Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range at the southern reaches of San Jose, lies the stunning Coyote Valley, which encompasses a unique combination of plant and wildlife habitat, farmland, important water resources, and an essential open space buffer to a bustling Silicon Valley.
Just as we invest in traditional urban infrastructure, like transportation and waste and water treatment, strategic investments in natural infrastructure can also provide many valuable benefits to our urban communities. Nature as Infrastructure refers to recognizing and protecting the natural ecological processes which provide us with a multitude of important “services” that include flood protection, reducing greenhouse gases, food supply, increasing resilience to climate change, and promoting the health and safety of both human and natural communities.
Here in Santa Clara Valley, Coyote Valley provides an example of the diverse mix of benefits nature provides. Coyote Valley is a conservation priority for the Authority for the role it plays in the health and sustainability of our urban region and its conservation values: floodplains, local water supply, wildlife corridor connection, agriculture, recreation, and more.
Today, Coyote Valley is an agricultural and ecological treasure. It is a last-chance landscape – it contains critical floodplains and aquifers, productive agricultural lands, and the last remaining wildlife linkage between the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range. Its conservation also presents a unique opportunity to increase climate resilience.
Conservation and restoration in Coyote Valley can reduce greenhouse gases, store carbon, and buffer effects of increased temperatures and flood events.
With a network of protected open spaces, restored wetlands and floodplains, and wildlife-friendly working lands, we can be prepared for a different climate future.
Here in Silicon Valley, the center of innovation, the Open Space Authority is demonstrating how strategic investments in conservation, smart land use policies, and urban design can support nature as infrastructure.
Coyote Valley offers an unparalleled opportunity to provide cost-effective, efficient nature-based resilience to climate change, while also providing a number of other ecological, economic, and quality of life benefits – now and in the future.