One of the best spots for birdwatching in Santa Clara County is the Coyote Valley. The open spaces in and around Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve include important habitat for wildlife including more than 220 species of resident and migratory birds.
Two purchases preserve and protect important South Bay watershed lands, connect multiple parks and preserves
At the Open Space Authority, our love and understanding of the Santa Clara Valley – with its sweeping views, oak woodlands, grasslands, rare species, bubbling creeks, and working farms – is what inspires us to ensure that future generations will have open space to love.
Each Spring, the foothills of our open space preserves see a magnificent and colorful wildflower bloom. Accompanying these wildflowers, Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve also hosts the emergence of the rare and endangered Bay checkerspot butterfly. This beautiful orange, black, and white butterfly -- checker-patterned as its name suggests -- is a local celebrity, since its range is largely limited to Coyote Ridge. This unique display of butterflies and wildflowers also brings out our knowledgeable docents and staff to lead members of the public on special hikes for the chance to experience this precious unique environment. This season, now coming to a close, provided over 850 visitors the opportunity to connect with their open spaces and learn about native wildflowers.
If you missed Coyote Ridge, don’t worry, there are still wildflowers at our other open space preserves!
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to keep our trails and open spaces safe and accessible for the community, to prevent erosion of soils so they support native plant growth, and for the safe passage of wildlife. Much of this is done by the Authority’s Field Operations team, a small, dedicated group who do whatever it takes make sure that 22,000 acres of open space land are maintained, every day of the year.
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.
Protecting open spaces and grasslands is important to all of us, but for some local wildlife, it’s a matter of life or death.
The Open Space Authority is excited to share updates in the quest to protect the Coyote Valley wildlife linkage between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range. The Authority and its partners at the Wilmers Lab at UC Santa Cruz, Peninsula Open Space Trust, and Pathways for Wildlife, started the Bobcat and Gray Fox Connectivity Study last spring and are wrapping up the final field season now with a total of 22 bobcats collared so far! Fitting the bobcats with advanced GPS-collars is generating fine-scale movement data and information that will be vital to informing planners on how these animals are moving in Coyote Valley.
A year ago, the Loma Fire, one of Santa Clara County’s most destructive wildfires on record took hold of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This massive fire burned for two weeks across more than 4,400 acres, including 2,000 acres of Authority lands. The fire destroyed homes, sensitive wildlife habitat, and native vegetation.
A year later, the charred landscape is again showing signs of life.
- Summer Sunrise Photography in the Preserves
- The Loma Fire: Two Years Later
- Urban Open Space Corner - September 2018
- Join us in October for the Diablo Foothills Walk, Bike, and Ride Open Weekends
- Join the Junior Open Space Explorers Program
- 25 Years of Protecting Open Space: Interview with Founding Leader, John Gibbs
- 25 Years of Protecting Open Space: Interview with Founding Leader, Garnetta Annable
- 25 Years of Protecting Open Space: Interview with Founding Leader, Mike Honda
- Connecting People to Nature: Authority Board Approves Public Access Projects
- New Open Space Explorers Summer Day Program