25th Anniversary Year

Open Space Authority 25th Anniversary Year LogoThe 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 2018, our 25th Anniversary Year, we celebrated the natural and working lands around us, and just as importantly, celebrated our constituents, who have been so supportive of our work all along the way. We invited everyone to take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature. All year long we provided our communties with fun opportunities to catch up on our past accomplishments in our monthly newsletter.


The accomplishments we achieved together over our first 25 years are too numerous to mention, but just to list a few of our favorites...
  1. Over 25,000 acres of land protected and 3 open space preserves available to the public year-round for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding
  2. Permanent protection of habitat for 25 rare and endangered species of wildlife and plants
  3. 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
  4. 208 different types of free environmental education programs to more than 20,000 of members of the public in our preserves and urban parklands
  5. 700 currently active volunteers that participate in trail work, leading programs, and community outreach

Of course, a great deal of planning went 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, 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.