From last month’s youth-led Global Climate Strike, to the sobering new UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, the issue of climate change has been a steady presence in the news and at the top of mind for many of us recently. Climate change is increasing the frequency, severity, and unpredictability of storms, flooding, drought, and wildfire. As we have seen, the recurring economic and social costs of responding to these disasters are immense. This renewed attention couldn’t come soon enough as climate experts warn that time is running out to take action.
Santa Clara County, CA (Sept. 17, 2019) - The Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan (Ag Plan) has been selected by the American Planning Association (APA) California Chapter as the winner of the statewide 2019 Innovation in Green Community Planning Award of Excellence. The award honors efforts to create more sustainable and green communities that reduce impacts on the natural environment and improves environmental quality.
Community Connections highlights the many leaders, partners, and neighbors who make a difference in our community. This month we are featuring Luís Urias, a vegetable farmer currently working the land at the Open Space Authority’s Pajaro River Agricultural Preserve.
Community Connections highlights the many leaders, partners, and neighbors who make a difference in our community. This month we are featuring Clayton Koopmann, cattle rancher and rangeland ecologist/rangeland management specialist
Coyote Valley Conservation Program Bill Introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra Lays the Groundwork for a More Climate Resilient Future
AB 948 highlights statewide importance of protecting Coyote Valley
As part of its core mission, the Open Space Authority has taken a lead role in identifying and preserving the important agricultural lands in the Santa Clara Valley. With National Ag Week (March 10-16) and National Ag Day (March 14), we are taking the opportunity to celebrate the great efforts and partnerships that are helping the Authority identify ways to support the environmental and economic viability of the Valley’s agriculture.
Just as we invest in traditional urban infrastructure, like transportation and waste and water treatment, strategic investments in natural infrastructure can also provide many valuable benefits to our urban communities. Nature as Infrastructure refers to recognizing and protecting the natural ecological processes which provide us with a multitude of important “services” that include flood protection, reducing greenhouse gases, food supply, increasing resilience to climate change, and promoting the health and safety of both human and natural communities.
The North Pajaro River Agricultural Preserve is a pivotal conservation focus area that has undergone phenomenal changes as it gets a step closer to becoming active agricultural land once again. The 100.6-acre preserve lies within the Soap Lake Floodplain and is bordered by Llagas and Jones Creeks.
Many may not be aware that Santa Clara County still has 24,000 acres of farmland that generates 8,100 jobs and $830 million in economic output. However, in the past 30 years alone, the County lost 21,171 acres of farmland and rangeland to development and an additional 28,391 acres are currently at risk of being developed. If we lose more of our farmland, it would not only diminish our local food source, but also result in a loss of the iconic rural character of Santa Clara Valley, the loss of important jobs and farms central to our agricultural economy, and would generate significant greenhouse gas emissions.
The Open Space Authority uses cattle grazing as a management tool to enhance the native biodiversity of California’s rare grasslands and oak savannas that support many native plants and animals, including endangered species. Grasslands have become rare due to development, and the remaining protected grasslands are under threat from invasive plant species. Invasive plants outcompete native plants for resources and suppressing natural wildfires have caused many shrubs and trees to establish themselves in grasslands. In the absence of fire or grazing, litter accumulates on the soil and can become fuel for extreme fires.
- Season’s (Green) Greetings: How to Celebrate Sustainably this Holiday Season
- Growing Into the Future: Veggielution’s “Roots Down” Program, San Jose
- High School Students Lend a Hand to Protect Open Space
- Learning How Bobcats Move Through Coyote Valley
- Seizing a Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Preserve San Jose's Last Great Landscape, Coyote Valley
- Community Connections - Artists of Coyote Valley
- Acting Locally to Fight Climate Change
- Celebrate Fall in the Santa Clara Valley!
- Nature: A Prescription for Mental Health
- Ag Plan Receives Top Award from American Planning Association