Local Funding to Protect
To continue protecting open space in our community, the Open Space Authority Board of Directors has voted to place a $24 annual parcel tax measure on the November 2014 ballot. The parcel tax is estimated to generate approximately $7,883,760 per year. All funds would be spent in the cities of San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell and Morgan Hill, and the unincorporated portions of Santa Clara County covered by the Open Space Authority, and could not be taken away by the State. The measure would expire in 15 years and could not be renewed without voter approval.
Community Benefits: What Measure Q Would Accomplish
Through an extensive community engagement process, the Authority developed the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, a 30-year vision for open space protection. The proposed measure would be guided by the priorities of the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint.
• Preserve our region’s natural heritage by protecting scenic hillsides, open space, wildlife, redwood forests, and agricultural land
• Increase public access to open space and maintain parks, trails, and expand trail connections among local and regional parks
• Protect our water supplies and reduce pollution and toxins by preserving land around creeks, rivers and streams
• Provide easy access to open space through urban parks and environmental education programs
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW for an interactive map of Examples of High Priority Potential Projects that Help Connect People to Nature
Examples of High Priority Potential Projects that Help Connect People to Nature
- San Francisco Baylands Restoration: Increase wildlife habitat and reduce pollution by restoring salt ponds to tidal marsh, provide enhanced flood control, and develop new public access to the Bay.
- Alviso Adobe and Higuera Adobe Parks: Establish Alviso Adobe as a historical museum, and refurbish the historic Caretaker’s Cottage in Higuera Adobe Park in collaboration with the City of Milpitas.
- San Francisco Bay Trail: Increase public access by closing gaps in Bay Trail walking and biking trail connections.
- San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail: Provide Water Trail public access amenities at Alviso Marina.
- Ulistac Natural Area: Increase educational programming, and restore natural habitat.
- Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve: Establish staging area and trails, convert historic residence to visitor hostel, and restore pond and wildlife habitats for endangered species.
- Penitencia Creek Trail: Complete trail linking Penitencia Creek community to Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.
- Five Wounds Trail: Develop additional trails connecting to future public transit station.
- Guadalupe River Nature Center and Environmental Programming: Partner with nonprofits to establish outdoor environmental education learning center and interpretive programming for youth and families.
- Coyote Creek Trail: Expand walking and biking trail connections and restore natural habitats.
- Silver Creek Trail: Increase walking and biking opportunities by creating connections to regional trails, parks and transit.
- Three Creeks Trail: Complete eastern trail alignment.
- San Tomas Aquino /Saratoga Creek Trail: Construct walking and biking trails through cities of Campbell and Santa Clara.
- Thompson Creek Trail Improvements: Complete walking and biking trail improvements.
- Guadalupe River Trail: Expand walking and biking trail connections.
- Martial Cottle Park: Partner with County Parks to develop trail link to Blossom Hill Light Rail Station and implement recreation and wetland restoration projects.
- Santa Teresa Hills: Partner with City of San Jose, County and Santa Teresa Neighborhood Association to protect land and develop regional ridgeline trail connections to create more access to local trails.
- Coyote Ridge: Establish new open space preserve with parking and regional trails, and protect and restore habitat for endangered species.
- Calero County Park: Partner with County to establish a staging area, public access and trails at Rancho San Vicente and at McKean Road.
- Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve: Build an outdoor learning center and a loop trail accessible to seniors and people with disabilities, and restore and enhance wetland habitat.
- Coyote Valley Agriculture and Natural Resource Reserve: Preserve agricultural lands, enhance natural resources, establish public access, and protect wildlife corridor.
- Youth Agricultural Education and Demonstration Farm: Partner with Cities of San Jose and Morgan Hill, Sobrato High School, nonprofits and agricultural organizations to establish an agricultural education and demonstration farm in the Coyote Valley Greenbelt.
- Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve: Restore wildlife habitat, build an interactive education center, and construct new staging area and regional trails for increased public access.
- El Toro Peak: Partner with City of Morgan Hill to establish an open space preserve with staging area and trails, and restore natural habitat.
- Southern Santa Cruz Mountains: Establish regional trail connections between Uvas Reservoir, Uvas County Park and Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve, develop staging area, and protect wildlife corridor.
- Uvas Creek: Protect wildlife habitat and corridor, protect natural lands for water supply and water quality, and increase trails to close gaps in regional trails.
- Palassou Ridge: Establish open space preserve, restore historic stone house for visitor center, develop multi-use trails connecting to Henry Coe State Park, and implement wildfire prevention and habitat restoration projects.
- Diablo Foothills: Establish open space preserve, restore wetlands and bird habitat, and implement public access improvements.
- Sargent Hills: Protect wildlife corridor, create staging area, public access and regional trail connections to the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
- South County Agriculture: Conserve working farms and ranches near Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Pajaro River for greenbelts and agricultural viability and to enhance flood control, water quality, wildlife habitat and connectivity.
If Measure Q is approved by the voters, an independent citizen oversight committee would be established to ensure that all funds are used for voter-approved purposes.
About the Open Space Authority
Since 1993, the Open Space Authority has protected over 16,000 acres of open space, natural areas, watersheds and wildlife habitat—
providing outdoor recreation opportunities and preserving the natural beauty and environmental health of Santa Clara County. Through the Authority’s Urban Open Space Program, we’ve contributed over $8 million to cities for urban trails, parks and natural areas.
The Open Space Authority works carefully to leverage its modest funding with local, state and federal grants to benefit the community. In order to protect the conservation areas and natural resources identified in its research, the Authority is seeking new funding sources.