Note: to be updated; population stats are per Mendocino County - and thank you Vale Wippert, Cartographer - as of 10-11-2007, followed by earlier data 10+ years old. Thank goodness we are "slow growth". Now there's a new, 2010 census either in hyperextended completion (we heard from them a lot this year, how 'bout you?) process or ready and on its way to us. Results soon.
The quality of life on the Mendocino Coast - in my opinion - is unsurpassed. The air is very clean - there is no land mass upwind nor industry that generates significant effluent - and it is freshened by the Pacific Ocean. Our environment is pristine, well preserved, and sustains abundant wildlife. The density of population is very low. People are receptive to new ideas, and are independent while maintaining affinity and involvement in support of community. There is much love here, and like everywhere, there is also room for more positivity, kindness, mindful awareness and progress in spirit and deed.
This is a great place to retreat, heal, be single, be coupled, be married, grow up, raise children, work hard if you want to; be an entrepreneur, an artist; telecommute, use as a home base, to learn, to leave and then return to, to simply be or to live simply.
If you like the outdoors, there's plenty of that here. Canoeing, running, mountain biking or road riding, tennis, golf, swimming, kayaking, diving, fishing, hiking, walking, mushroom picking, horseback riding, sitting on the beach or gazing up into the forest canopy is all just outside your door. Similarly there is plenty for a person to do in art, theater, music, education and community service indoors year round.
There is ample room for the do-it-yourselfers who want to be off the grid, build their own home with wood they have cut and milled on their own property, have a big organic garden and develop a spring and gravity feed water system.
Mendocino Coast schools are great and offer small class size, alternatives to traditional curriculum, enthusiastic teachers and administrators, college preparatory support, excellent participation and support from the community, scholarships, a College of the Redwoods community College and "Distinguished Schools" in both Mendocino and Fort Bragg. There is at least one local private school. Many locals exercise the option of home schooling their children with favorable results.
Mendocino schools recently (1999) rated in the top 10 percent in the state.
Mendocino County Office of Education also enhances areas of study at the schools countywide through the Regional Occupational Programs (R.O.P.) which develop vocational skills such as computer training, electronics, horticulture, audio electronics, and video technology.
R.O.P. programs are available to people of all ages and walks of life at an extremely low cost.
Mendocino High School offers four paths of study and consistently graduates 80% of its students into fine colleges and universities world wide. Students and teachers greet each other on a first name basis and there is a strong element of trust - there are no locks on the lockers.
There is a world renowned fine woodworking program here at The College of the Redwoods directed by Krenov.
Having been to some great schools I wish I could do "it" over again here. Great opportunities for kids and "grownups" alike!
The arts are alive and well here, flourishing in fact. There are Symphonies, a very popular music festival, theater groups, numerous galleries, a well established Art Center in Mendocino offering classes year round, and a strong community of artists enjoying good support from the population at large. The Mendocino Coast can be considered an artist's colony.
Ceramicists, Sculptors, Writers, Painters, Actors, Musicians, Singers, Dancers, Printers, Photographers, Wood Artists, Builders, Architects, Weavers, Glass Artists, Jewelers, Metal Artists, Boatbuilders, Toy makers, Game Inventors, Collectors, Interior Designers, Illustrators, Chefs, Instrument Makers, Producers of Films and Sound Recordings, Songwriters, Graphic Artists, Computer Engineers, Furniture Makers, Herbalists, Crafts People, and those of us that are developing our vocations - and vacations - as an art form are just a few of the Artists In Residence.
Some of the above Artists are quite famous. More, probably, are quite happy if not striving for same.