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!
Perseids Meteor Shower - August 11, 2018
Saturday, August 11 | 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
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!
"The cat that changed america" film screening - September 20, 2018
Thursday, September 20 | 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Join us along with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Pathways for Wildlife in a discussion of local efforts to protect and enhance wildlife corridors in the South Bay. We will be having a free movie screening of the documentary film The Cat That Changed America
, the story of P22, a mountain lion in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, and a $50 million effort to create a safe wildlife crossing across two of the busiest freeways in America.
Plein air painting in the preserve - October 13, 2018
Saturday, October 13 | 10 a.m.
Bring your creativity, love of nature, and a comfortable chair, and join us for a morning of painting the beautiful outdoors at El Toro! Artists of all skill levels are welcome. We will provide the materials; you will bring home a finished painting!
Stay tuned for more details and registration.