Urban Open Space Grants

The Open Space Authority helps people connect to the outdoors in their own neighborhoods through nearby parks, trails, urban community gardens, and environmental education programs. The Authority has two active grant programs that provide funds for Urban Open Space projects.

Measure Q Urban open space grant program

In November 2014, the voters approved Measure Q, a funding measure that generates approximately $7.9 million per year for open space protection in the cities of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara and unincorporated areas of the County. Up to 25% of this amount can be allocated annually to the Measure Q Urban Open Space Grant program. This competitive grant program addresses the needs of urban communities, including areas that currently have limited access to preserves and parks. The grant program aims to fund projects that will improve the quality of life for urban residents.

How to apply

The Fiscal Year 2017-2018 grant cycle will be open from November 1, 2017 - January 12, 2018. Click the button below to learn more.

APPLY for A grant

Qualifying projects:

  1. Environmental Stewardship and Restoration
  2. Parks, Trails, and Public Access
  3. Environmental Education
  4. Urban Agriculture/Food Systems

Eligible Applicants

  1. Public Agencies
  2. Schools and School Districts
  3. Nonprofits


  1. $400,000 available in Fiscal Year 2017-2018
  2. A 33% match is required.

See the FY 2016-2017 Grantees and Projects

The Open Space Authority is currently developing a new Measure Q Environmental Education Grant Program, subject to Board approval, that would operate in addition to the exisiting Urban Open Space Grant Program. The new program is anticipated to feature:

  • Smaller grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, focused solely on delivering Environmental Education programs

  • A streamlined application process

  • An early 2018 start

Please check back here regularly for updates about this exciting new grant program.

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20% funding Program

This grant program, referred to as “20% Funding,” has been setting aside 20% of the Authority’s capital fund annually for urban open space projects since 1997. Once a year, funds are allocated to participating cities and the County of Santa Clara based on each jurisdiction’s percentage of parcels within the Authority’s benefit assessment district.

How to apply

Requests for open space project funding originate with the participating jurisdictions. City and county staff apply for funds to support specific projects that meet their own and the Authority’s open space requirements and goals.

Download guidelines and application

Qualifying projects:

  1. Land acquisition
  2. Environmental restoration
  3. Improvements that provide or enhance open space, including:
    • Increasing public appreciation of open space, such as trails, overlooks, and interpretive signage
    • Converting surplus or abandoned lands

Eligible Applicants

  1. City of Campbell
  2. City of Milpitas
  3. City of Morgan Hill
  4. City of San Jose
  5. City of Santa Clara
  6. County of Santa Clara


Funding available varies by jurisdiction

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Point of Contact
Megan Dreger
Grants Administrator
(408) 224-7476

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