. We have three members of the community this year running for city and county-wide office, one for San Rafael City Council, and two running for the same position on the Marin Municipal Water District's Board of Directors. Please take a moment to get to know your local candidates before voting in November!
(September 12, 2020)
The City of San Rafael has provided us with a list of essential services it has available for residents, feel free to take advantage of them. They include Childcare, preschool programs, permits and inspections, library curbside service, public works, and recreation classes.
Before Greg and Renee Kitchen started Triple Voodoo Brewery & Tap Room in Dogpatch ten years ago, they were living in San Francisco working day jobs and homebrewing as a hobby. Once they finally decided to make a business out of it, they worked double duty for a couple years, building the business on evenings and weekends after hours. Two years ago, they moved out of the city to Bret Harte. “We wanted a change of pace from the craziness of SF and we fell in love with the quaint nature of Bret Harte,” said Greg.
Support the Neighborhood
You don’t have to travel all the way to Dogpatch to enjoy the beers, Greg delivers! Wednesday through Sunday, Bret Harte gets its own delivery, just order online at the Triple Voodoo Store by 5PM for same-day delivery and you can expect your beer to arrive between 6pm-9pm that day. When placing an order you should specify "pickup" and mention in the “special Instructions” field that you live in Bret Harte.
During this unprecedented crisis, the BHCA is fundraising to help those most in need through the SF-Marin Food Bank. We are continuing a campaign that has raised over $2,000 for the food bank from the Bret Harte Community.
Thank you in advance for your help and support in giving whatever you can and being a crucial part of this neighborhood fundraiser. Together we can lessen the impact of this ongoing crisis by helping the Food bank provide basic needs for those most affected:
- With every dollar donated we can provide enough food for two healthy meals.
- Before the COVID-19 crisis, one in five individuals in San Francisco and Marin was at risk of hunger; that number is growing daily.
- Since the crisis began, more than one million Californians have filed for Unemployment benefits. Those numbers will only increase as the pandemic continues and those individuals will need our help to provide healthy food for themselves and their families.
The second Stakeholder Working Group meeting for the 101N-580E Direct Connect Project took place on July 21. Many Bret Harte neighbors participated in the Zoom meeting, where TAM project team members presented the seven design alternatives in greater detail. There are several alternatives that would greatly impact Bret Harte, Lomita/California Park and the Canal neighborhoods, not to mention the critical commercial and industrial businesses along Andersen, Bellam, Simms Street and Francisco Boulevard. The next Stakeholders Working Group Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at 3:00 p.m. Information on how to join the meeting will be sent out to the BHCA e-mail list and posted on the website as soon as it's available.
The Bret Harte Community Association would like to congratulate the neighborhood's San Rafael High School Class of 2020, and hope we were able to send them off with heartfelt and enthusiastic, though (somewhat) socially distant style during the Tour on June 10th.
Huge thanks to the Stewart family for organizing, and Garrett Burdick for the photos (including the Buzz Booth)!
San Rafael Vice Mayor Kate Colin put together a great neighbor-to-neighbor toolkit that neighborhoods throughout San Rafael are using to help connect neighbors who need help with those that can provide. This project works through the power of personal connections—volunteer "Street Angels" proactively reach out and see if any of our neighbors are in need, and then connect them with others who would like to volunteer.
Needs can include help getting groceries, or other home or yard chores. The toolkit also includes local resources to share and local phone numbers. Essentially, it formalizes much of the work that we already do in our neighborhood and helps us make sure we get through this crisis by helping one another. It is a powerful tool that we can continue to use for future needs.
We're currently recruiting Street Angels, who are responsible to reach out to 5–10 neighbors and connect with them via a phone call, email, or (non-contact) personal note. We ask that you don’t knock on doors during this COVID time, but instead tape a note or flier to mailboxes. We are putting together a flier for use.
If you're interested in becoming a Street Angel, contact Molly Blauvelt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is your yard overflowing (even a little) with the season's harvest, and you'd rather not let it fall? Share your oranges, lemons, and more with the neighborhood by taking advantage of the free Bret Harte Bounty Neighborhood Sharing and Sustainability Program!
