IMG 9679
Honoring the Legacy of Sandy Henn
by Laura Dannehl-Schickman
on March 19, 2024

Avid adventurer, outdoorswoman, and Land Trust Legacy member Sandra “Sandy” Henn passed away in July 2023 at the age of 81.

A long-time Santa Cruz resident, Sandy was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she formed her first connection to the outdoors by hiking and camping with her older brother. During the mid-1960s, Sandy, a young single mom of two, packed up her family and moved to Santa Cruz. Shortly after their arrival, Sandy found a small plot of land in Aptos, a few blocks away from Seacliff State Beach, where she built a small home for herself, her children, and their canine companions (an animal lover, Sandy always had a dog by her side). She worked for years as an x-ray technician at Watsonville Community Hospital, but her thirst for adventure led her abroad for months at a time, traveling to Australia, Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

To know Sandy was to experience her love and passion for the outdoors. To celebrate her 60th birthday, Sandy and her women’s running group climbed Mount Whitney in a single day. Not just your average trail runner, Sandy regularly participated in marathons and half marathons. She could be found almost every weekend running her favorite trails through The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park with friends Katherine Beiers, Sue Casey, Deborah Hansen, and Kaitilin Gaffney— running races into her 70s.

Sandy was also a fierce advocate for conservation and didn’t shy away from participating in local land use battles, working with organizations like the Sierra Club, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and Citizens for the Preservation of The Forest of Nisene Marks Park.

Sandy was a woman who lived life to the fullest and on her own terms. We are honored that as part of her legacy, she chose to support our work to protect, care for, and connect all people to the vibrant natural and working lands that are essential for our community and nature to thrive together for generations to come.


If you would like to learn more about the Land Trust Legacy Circle, you can read more on our website or by reaching out to Laura Dannehl-Schickman, Land Trust Development and Communications Director, 831-588-8209 /