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 is a small agency with a big mission and we need to work with like-minded organizations to accomplish our goals. In 2017 the Authority is proud to have increased our work with community partners to conserve land, restore landscapes, connect people to nature, and sustain our natural resources for future generations.
The Open Space Authority is kicking off its 25th Anniversary Year in 2018! The Authority began in 1993 as a grassroots effort by citizen activists wanting to protect Santa Clara Valley’s important natural resources. We started as a small agency with an important role to play and have since grown into a diverse organization with greater capacity to make progress on our mission of conserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature. Measure Q has provided further opportunity to fulfill our mission by enabling us to expand public access to nature in and around our urban communities, increase our environmental education programming, and help us maintain our open space preserves for public enjoyment.
San Jose, CA - December 18, 2017: The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority's Board of Directors approved a new Measure Q Environmental Education Grant Program designed to advance environmental literacy and nature-oriented experiences for children, adults, and families free of charge. This competitive grant program is funded by Measure Q, a voter-approved Open Space funding measure and invites proposals for nature and science-based environmental education programs and youth engagement projects in one or more of these categories:
If you’ve traveled east to Los Banos, then chances are you’ve driven the narrow Highway 152. In 2014, Caltrans completed a big task to widen the highway to include an additional 2 lanes in certain sections. In order to complete the project, Caltrans committed to mitigating for the loss of riparian habitat during construction and the Open Space Authority’s Diablo Foothills Open Space Preserve was the perfect location.
Open Space Authority Kicks Off Second Annual Measure Q Urban Open Space Grant Program
Grant application deadline is January 12, 2018
San Jose, CA - November 1, 2017: The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is kicking off its Second Annual Measure Q Urban Open Space Grant Program, designed to connect more people throughout its jurisdiction with the many benefits of nature. This competitive grant program is funded by Measure Q and provides funding for projects in one or more of these categories:
- Environmental Stewardship and Restoration
- Parks, Trails, and Public Access
- Environmental Education
- Urban Agriculture/Food Systems
SAN MARTIN — As fourth-generation men of the earth, the Bonino brothers know their picked profession isn’t for everyone.
Their century-old LJB Farms has been around since long before the term “Silicon Valley” was coined, but it’s now an outlier in Santa Clara County, a throwback to days when it was known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight.
The 2016 Loma Fire, which burned over 2,000 acres of the Open Space Authority’s lands, caused state and local agencies to incur significant costs - including substantial costs to the Authority during and after the fire. But in terms of economic impacts, often overlooked are the fire-related costs to the health and sustainability of our communities that stem from loss of vital ecosystem service benefits.
Preserving farmland has many benefits, including decreasing the carbon emissions associated with urban development. A recent $100,000 grant was awarded to the County of Santa Clara, in partnership with the Open Space Authority, that will identify and protect at-risk agricultural lands in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emission. “If agriculture is to survive in South County,” says Andrea Mackenzie, Open Space Authority General Manager, “we need an innovative action plan. The time is now to align plans, programs, policies and investment affecting undeveloped agricultural lands and demonstrate that conserving farmland from development is a critically important climate change strategy.”
by Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager
Published in the San Jose Mercury News on June 13, 2014
- Measure Q Urban Open Space Corner - April 2018
- Celebrating 25 Years of Conserving the Santa Clara Valley
- Whipping in the Rain
- South County Agriculture Profile: North Pajaro River Agricultural Preserve Restoration Success
- Measure Q Urban Open Space Corner - March 2018
- Where to View Wildflowers
- Open Space Authority Preserves First Redwood Property, Gifted by McPhee Family
- Burrowing Owls Need Open Space
- New Funding to Support Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve Habitat Restoration and Preservation Projects
- Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan Adopted