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July 2022

Snakes of the Sssssouth Bay

Gopher snake

So what if you’re maybe a little bit scared of snakes but also live in a place where there happen to be a lot of them? Asking for a friend...

Click below to read our guide to the snakes (aka danger noodles) you may come across when enjoying an outdoor excursion in the Sssssouth Bay.

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What's in Season this Summer?

Summer produce collage

Wondering what to look for at your local farmers' market this season? We asked Kat Hill, Volunteer Program Coordinator at the Authority, and our Urban Open Space Grant recipients at Veggielution how to make the most of this season’s produce.

Click below to discover some of the best fruits and vegetables sprouting up this summer, and a little recipe idea to make it all come together.

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Staff Spotlight: Meet Megan Robinson and Andres Campusano

Staff spotlight banner-2

“The Open Space Authority started small and is relatively new, and now we have a lot on the horizon...our team will be able to build all of that, and it will be a part of us forever.”

Meet Supervising Open Space Technicians, Megan Robinson and Andres Campusano, and learn about their work to protect the natural and working landscapes of Santa Clara Valley and make everyone feel welcome at Open Space Authority preserves.

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How to Move On From Plastic

plastic clean up

Globally, only about 9% of plastic is successfully recycled. And for the United States, the numbers are much more damning – a staggering 4% of plastics. In fact, the vast majority (73%) of plastics in the United States end up in the very place people think they’re avoiding when meticulously separating their waste: the landfill.

Click below to learn how you can join the Open Space Authority in celebrating Plastic Free July.

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Wild About Wildlife Restoration!

Bobcat - David Mauk - 2022-02

July is Wild about Wildlife Month, and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is highlighting its important work to conserve and restore critical wildlife habitat in Coyote Valley.

Keep reading for exciting news about restoring nature for wildlife around Fisher Creek, with support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response (CDFW-OSPR).

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Who Am I?

California kingsnake - Mark Kostich-1

I am a large native reptile found across the Santa Clara Valley, easily recognizable by my stripes of white and black or brown. Don't be scared if you come across me on the trails - I am non-venomous! My name refers to the fact that I can overpower and eat other snakes. Who am I?

Submit your answer below - if you’re correct, you'll get a shout-out in our next newsletter! For a hint, read our new article on snakes!

Quiz: Who Am I?

Spina Farms moves to Open Space Authority farmlands!


The beloved Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch is relocating to the Open Space Authority's 60 acres of permanently protected farmlands on Santa Teresa Blvd. and Laguna Ave.

Spina Farms has connected the community to agriculture and the Coyote Valley landscape for decades, and we're thrilled that this legacy will continue!

Read the full story here.

Best Paved Trails in Santa Clara County

Paved trail going into grassy field under blue sky

July 26 is a National Disability Independence Day, a federally recognized day to celebrate the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As part of our core mission, we're always looking for opportunities to make nature more accessible.

Check out some of our favorite paved, wheelchair-, walker-, and stroller-accessible trails across Santa Clara County. Get inspired for your next nature outing!

Best Paved Trails

Virtual Event:
Scavengers of the Sky!

CRID - Turkey Vulture - D-Mauk - Mar-11-2018 - 1

Friday, July 8
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Some people think turkey vultures are ugly...but we know they are beautiful, fascinating birds that are essential in keeping our ecosystems clean!

Tune in to a special virtual lunchtime presentation to learn more about these native scavengers.

Register here.

Who Am I? - May Answer

Gray Fox - Emmanuel Horovitz - 2021 - 4

Last month’s “Who Am I?” was the GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)!

Congratulations to our readers who answered correctly: Aisha S.,
Anne R., Carl N., Carol Ann G., David L., Gwen H., Heather D., Ibrahim K., Kathleen C., Kathlene H., Mark O., Mary H., Sarah W.

Photo Credits

Gopher snake - Andres Campusano
Megan Robinson - Galli Basson
Andres Campusano - Authority Archives
Bobcat - David Mauk
Spina Farms - Cassie Kifer
Llagas Creek Loop Trail - Mark Hehir
Turkey vulture - David Mauk
Gray fox - Emmanuel Horovitz.

We acknowledge that the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority works within lands that were originally stewarded by the Awaswas-, Chochenyo-, Mutsun-, and Thámien-speaking peoples. Today we are honored to partner with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area in our shared work to protect and restore the environment and connect people to land. Learn more.
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | 408.224.7476 |