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March 2022

Celebrating Outdoor Spaces For All

Group of hikers at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

During the COVID-19 pandemic, open spaces became places of refuge. But for those who enjoyed the open spaces and trails “before it was cool,” increased visitation was a major change. So how do we adjust to the fact that more and more people are going outside and are visiting the hidden open space gems and best kept secret parks and trails?

Click below to read our perspective on why it's important to welcome new faces in the outdoors.

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Monarch Butterflies: Adaptation in Action

Monarch butterfly rests on milkweed flower

After a jaw-droppingly low count of 1,900 butterflies in 2020 – roughly 99% lower than the year prior – scientists expected the worst with the latest count in 2021.

Click below to learn what they found.

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Staff Spotlight: Meet Elizabeth Loretto

Elizabeth Loretto and her dog, Kali, at the coast

When it came to choosing a career, Elizabeth Loretto knew she wanted to be a part of something larger than herself. Now, as the Human Resources Officer at the Open Space Authority for over seven years, she's found her calling in protecting open spaces.

Click below to read Elizabeth’s story.

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Santa Clara Valley Wildflower Guide

Hillside with California poppies against blue sky

Spring is a colorful time of year as Santa Clara Valley's open spaces display a diverse array of native wildflowers.

From lilies to lupine, we’ve compiled this list of 24 flowers you can find in your open space preserves this spring.

Click below to discover our favorites!

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Community Connections: Julie Morris

Julie Morris blog header

With 30 years of experience in ranching, journalism, and food marketing, Julie Morris is just the person to support Santa Clara County’s efforts to keep working lands working.

Click below to learn more about Santa Clara County's new Agricultural Liaison, and what she's doing to promote and protect agriculture in the region.

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Who Am I?


I am a unique-looking native wildflower with dainty, comet-shaped blossoms of white, purple, or deep magenta. I grow in grassy areas and open woodlands across the Santa Clara Valley. You can find me from late winter through spring. Who Am I?

Submit your answer below - if you’re correct, you may get a shout-out in our next newsletter!

Quiz: Who Am I?

Coyote Ridge Self-Guided Access Weekends!

Coyote Ridge field covered in wildflowers

Weekend 1: March 5 & 6
Weekend 2: March 12 & 13
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This month, the Open Space Authority is hosting special public access weekends to explore Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve! Coyote Ridge comprises 1,831 pristine acres located in the Diablo Range foothills in southern Santa Clara County and offers beautiful wildflowers paired with stunning views over Coyote Valley.

Registration is required - please sign up below!

Coyote Ridge Weekends

Open Space Flower Frenzy: Vote in our March Wildflower Bracket!

2022 flower bracket-1

We’re back for our second season of the Open Space Authority’s Wildflower Bracket!

Join us for a wildflower-themed tournament – while learning about native California flowers! On the Open Space Authority's Facebook page*, we’ll host several face-offs between wildflowers, with fun facts about each species. Vote for your favorite, and see which flower advances to the next round.

At the end of the month, we’ll crown this year’s floral favorite, the 2022 Wildflower Winner!

*You do not need a Facebook account to participate. Check the bracket page below to cast your vote each day!

View the Bracket!

Board Appoints New Director for District 5: Vicki Alexander


Vicki Alexander is a long-time community volunteer. She joined the Authority's Citizens' Advisory Committee in 2019, and has served as its chair since 2021. Vicki was recently appointed to the Board of Directors to serve District 5. Growing up in a rural area, Vicki spent many hours working in family gardens and on local farms, which gave her a lifetime appreciation of open spaces.

Photo Credits

Group hiking - Marc Bergreen
Monarch butterfly - David Mauk
Elizabeth Loretto - Courtesy photo
Hillside of poppies  - Nick Perry
Julie Morris - Courtesy photo
Who Am I? -  Derek Neumann
Coyote Ridge wildflowers - Cait Hutnik
Vicki Alexander - Authority Archives

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 |