Some of our Bret Harte neighbors grow an excess of beautiful fruits and vegetables, which they graciously share. And some of our Bret Harte neighbors are elderly or in need. Let’s bring them together! Bret Harte Bounty is a community program to help our neighbors while preventing food waste (ranked third on Project Drawdown’s list of most important solutions to climate change) by delivering shared neighborhood produce to our senior and in-need neighbors. The Bret Harte Bounty program helps pick this excess fruit and delivers to the homes of the elderly and in need in Bret Harte.
For information or to reserve a harvest, contact Nigel Faulkner at email@example.com or 415-298-2485; Chris Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 628-240-4361; or David & Sarah Leipsic at email@example.com or 415-577 2794.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2020 BHCA Membership Drive. We came very close to our goal, with 35 new and renewing members. Your dues will help us continue to offer free events and programming to the neighborhood, and implement neighborhood-wide projects like park improvements, disaster-preparedness training, community art, and more.
A huge thank you to: Maria Baccigaluppi, Marianne Bulchis, Garrett Burdick, Cynthia Burgess, Jeffrey Chan, Alyssa Conklin-Moore, Nikki Contini, Jessica Deming, Coya Elliott (who caught up on eight years of back dues!), Billie and Gary Forer, William Gale, Irma Gray, Kevin and CJ Healy, John and Mariko Heenan, Michelle Holmes, Jenny Keane, Kyndra Kennedy, Mark Lubamersky, Tina Lundh, Donna McKee, Carolee Mech, Leigh Miller, Eve Nelson, Ben Parsons, Elise Peck, Ellen and Craig Peterson, Leslie Piper, Stephanie Prescott, Emma Rapp, Catherine Clark Sayles, Morgan Schauffler, Kris Stewart, Miriam and Jim Swanson, Kris and Valerie Trenouth, and Kathleen Walsh.
Join your neighbors in getting ready for trick-or-treating. Pumpkins generously donated by Trader Joe’s. Please bring your own carving tools.
Come dressed in costume before trick-or-treating through the neighborhood. Pizza provided by BHCA
A furry, rascally rabbit has been spotted hiding Easter eggs at the Bret Harte Park. Bring your little ones (and a basket) and help collect all the eggs. Coffee and snacks provided.
Join friends and neighbors at Bret Harte Park for an ice cream social to celebrate National Night Out. Guest speakers invited.
Don’t miss the bret harte-wide annual sale, with dozens of participants in the neighborhood and in the park. clothing, jewelry, housewares, collectibles, small furniture, electronics, kids clothes and toys, books, bikes, antiques, glassware, flatware, plants, vintage collectibles, musical gear, gardening equipment, eclectica, and more! Garage Sale 8:00 AM-2:00 PM, Picnic 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM.
The BHCA sponsors neighborhood social events that bring residents together, as well as support the needs of Bret Harte residents. Events are organized and run by neighborhood volunteers and most events are held in Bret Harte Park. These include:
Easter in the Park. The Easter Bunny stops by for an Easter Egg Hunt on the Saturday before Easter, with treats provided by the BHCA.
Neighborhood Garage Sale. Held the Sunday after Labor Day, the annual Sale features dozens of participants around the neighborhood and in the park.
Non-Labor Day Picnic. Our biggest neighborhood event, held after the Neighborhood Garage Sale. This barbecue and potluck (with music in the park performed by local neighborhood residents) marks our annual membership drive and helps bring our community together.
Neighborhood Pumpkin Carving. Traditionally held the weekend before Halloween, children and their parents are invited to the park to pick out a pumpkin (generously donated by Trader Joe’s), carve it, and display their finished jack-o’-lanterns.
Pre–Trick-or-Treat Pizza Party. Before neighborhood kids head into the neighborhood for trick-or-treating, they gather in the park to show off their costumes and eat pizza.
National Night Out. Coordinated with the national celebration in early August, residents are invited to join friends and neighbors at Bret Harte Park to celebrate National Night Out. Guest speakers invited from City of San Rafael police and fire departments.
About the BHCA
The Bret Harte Community Association, in existence for over 50 years, is a neighborhood organization that supports approximately 500 residences, with the purpose of bringing the community together.
The BHCA is funded by neighborhood and community donations. A $25/year per- household donation is suggested. However, all activities are available to all neighborhood residents regardless of member status. The many accomplishments of the BHCA are achieved solely through volunteer efforts. To stay up to date on what's happening in and around the neighborhood, subscribe to the BHCA Email List.