The Open Space Authority consists of five departments that support the agency's mission through land management and stewardship; open space and resource planning; connection with the public; and governmental compliance and operational efficiency.

AdminisTrative OPERATIONS

The Administrative Operations Department (ADM) is responsible for the management and oversight of necessary operational services for the optimal functioning of the agency. The department takes a leadership role in achieving organization-wide operational efficiencies through cross-departmental collaboration and continuous improvement, ensuring stability and sustainability for the agency. Priorities for Fiscal Year 2023/2024 include strengthening organizational resiliency through investing in the agency’s next generation of leaders and operational excellence, furthering the agency’s justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and access work, advancing efficiencies through the adoption of technology and reducing the Authority’s operational carbon footprint.

Program areas in the Administrative Operations Department include:

Conservation Initiatives and Grants

The Conservation Initiatives and Grants Department (CIG) is responsible for developing and implementing strategic conservation initiatives and projects to achieve the agency’s regional conservation goals including those established in the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint. This work includes conservation planning to identify and prioritize the most important multi-benefit natural and working lands for protection; partner engagement to identify and develop coordinated conservation and funding strategies; and conserving land using a variety of tools to grow the network of protected open space.

The CIG Department brings in public and private grant funds to support all aspects of the agency’s mission and  administers two Grant Programs to provide essential funding for environmental programs and development of parks, trails, community gardens, and other public access amenities to serve our communities in cities and unincorporated urban areas within the Authority’s jurisdiction. This work is described in more detail below.

Program areas in the Conservation Initiatives and Grants Department include:


The Field Operations Department (FLD) oversees the daily operation, management, and stewardship of the Authority’s lands and public access facilities. Responsibilities include trail and preserve maintenance, resource management such as grazing management, agricultural lease management, invasive plant management, site monitoring, resource and habitat enhancement, monitoring and maintaining capital structures, and careful stewardship and reporting for contract land management and mitigation. The Volunteer and Educational teams within the department are responsible for the creation and delivery of nature- and science-based education experiences, as well as the recruitment and coordination of volunteers, to augment field operations and programs across the agency.

Programs within the Field Operations Department include:

Natural Resources Department

The Natural Resources Department (NRS) monitors, stewards, and restores the physical resources and biological communities that support the resilient habitats and working landscapes on Authority lands. The NRS department utilizes nature as infrastructure to support resilient ecosystems, address climate change, and restore the functional processes, such as flood attenuation and groundwater recharge, of Santa Clara Valley. Responsibilities include integrated pest management, biological surveys, environmental permitting, restoration, and agricultural, including conservation grazing and farming. The department partners with farmers, grazers, scientists, land managers, and other experts to help deliver the Authority’s mission.

The department was newly created during FY 2022/2023 and program areas are still undergoing development and refinement. While the program names may be subject to change over the next few months, the general initiatives and tasks of the department include:

At present, programs within the Natural Resources Department include:

Planning and Capital Improvements Department

The Planning and Capital Improvements Department (PLN) is responsible for short- and long-range planning for preserve use and management as well as the planning, design, and construction of capital improvement projects for visitor facilities. The department also works with city and county partners to review policies, laws and regulations that may affect capital projects or land use.

Programs within the Planning Department include:


The Public Affairs Department (PUB) is responsible for leading the Authority’s public communications initiatives and media engagement, building strategic partnerships, and engaging the agency in relevant local, state, and federal legislative affairs, policy development, and funding opportunities.

A primary function of the Public Affairs Department – via the three Programs described below - is to support the mission of the agency through informing the public, our partners, our partners’ networks, community leaders, and decision makers about:

In addition, Public Affairs helps to support the agency’s long term financial sustainability by engaging in initiatives that establish new funding sources relevant to our work, at local, state, and federal levels.

Programs within the Public Affairs Department include: