The Open Space Authority began in 1993 with a grassroots effort by citizen activists wanting to protect Santa Clara Valley’s important natural resources. We started as a small agency with an important role to play and have since grown into a diverse organization with greater capacity to make progress on our mission of conserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature. Measure Q has provided further opportunity to fulfill our mission by enabling us to expand public access to nature in and around our urban communities, increase our environmental education programming, and help us maintain our open space preserves for public enjoyment.
In this 25th Anniversary Year, we want to celebrate the natural and working lands around us, and just as importantly, celebrate our constituents, who have been so supportive of our work all along the way. We invite you to take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature. Join us all year long with fun events and catch up on our past accomplishments in our monthly newsletter.
The accomplishments we've achieved together over the past 25 years are too numerous to mention, but just to list a few of our favorites...
- Over 22,000 acres of land protected and 3 open space preserves available to the public year-round for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding
- Permanent protection of habitat for 25 rare and endangered species of wildlife and plants
- Providing over $10,000,000 to more than 30 Urban Open Space Projects throughout our jurisdiction, including awarding the first Measure Q grant to Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature at the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose
- 208 different types of free environmental education programs to more than 20,000 of members of the public in our preserves and urban parklands
- 700 currently active volunteers that participate in trail work, leading programs, and community outreach
Of course, a great deal of planning has gone into these accomplishments. The Open Space Authority prides itself on working closely with a variety of partners on developing foundational research and planning tools that guide our projects, and also inform the work of our communities. These foundational tools include the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint
, Healthy Lands & Healthy Economies
, Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage Report
, Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan
, and Understanding Our Community
To learn more about the Authority's progress and accomplishments over the past 25 years, please visit our History Timeline
. Also check our news page
regularly for further highlights of the work we and our partners are doing to protect our local natural and agricultural heritage, and how it impacts everyone's lives.
25th Anniversary Events
We will be hosting special events all year long, so please check back regularly for upcoming event details!
earth day at coyote ridge open space preserve - April 22, 2018
SOLD OUT - You can register to be on the waiting list in case we have cancellations.
Celebrate Earth Day with us on Coyote Ridge! The Open Space Authority has spent 25 years conserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, and connecting people to nature. In this special 25th Anniversary Year and on the day where we celebrate the Earth, we invite you to join us at Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve where you will experience what nature has to offer. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and Coyote Valley’s vibrant agriculture, take pictures of stunning wildflowers, and catch glimpses of the thriving wildlife. There will also be a wildlife presentation where you will learn about the animals that call Santa Clara Valley home. In honor of our anniversary, we will also be giving attendees a free copy of our Come Discover Nature Guidebook
– a beginner’s guide to observing the plants and wildlife in our open space preserves!
This event is family friendly and will be a gentle 2.5 mile walk along the top of Coyote Ridge. Please bring water and a light lunch and wear closed-toe shoes and a hat. Heavy rain and muddy conditions will cancel this event. If the event is cancelled, we will notify you by email the night before.
Veggielution's First Saturday - MAY 5, 2018
The Open Space Authority will be co-hosting Veggielution's 1st Saturdays from February through May! Buy fresh, organic produce at the Farm Stand, explore the Youth Garden, participate in yoga, or watch a cooking demonstration during Veggielution Cocina. The Authority will be giving away seed pods so you can start your own garden at home!
Family friendly Plein Air Finger Painting - May 5, 2018
Join us for this special, family friendly 25th
Anniversary Year event, Plein Air Finger Painting! Plein Air is just the fancy term for outdoor painting, so bring your family for a whimsical fun experience painting with your hands. Children of all ages are welcome to paint in the park at the beautiful Alviso Adobe. We will show you have to paint animals and other fun art with water-based paints. We encourage you to create something amazing to reflect your love of the outdoors!
A WEtland that Works! A Coyote Valley SOuth Valley Meadow Restoration - May 12, 2018
Take a tour of Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve and learn about the South Valley Meadow Restoration Project. Visitors will walk to the edge of the meadow and see the progress, hear how the restoration was completed, and then hike up the trail to the overlook for a better view from above.
Plein Air Painting - May 19, 2018
Plein Air is simply painting outdoors, and we invite you to join us for a picturesque morning of painting out in the preserve. No experience necessary and we provide all the materials! Our guest artists will show you some techniques and set you free to paint to your heart’s content. You will have the opportunity to meet local watercolor artists and receive guidance on painting the beautiful landscapes at Rancho Cañada del Oro. The event will last 3 hours, and participants will be able to take their painting home with them. Please arrive promptly at 10 am. Registration required.
Storytelling at Ulistac - June 16, 2018
Come out to Ulistac Natural Area to hear stories about plants and people from the past. You will learn how people get along with nature now, and live in harmony with their local wildlife. Move from section to section at your own pace and listen to tales shared by those who also love the outdoors. Everyone is welcome!
More details coming soon!
Perseids Meteor Shower - August 11, 2018
Join us for a spectacular show in nature, meteors! The Perseid’s Meteor Shower will be happening again this year, so bring a picnic dinner and blanket to lie down on and watch the night sky light up!
More details and registration will be available soon!