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August 2018

25 Years: Founding Voices

To honor the Open Space Authority's 25th Anniversary, we are celebrating just a few of our key community leaders who worked so hard to establish this agency and get it up and running. We've interviewed these founders to get their perspective on the history of this unique agency and the lessons they learned in protecting our open spaces.

Mike_honda Mike Honda
Former US Congressman and Santa Clara County Supervisor
Garnetta Garnetta Annable
Founding Board Member and current Citizens' Advisory Committee member
John Gibbs

John Gibbs
Former County Board of Supervisors District 1 Chief of Staff

The Open Space Authority is grateful to ALL our founders and the citizen activists who helped this agency begin 25 years ago. Thanks to their vision and tireless work, the Authority has grown into a diverse organization with greater capacity to make progress on our mission of conserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature.

Blast Off Into Nature With Our Space Guardians!

Space Rangers

Our Field Staff have some very down-to-earth responsibilities that involve the preservation and guardianship of our open spaces as well helping the public, from providing interpretive information and answering questions, to monitoring the trails to help ensure public safety. As you can see in the photo above, they like to have a lot of fun and look forward to meeting you out on the trails. Be sure to stop by and say hello the next time you see them! Or you can join one of our upcoming “Hike with Field Staff” outings on August 17 & 27 - register here!

If you know any kids that want to get outside this month, we’re excited to introduce the next series in our Junior Open Space Explorers Program. This summer day program to help kids learn about nature and the work our Field Staff does. This program will run Monday through Thursday, August 13-16, from 9 to 11 am. It’s flexible, come to one day or come to them all!

  • Day 1: Meet the Head Open Space Explorer!
  • Day 2: Meet their Gear - Tools and Trucks
  • Day 3: The Benefits & Dangers of Fire
  • Day 4: Open Space Explorers' Hobbies and Interests

Learn more about each day's activities and register here.

Connecting People to Nature: Authority Board Approves Public Access Projects

20130318_UTC_Malech Road_40-1View overlooking future parking lot area at Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve

The Open Space Authority manages and maintains a network of over 22,000 acres of open space lands. These open spaces provide opportunities to protect and restore important habitats and natural resources balanced with public access. Through a new guided tour program, the Authority will provide the public a chance to learn more about the lands that are on their way to becoming open space preserves. These tours will allow the public guided access while we determine the best longer-term access plan for each preserve.

Little UvasBehind the scenes tour of Little Uvas

In addition to providing these tours, the Authority’s Board recently approved the 2018-2019 workplan that highlights projects for increased public access on the preserves. We’re excited to announce a few of the public access projects that we will focus on this year:

  • Coyote Ridge: Planning and design for Phase 1 of public access improvements, including the initial construction of an accessible parking lot and interpretive trail at the Malech Road entrance, providing unparalleled views of the city and Coyote Valley.
  • Rancho Cañada del Oro: Planning and engineering for a pedestrian bridge over Llagas Creek, near the current parking lot, allowing visitors to traverse an old ranch road and reach the southern portion of the preserve known as the Blair Ranch.
  • Coyote Valley: Creating enhanced public access with the addition of an accessible trail and interpretive station in the north meadow area to highlight adjacent habitat and restoration projects.

The bulk of these projects are expected to be completed in 2020 and 2021, so be on the lookout for more information and an opportunity to review plans and designs along the way. Learn more about these and other public access projects here.

Who Am I?


am a flying nocturnal animal with beige fur, big ears, and a wingspan of 15-16 inches! Because I spend the winter hibernating with my colony, summer is the best time to see me, right after sunset. I fly low to the ground in order to spot insects and other small prey to eat.

 25 Years:

Looking Back

Coyote Valley Sunset - BA

This year we’re celebrating our 25th Anniversary Year – a quarter century of working to protect Santa Clara Valley’s natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature. Each month, we’ll be featuring some of the important moments and achievements from our history. Here are some things that happened in August:

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve opened to the public in 2014

This 1,611-acre preserve located in the eastern foothills of Santa Clara County offers sweeping views over the Santa Clara Valley, watershed protection for Penitencia Creek, and protected habitat for the threatened California red-legged frog, burrowing owls, mountain lions, and more.

Coyote Valley becomes interpretive site for the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail in 2015

On August 13, 2015 the National Park Service certified the Arrowhead Loop Trail at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve as an official interpretive site of the historic Juan Bautista de Anza Trail. This certification recognizes the rich historical significance of the Coyote Valley and allows for joint programming by the Authority and National Park Service about where the expedition traveled.

Painting in the Preserve


Saturday, August 25, 2018
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Join guest artist Edward Rooks at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve for a family-friendly lesson in painting the great outdoors. We will provide the art supplies, you bring your own chair and sense of adventure. NO experience required - all skill levels welcome. Paint the beautiful views and take your painting home with you!


Celebrating Our Volunteers


On Saturday, July 14 the Authority hosted the annual Volunteer Appreciation party to thank our volunteers for their dedication to protecting open spaces and sharing their love of nature with our community. More than 50 volunteers came, sharing an afternoon of laughs and fun with staff.

Want to join our volunteer team? Find out more here!

Who Am I? Answer


I am the Pallid Bat. I live in groups of up to 100 bats. My babies that were born in the spring are already able to fly on their own by August.

Photo Credits

Mike Honda - Mike Honda
Garnetta Annable - Dana Litwin, OSA Staff
John Gibbs - Marc Landgraf, OSA Staff
Open Space Staff- Alisha Maniglia, OSA Staff
Coyote Ridge - Derek Neumann, OSA Staff
Little Uvas - Ron Horii, OSA Volunteer
Pallid Bat - CDFW
Sierra Vista - Bill Adams, OSA Volunteer
Painting - Teri Rogoway, OSA Staff
Volunteer Party - Ron Horii, OSA Volunteer

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | 408.224.7476 |