A Silent Spring?

Look around. Is there a particular scenic hillside you cherish, an old oak tree that provides you shade or lifts your spirits, a farm field filled with pumpkins you pass on your way home each fall? Perhaps there’s a local creek or wetland, colorful meadows of wildflowers or birdsongs that fill your heart each spring? What special outdoor space brings you joy or peace – or both?

Now imagine if it wasn’t there. That this was a silent spring.  

Keep reading for the full 2024 Earth Day message from Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. 

As weather patterns become more extreme, and the threat of sprawling development grows, the need for conserving our irreplaceable natural and working lands has never been more urgent. Scientists tell us that nature is 30 percent of the climate solution. We must look to nature and natural solutions to help lessen the impacts of wildfires, floods and drought.  

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Last week, I was in Washington D.C. meeting with policy makers about access to federal funding to support critically important conservation, restoration and public access projects here in Santa Clara Valley. Looking ahead, we see a growing gap between the funding that has fueled our conservation successes to-date and what will be needed to safeguard nature and local communities in the face of a changing climate. Driven by scientific research and strong community partnerships, we at the Open Space Authority recognize the invaluable role that landscapes like Coyote Valley play in supporting wildlife, water, food and the residents of Santa Clara Valley.  

As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. When we take the long view and protect open spaces today and keep them healthy, they protect us from the impacts of extreme weather and climate change. By caring for nature as infrastructure, nature can provide the important natural resources that we all depend on, now and forever.

Nature is truly the gift that keeps on giving.    

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While the word “infrastructure” isn’t usually associated with beauty or inspiration, in the case of nature, it is both of those and more.

The natural landscapes that are within and surround the Santa Clara Valley take care of us in countless ways – provided we take care of them. When we invest in nature and nature-based solutions, we reap enormous returns.  

That’s why the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is here, to do that work for your benefit. 

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Addressing these pressing issues demands a collective effort, and it’s not just the task of any single agency or organization to tackle the challenges ahead. It requires government, business, communities, and everyday citizens to each play a part in the solutions. 

The challenges of our time can only be resolved by working together. 

The time is now.  

Join us in this important work to protect, restore and invest in nature. Together we can take no-regrets actions to leave a more beautiful, healthy planet for future generations.  


Andrea Mackenzie

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April 22, 2024
For media inquiries contact:

Charlotte Graham

Public Information Officer