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!
Veggielution's First Saturday - March 3, 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!
Saturday, March 3, 2018 - More details coming soon!
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Saturday, May 5, 2018
California Wildlife DAY - March 20, 2018
Join us in celebrating Santa Clara Valley’s extraordinary wildlife and open spaces that serve as their habitat. Thanks to a resolution initiated by Senator Monning, California Wildlife Day was passed by the California Senate in 2017.
Take a 4-mile hike along the top of Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve, where you will see beautiful wildflowers, the rare and endangered Bay checkerspot butterflies, and the entire Coyote Valley! The hike will be offered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
When you get to the top, the Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center will have a live Birds of Prey presentation! You can also get your own copy of our new Come Discover Nature Guidebook, featuring the amazing wildlife and plants you can find in our preserves!
More details coming soon!