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January 2020

Open Space Authority Projects Awarded over $1.7M in Grant Funding

It’s a wonderful day for open space: three important Open Space Authority projects have been awarded a total of $1,779,394 through the Priority Conservation Area (PCA) Grant Program! This competitive grant program provides funding to agencies to acquire, enhance, or improve regionally significant open space lands, referred to as "Priority Conservation Areas." Funding is provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the State Coastal Conservancy.

hikers - ron horii 2Phase 1 of Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve Public Access
A PCA grant of $400,000 has been awarded to the Authority for Phase 1 of Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve Public Access. This project will enable visitor access to the spectacular 1,832-acre preserve and the construction of an important regional connection of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. With the PCA grant and additional funding, the project will protect rare habitat and sensitive species while providing high-quality recreation and education opportunities for visitors.
Learn more about our plans for this first phase of public access at Coyote Ridge here.

PRAP - Derek NeumannEnhancing climate resilience and connectivity in the Pajaro River Watershed
A PCA grant of $379,394 has been awarded to Point Blue Conservation Science to partner with the Authority and the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency to enhance and restore critical riparian habitat on the Authority’s 183-acre South Pajaro River Agricultural Preserve. Restoring the area will connect two million acres of critical habitat for wildlife and provide rich habitat for rare species, such as the Least Bell’s Vireo (an endangered songbird) and the Western monarch butterfly.
This project will also support the current farming on the property, help to capture carbon from the atmosphere, and improve water quality benefits. Additionally, the restoration efforts will connect local communities to open space by engaging students, teachers, and others through the hands-on Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) program.

CVAL - Landscape - D.Nuemann - 02-27-2015 - 19

Open Space Land Acquisition
A PCA grant of $1 million has been awarded in support of the acquisition and permanent protection of important open space land in the Santa Clara Valley. This project will allow the Authority to protect and restore critical wildlife habitats and ecosystems, preserve important watersheds, provide recreational opportunities for people to enjoy nature close to home, and support local agriculture through the protection of farming and grazing lands.

Through the hard work and dedication of our Land Conservation & Planning team and agency partners, these grant funds will aid the Authority’s continued commitment to conserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature for future generations!

Learn more about these three projects here.

New Funding Helps San Jose Expand Parks and Low-Income Housing


While the Open Space Authority always works to protect and promote open space, one program is letting the agency do this while also helping the City of San Jose address its growing housing crisis.

Last March, the Authority awarded a $300,000 grant to the City of San Jose to help them transfer an undeveloped 1.42 acre parcel owned by the Housing Department to the Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services department to be used for new park space. This grant was funded by the Authority’s 20% Funding Program, which helps participating cities and Santa Clara County create parks and open space within their own jurisdictions.

The site, known as Sycamore Terrace, 15520 Almaden Expressway, was originally intended to be used for low and moderate income housing. However over time, as the site became less ideal for housing due to its proximity to Guadalupe Creek and other factors, Councilmember Johnny Khamis and staff at San Jose’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services explored whether the property would be better suited for use as a park, and this was ultimately the direction chosen. The grant allowed the City to transfer the property’s full appraised value of $1,237,000 to the Housing Department’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund (LMIHAF), to put toward much-needed housing elsewhere.

IMG_6065This property, located between Guadalupe Creek and Almaden Lake, is a prime location for both expanded recreation and habitat restoration. It’s accessible from Almaden Lake Regional Park’s parking lot via the new Coleman Road underpass, and adjacent to both the Guadalupe River Trail and the Lake Almaden Trail. The City has not yet designed the future park, but states that it will be consistent with the Authority’s definition of outdoor recreation and environmentally compatible development. In addition, the Authority was granted a conservation easement, ensuring the property remains protected as open space forever.

“We are thrilled to be able to help the City expand park space and provide access to nature, while helping the City of San Jose address other high priority community issues,” said Megan Dreger, Grants Administrator for the Open Space Authority.

Read more about Sycamore Terrace here.

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Improve Your Environmental Wellness

SVIS - Hiker - M.Chesebrough - 09-22-2018As the new year lies ahead of us, we’ve been thinking about ways we can make positive changes for ourselves and our natural environment. Looking for a New Year’s resolution that will make a difference in your life and in our community? Here are some ideas!

Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride in nature

Go beyond the typical fitness New Year’s resolution. This year, commit to immersing yourself in nature to get physically fit while reducing stress and improving your mental health. One way to make sure you succeed in your commitment to getting outside is to sign up for the free events that the Authority hosts every month. View our events calendar or sign up for our email list to get the full list of events delivered to your inbox. Or, plan a trip on your own or with friends or family! Find our list of trail maps for local parks and open spaces here.

