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.
Springtime brings green hills and spectacular displays of wildflowers to our open spaces. One of the most common questions we get this time of year is where visitors can go to see the best wildflowers in our preserves.
An invasive species is any organism, a plant, animal, fungus, or bacteria, that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm to the environment, economy, or human health. These non-native organisms pose a major challenge for our open spaces, threatening biodiversity and the complex web of relationships between native plants and animals. Climate change exacerbates these threats by making it possible for previously incompatible species to survive in our new environment. National Invasive Species Awareness Week is February 25 - March 1, 2019, so we wanted to share some of the threats invasive species pose to our preserves and the efforts our land management team makes to identify these threats and limit their spread.
The Open Space Authority has recently been recognized and funded for our bold work linking nature based solutions and collaborative conservation to climate resilience and for connecting the protection of agricultural lands from sprawl as a climate-smart planning effort. Learn more about these awards and grants below.
After a long, dry year our winter storms bring much-needed hydration to our natural environment, but they take a toll on the constructed features of our preserves. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make sure the preserves stay safe for visitors and the trails can stay open year-round.
On Friday, November 30, 2018, the Open Space Authority along with the City of San Jose unveiled the first wildlife crossing signage along Monterey Road in Coyote Valley.
Councilmember Sergio Jimenez has been a champion for wildlife connectivity in Coyote Valley and led the way to secure funding to install the signs. The Councilmember led the day's festivities which included remarks from:
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.
For the second year in a row, the freshman class at The Harker School participated in the Authority’s largest Land Steward service day at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. Over 200 students and staff spent the day helping with trail maintenance and joining in several environmental educational lessons.
A growing body of research finds that being outdoors, in open space, can have significant benefits to your physical and mental health. In the 1970’s, noted biologist E.O. Wilson shared the hypothesis that humans have an instinctual love of nature, an idea he called “biophilia.” In more recent decades, neuroscientists have started to find support for these theories in studies of the brain.
Just as we invest in traditional urban infrastructure, like transportation and waste and water treatment, strategic investments in nature or green infrastructure can also provide many valuable benefits to our urban communities. These benefits include flood protection, reducing greenhouse gases, increasing access to food, and resilience to climate change for both human and natural communities.
- Celebrate California Wildlife by Protecting Open Space - and More
- Growing Efforts to Protect Agriculture in the Santa Clara Valley
- Students Brave the Cold & Explore Careers in Open Space Protection
- Where to View Wildflowers 2019
- New Barrett Creek Property in the Santa Cruz Mountains Transferred to the Authority
- Urban Open Space & Environmental Education Corner – February 2019
- Tackling Invasive Species in the Preserves
- Urban Open Space & Environmental Education Corner – January 2019
- Partnering to Leverage Conservation Funding
- We're Rockin' Out In Nature!