“Coins Add Up for Marin Business”
from the Point Reyes Light, April 28 2011
The Coastal Marin Trade Token, a three-dollar coin accepted at many businesses in West Marin, is nearing its first anniversary. The brass coin was the brainchild of Dogtown’s Richard Kirschman, who planned to use tourist traffic to fund local nonprofits. It was designed by Keith Hansen, and is engraved with local icons—the lighthouse, an elk, produce, a poppy, a sand dollar (easily mistaken for a marijuana leaf) an arrowhead, a cow, a coho salmon, an osprey clutching pens and paintbrushes, the names of the ten coastal Marin villages and the words “Strength in Community.”
Now a year later, Kirschman has announced a new plan to help local nonprofits. “Here’s how it works,” Kirschman said. “Starting immediately, the $3 coins are available in special 25-coin containers. Anyone can purchase these containers for $75 each. When the coins have been put into circulation, either spent by individuals, or given as change by merchants, the empty container can be redeemed for $40 in cash by the nonprofit of the individual’s or merchant’s choice.” Under this plan there are neither grant applications to be written, nor funding committees to persuade. The Coastal Marin Fund, which manages the coins, has kickstarted the new program by making it retroactive for some local businesses, which generated an instant $6000 for local nonprofits. “If just one out of ten of the more than 2 million tourists who pass our way each year take home a single coin, that will raise over $400,000 for our nonprofits,” Kirschman said. “All we have to do is keep the coins in circulation by using them as cash and accepting them in change. It’s as easy as that.”
So far, where to find, trade, and/or use West Marin currency for cash:
- In Point Reyes: Flower Power, Zuma, Black Mountain Artisans, Point Reyes Books, Station House Café, Cabaline Country Emporium and Saddlery, West Marin Community Services office, Point Reyes Hostel, Garden of Eden Apothecary, West Marin Pharmacy, Palace Market, Hearth and Harvest, Gallery Route One, Toby’s Feed Barn, View Points Gallery, and Epicenter; and at the farmer’s market: Wild West Ferments, Wedgewood Organic Baker, Wild Blue Farms, Paradise Valley farms;
- In Inverness Park at Perry’s Deli, Spirit Matters, and Abalone Inn;
- In Point Reyes National Seashore at Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm and the Bookstore at Park Headquarters;
- In Dogtown at Woodville Ranch;
- In Stinson Beach at Claudia Chapline Gallery, Crickets at the Beach, Flying Pig Ranch, Meristem, Parkside Cafe, Live Water Surf Shop, Sandpiper Lodging, Healing Arts Center, and at Stinson Beach Books;
- In Bolinas at Keith Hansen’s studio in the museum courtyard, Bolinas Bay Lumber Hardware & Landscape Supply, the Bolinas General Store, Bikeavore, Bolinas People’s Store, Bobolicious, Las Baulines Nursery, Odyssey Video, Parrots’ Cove, Coast Cafe, Smiley’s Bar, the Surf Shop, Bikes, Surf & Skate, and Chameleon.
- In Tomales at Tomales Deli and Cafe.
- In Marshall at The Marshall Store and Nick’s Cove, with more establishments coming on board every week.
Contact us if you want to be one of them!
If you are a local non-profit (therefore a potential beneficiary of this program), please notify your members about what we are doing. We’re happy to provide images and information for your website.