Over the last few decades, the population of breeding western burrowing owls has declined in Santa Clara County. Burrowing owls have been documented spending the winter in our parks and open space preserves, but these winter migrants do not stay into the summer to breed. Local researchers are testing a new conservation strategy – building burrows for these owls that might attract them to stay year-round.
As we get closer to Halloween, images of bats are all around. These mysterious flying mammals have been the subject of superstitions, folklore, and fear. They have also been touted as pests or unclean.
In reality there is nothing to fear about these animals. They are shy, intelligent creatures that play a vital and underappreciated role in our ecosystem and economy.
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.
- Our Open Spaces Provide Us with Benefits Valued up to $12.6 Billion
- 2nd Annual Freshman Volunteer Day with The Harker School
- Building Homes for Burrowing Owls
- #OptOutside - It's Good for Your Health!
- Nature as Infrastructure
- Progress, Partnerships, and the Path Forward: 25 Years of Protecting Open Spaces
- In Search of Bats!
- Coyote Valley: Santa Clara Valley's Green Infrastructure
- Proposition 3 – the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018
- Summer Sunrise Photography in the Preserves