Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Awards over $910K for Local Environmental Programming during 30th Anniversary Year

San José, CA (May 19, 2023) – The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to award over $910k in Measure Q and Measure T grant funding to 13 local organizations for the Program category of the 2022 - 2023 cycle of the Urban Grant Program.

This competitive grant program, funded by Measure Q and Measure T, was created in 2016 to address the needs of urban communities, including areas that currently have limited access to preserves and parks. The grant program aims to fund projects that will improve health and quality of life by increasing access to nature for urban residents including parks, trails, urban community gardens, environmental education programs, and much more.

This round of grant funding was awarded to Valley Verde, San Jose State University Research Foundation, Santa Clara Unified School District, San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School, Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet, Garden to Table Silicon Valley, Green Foothills, Saved by Nature, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, City of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department Veggielution, Earth Island Institute - Bay Area Wilderness Training, and the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council for a variety of environmental programs.

This brings the total number of grants awarded by the Open Space Authority through both of its grant programs to 78, with a total of over $13M in grant funding to schools, cities, nonprofits organizations, and more to create urban open spaces, promote educational opportunities, and improve the quality of life for residents.

The 2023 cycle of the grant program was partially reimagined, categorizing the awards into Program projects and Capital projects, each with its own set of guidelines and application timelines. This was one of many updates implemented this year to increase ease and equity for the applicants.

The Program Projects category includes classes, trainings, curriculum-building, special events, program development, and other impactful community services that help connect people living in urban areas to nature and help them understand why it’s so important to protect nature. The grants for the Capital Projects, which include the planning and/or implementation of long-lasting improvements, restoration, or enhancement that bring nature to urban areas will be announced in July 2023.

"Our Urban Grant Program implements a key part of the Open Space Authority’s mission – to connect people to nature through parks, open space, public access, and environmental programming. As we celebrate the Open Space Authority’s 30th anniversary, we are proud to continue our partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, cities and the County to create more nature in neighborhoods and enhance livable communities for all,” said Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager of the Open Space Authority.

Past grant funding has supported a variety of organizations and projects working to provide access to nature, promote access to healthy foods, offer educational opportunities for youth, and much more.

Helen Chapman, Chair of the Open Space Authority Board of Directors, expressed her appreciation for the grantees and their work. “As we work to connect our residents with nature, these organizations are out there doing the same," she notes. "They are working directly with the community and are making an impact that is palpable with each class day, each urban garden activity, each planted seed. We look forward to seeing what these organizations accomplish in the coming years."

The Program grant recipients have two years to use the grant funding to complete their project, and the Open Space Authority looks forward to the work these organizations will do in the months to come. For more information about the Urban Grant Program click here.



Funding Awarded 

Valley Verde 

San Jose Food Sovereignty 


San Jose State University Research Foundation 

CommUniverCity SJSU’s Growing Sustainably: Engaging k-8 Students in Wildlife Appreciation, Green STEM Careers, and Climate Resilience 


Santa Clara Unified School District 

Pomeroy Sustainable Harvests and Investing in Nature Education (SHINE) 


San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School 

San Jose Conservation Corps Naturalist Program 


Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet 

You(th) Be the Change: Connecting Climate Change and Nature Education 


Garden to Table Silicon Valley 

Growing our Urban Roots Youth Education Program 


Green Foothills 

Green Foothills – Healing in Nature 


Saved by Nature 

Cultural Competency Project (CCP) 


Guadalupe River Park Conservancy 

Love the Guadalupe River Park Two-Year Public Programs Pilot 


City of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department 

Urban Gardening Initiative – Container Gardening 



Urban Grower Network 


Earth Island Institute – Bay Area Wilderness Training 

Outdoor Leadership Trainings for South Bay Educators and Families 


Bay Area Ridge Trail Council 

Very Important Trails Access: Connecting Communities to Máyyan 'Ooyákma - Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve 


To watch the recording of the award announcements, click here

May 23, 2023
For media inquiries contact:

Charlotte Graham

Public Information Officer