In 2014, an overwhelming 68% of voters approved Measure Q, the Open Space, Wildlife Habitat, Clean Water, and Increased Public Access Funding Measure, a $24 annual parcel tax placed on the ballot by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. Measure Q’s purpose is to protect and preserve natural open space areas for future generations by improving parks, open spaces, and trails; protecting water resources to prevent pollution and improve local water quality; preserving wildlife habitat; expanding public access; enhancing environmental education; and protecting scenic hillsides. In its first five years, Measure Q funded a doubling of the number of acres protected as open space in the Authority’s jurisdiction to almost 30,000 acres – including a once-in-a-generation acquisition of almost 1,000 acres long threatened open space in the North Coyote Valley.
I’m so proud of what the Authority has been able to accomplish with the public’s strong support. The Measure Q-funded projects and programs in this report highlight the significant investments we together are making in the health of nature and people; investments that are supporting nature in and near our communities for clean air and water, protecting wildlife, their habitats and movement corridors, protecting natural areas and agricultural lands for their many community benefits, providing opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation, and enhancing our resilience to a changing climate.
Working closely with public agencies, non-profit organizations, and foundations, the Authority has effectively leveraged Measure Q funds to attract other public and private monies to protect open space, water resources, wildlife habitat, and agricultural lands, and expand public access opportunities and multi-use trails. Through the Authority’s Urban Grant Program, funded by Measure Q, we’ve brought nature to urban communities across the jurisdiction, investing over $2.8M in over 30 projects to green our neighborhoods, seed community gardens, create parks, and connect children and families to nature through environmental education programs.
With the support of Measure Q, the Authority has efficiently and effectively invested in high-priority, high-impact projects to improve our quality of life. And these expenditures have resulted in an impressive return on investment - for every $1 of Measure Q funds spent, we’ve been able to attract $3 in public and private partnership funds for conservation, restoration, and recreation projects.
As former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has said, we’re in the business of forever. Thanks to your support of Measure Q, the Authority’s investments in nature today are essential down payments on a livable future for many generations to come.
Investing in Nature: A conversation of local conservation leaders on the importance of investing in nature
Watch our online conversation on how targeted investments in nature have had such a great return on investment and the positive effect they have had in our community. Hear a few stories about the Open Space Authority's work and how the funding approved by voters, Measure Q, has been invested in really transformational projects. Our panelists discuss the Five-year Impact Report's projects in more detail and the positive impact they have had in our community.
Andrea Mackenzie, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority General Manager
The Honorable Dorsey Moore, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Board Member District 4
Kathy Sutherland, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Citizens' Advisory Committee Chairperson
The Honorable Sergio Jimenez, San Jose Councilmember District 2