Ray Jackman, Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller admire new plaque honoring Mary Sue’s work on behalf of the Gualala Bluff Trail.

Photo: Harmony Susalla

On May 31, RCLC members, friends and volunteers of the Gualala Bluff Trail gathered to recognize the accomplishmentsof the trail’s longtime project manager, Mary Sue Ittner. Mary Sue has been involved from the very beginning in the planning, building, maintenance and stewardship of this Gualala landmark.

After many years of concentrated dedication to the Bluff Trail, Mary Sue gave herself permission to relinquish the task. Although the second phase is not completely finished, recognition of Mary Sue’scommitment seemed well overdue. At noon, about 50 people gathered at the parking area by the GualalaWatershed signs to acknowledge Mary Sue’s contributions to the Bluff Trail.

New plaque on Gualala
Bluff Trail bench
Photo: Harry Lutz

The group then followed the trail to the bench at the southern end to unveil a bronze plaque honoring Mary Sue, where she was also presented with a photo album, organized by Harmony Susalla, showing construction of the trail, particularly Bluff Trail II.

The group then hiked across the bridge to the northern end of the trail, enjoying the spectacular wildflowers and views along the way.

Those who walk the Bluff Trail know they are privileged to enjoy one of the most rewarding sights along the southern Mendocino Coast. The creative native plantings were designed and installed by Mary Sue, and carefully tended so that today one can sit on one of the trail benches and delight in a unique view over the Gualala River Estuary and sand bar to the ocean beyond.

To end the celebration, the group assembled at the Gualala Arts Center to share a delicious potluck lunch, courtesy of Harmony and Sus (including tablecloths by Harmony Design).

Special lunch held at Gualala Arts Center following walk along the Gualala Bluff Trail
Photo: Harry Lutz