Staff above Anderson Lake

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is an independent special district – rather than a part of county government – and is governed by an elected board of directors.

Its jurisdiction is all of Santa Clara County with the exception of lands and communities within the boundaries of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the city of Gilroy. The cities of Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, San Jose and Morgan Hill participate in OSA.

Rancho Cañada del Oro

The purpose of the Open Space Authority is to preserve key portions of the natural environment in order to balance continuing urban growth. Buying land, acquiring easements, contributing funds to joint conservation efforts, and careful land management are OSA’s major preservation tools.

The Authority was created by the state legislature in 1993 at the urging of community leaders who saw the importance of maintaining the ecological integrity of the region. A Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) serves as a community liaison, informing, engaging and educating the public on the important role of the Open Space Authority and the services it provides.

The Authority is funded through a $24 a year parcel tax (referred to as Measure Q) and a benefit assessment (referred to as District 1). Grants and gifts are another source of revenue.