The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is proud to celebrate 30 years of protecting nature together, forever. It was 1993, when ordinary citizens, local elected leaders and the California State Legislature joined together to form a new special district and public land conservation agency in Santa Clara County whose mission would be to balance growth by creating a permanent Santa Clara Valley Greenbelt of protected natural and agricultural lands.
In this 30th year, the Open Space Authority will have conserved 30,000 acres of open space including sixteen agricultural and natural resource conservation easements covering 5,146 acres. In 2023, the Open Space Authority’s network of conserved lands will expand by approximately 5,000 acres at Tilton Ranch, on Coyote Ridge and in the Coyote Valley. The Open Space Authority will also open a new open space preserve to the public in 2023- the 1,831 acre Máyyan 'Ooyákma – Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve in the Diablo Range overlooking San José, Morgan Hill and the Coyote Valley. We are honored to partner with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area in the naming of this preserve and to create inclusive educational signage and interpretive programming about this remarkable landscape.
With this addition, the Open Space Authority’s public trail system will grow to 33 miles across Sierra Vista, Coyote Valley, Coyote Ridge and Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserves, connecting people to nature through hiking, bicycling, equestrian use, and outdoor educational programs. To make these achievements possible, the Open Space Authority worked hard to leverage its modest voter-approved parcel tax for maximum public benefit, bringing in a total of $154 million of additional outside funding, a dollar-for-dollar match to our Measure Q and Measure T revenues. The Open Space Authority continues strengthening the connection to nature for the Valley’s diverse neighborhoods and communities through awards totaling over $13 million in Urban Open Space Grants to community-based organizations and cities to create local parks, trails, community gardens, and support for multi-lingual environmental education programs.
Kat Hill, Volunteer Programs Coordinator, at the Authority, always knew she wanted to work in the outdoors. Growing up in the Mojave desert of southern California, surrounded by Joshua trees and the unique desert terrain, nature felt like home to her from an early age.
Everyone deserves access to healthy, nutritious food. When you shop for locally grown produce, you help support local farmers, your health, and you also reduce your carbon footprint! Keep reading to learn which fruits and vegetables are in season this winter plus a cozy recipe idea to help it all come together.
It’s salamander season, when California tiger salamanders are returning to their ponds to breed.
Santa Clara Valley is teeming with wildlife that depend on open spaces to survive and thrive. In honor of the holiday season, we’re making a list and checking it twice to see which wild animals are naughty or nice.
In 2022, volunteers completed over 230 trail patrols on bike, foot, and horseback, as they welcomed visitors to preserves, reported trail conditions and wildlife sightings, and supported critical field operations. They also contributed over 600 hours towards facilitating public enjoyment of our preserves, including helping during busy spring hours, and supporting large-scale events such as Open Access Days at Máyyan 'Ooyákma – Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve and Diablo Foothills, and Earth Week celebrations in Coyote Valley. By the end of 2022, the hard work of volunteers are expected to total over 3,900 hours towards our mission informed projects!
In October 2022, the Open Space Authority partnered with Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) to host an educational field trip in Coyote Valley through the Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW) program. Over the course of a few hours, around 90 fifth graders from San Martin/Gwinn Environmental Science Academy built direct-seed cages for acorn plantings and learned how oak trees contribute to a healthy watershed.
The Open Space Authority celebrates the addition of 80 acres to Croy Redwoods Preserve. This is thanks to a generous property donation from the Bay family, who owned and enjoyed these lands for over 50 years. “It is our honor and pleasure to preserve this beautiful landscape for future generations of public enjoyment and habitat,” says John Bay, of the Bay family, regarding the donation.
In late 2021, the Open Space Authority -- in partnership with the State of California Department of Conservation through the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation program (SALC), Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and the Santa Clara County Planning Department -- protected sixty acres of prime farmland at Laguna Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard in the middle of Coyote Valley (also known as Mid Coyote Valley).
The property became known as “Laguna 60.”
November is a time for gratitude, with holidays approaching and the beginning of a new year. As we reflect on the people, places, and experiences that bring us joy, here’s a reminder of all the amazing benefits the open spaces of the Santa Clara Valley provide. May this list inspire you to move through the holidays with gratitude, love, and respect for....
- 30th Anniversary Message from the General Manager
- Staff Spotlight - Meet Kat Hill
- Winter Produce Guide
- Winter Wildlife: California Tiger Salamander
- Naughty and Nice Wildlife
- Celebrating Open Space Volunteers
- Fifth Graders Become Oak Tree Heroes
- Croy Redwoods Preserve Update
- Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch Connects Community to Local Agriculture on Open Space Authority Lands
- Seven Reasons to be Thankful For Nature