Women’s Hall of Fame

Celia Hartnett

Celia Hartnett’s love of nature and family is evident in everything she does, from rallying to protect property in San Carlos from development to working with at-risk children to helping parents cope with the loss of their newborn children. In 2000, she and the other residents collaborated to defeat a developer’s plan to build 75 houses on the Lands of Benedetti, adjacent to the land a special assessment district had helped the city purchase 21 years earlier. Now owned by the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District, this land, known as the Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, contains six miles of hiking trails and a 16-acre off-leash dog area. Celia has used her experience and love of nature to benefit children, as well. As Director of Programs and Volunteer Services for the Friends of Huddart an Wunderlich Parks from 1995-2002, she coordinated the park’s Junior Rangers Program and created Nature Detectives, an environmental discovery program targeting young, at-risk children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend summer camp. She also worked with Boy Scouts completing their Eagle Scout projects and established a training program for high school students to become nature docents in Huddart Park. Celia and Emily Corpos, founder of the Peninsula chapter of HAND (Helping After Neonatal Death) have worked together for nearly two decades to facilitate biweekly grief meetings in their own living rooms. Celia has selflessly comforted dozens of parents facing the same tragedy she faced herself in 1982, many of whom insist that she is the kindest person the have ever met. Celia’s steadfast tenacity and kind, caring demeanor have helped her to make a difference in the lives of countless residents throughout San Mateo County.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in .

More Honorees