Volunteer to help protect and care for natural and urban open space in the Santa Clara Valley

This year, consider dedicating some time to protect nature and our open spaces! There's no shortage of ways you can support this important work through Authority volunteer opportunities. From habitat restoration to community outreach, check out Authority volunteer opportunities here! On February 1, we will be holding training for anyone interested in our Community Outreach, Trail Patrol, and Preserve Steward volunteer programs. Register for the training here, and join our open space team!

Grow your own food and/or support local farmers

This year, commit to growing food and buying directly from farmers. The Masters Gardeners of Santa Clara County offers several programs to help support home gardeners, from new to experienced. You can also stop by their Martial Cottle Park Community Education Center and demonstration garden for seasonal garden inspiration and to ask their experienced volunteers for advice. Beyond the home garden, support local farmers by shopping at farm stands and farmer’s markets to buy seasonal and locally-grown produce. Make a visit this season to the weekly markets in the Santa Clara Valley.

Check out our full list of New Year's Resolution ideas here!

Who Am I?

Margaret Mantor (CDFW)-2

I am a native amphibian named for my white or yellow stripes on my black body. During the dry months, I live underground in burrows made by other animals, such as ground squirrels. When the wet season begins, I migrate to ponds to breed. Who am I?

Full Moon Viewing at Sierra Vista

2015-07-01.Sierra Vista OSP.Shoot the Moon-8859

Saturday, February 8
4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Join the Open Space Authority for a family-friendly viewing of February’s full moon at Sierra Vista! We will take a gentle 1.2-mile walk around the preserve’s Aquila Loop Trail and watch the full moon rise over the eastern foothills in the distance. Please bring warm clothes, water or hot chocolate to drink, and a flashlight.

Registration is BY THE PARKING SPACE. You are free to bring as many people that can legally fit in your car. Sorry, no buses or pets. We will open the gates at 4:00 p.m. Programs begin at 4:30 p.m. Please arrive by then. Moonrise will be at 5:12 p.m. and sunset will be at 5:40 p.m. Rain or heavy clouds will cancel.


Vacancies on the Citizens' Advisory Committee and Measure Q Expenditure Oversight Committee

Coyote Valley Landscape

Are you interested in facilitating community input to and from the Open Space Authority? The Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) serves to provide communications to the Board from the public, aid in fostering a positive public image of the Authority, and help educate the public about the Authority’s goals and accomplishments.  

Learn More

Do you love nature and numbers? Do you believe open space lands are essential to community health and well-being? If so, the Measure Q Expenditure Oversight Committee might be the perfect volunteer role for you! This seven-member committee provides public oversight for all funds collected and allocated by Measure Q. Each member contributes unique talents including an understanding of budgets and audit reports.  

Learn More

Clean Up North Coyote Valley!

NCV - Land Stewards - A-Burnside - 12-21-19 -1

Saturdays, January 18January 25
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

North Coyote Valley Conservation Area

Join us at the North Coyote Valley Conservation Area to help us continue improving this beautiful seasonal wetland and natural floodplain! As the Authority begins management of this new open space area, we will have a number of projects for volunteers to get involved with, including cleaning up graffiti, removing invasive weeds, collecting trash, and more. We provide all necessary tools, safety equipment, and training for the day, as well as water, coffee, bagels, and snacks.

Join us for one Saturday, or both! Specific driving and parking directions will be provided after registration.

Register for January 18

Register for January 25

Who Am I? Answer

Margaret Mantor (CDFW)-2-1

I am the California Tiger Salamander! I am an endangered amphibian, but my species is currently thriving at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve, thanks to the ponds and grasslands there. You are most likely to spot me during rainy winter nights, as I head to these ponds to breed. 

Photo Credits

Coyote Ridge Hikers - Ron Horii, Authority Volunteer
Pajaro River Agricultural Preserve - Derek Neumann, Authority Staff
Coyote Valley Hills - Derek Neumann, Authority Staff
Sycamore Terrace -  Megan Dreger, Authority Staff
Sunset Hiker - Matt Chesebrough, Authority Volunteer
CA Tiger Salamander - Margaret Mantor, CDFW
Moon - J.D. Moore
Coyote Valley Oaks - Derek Neumann, Authority Staff
Volunteers - Andy Burnside, Authority Staff

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | 408.224.7476 |