Wide view of green Coyote Valley landscape under blue and white sky, looking west to the blue Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance

Our Work

Planning and Managing a Sustainable Network of Open Space Preserves

Santa Clara Valley is renowned for its vast, beautiful open space, unique natural areas, and productive farms and ranchlands. With species and habitats unique to the region, the abundant natural resources make the region desirable for both residents and visitors.

Tree and rocks on ridge overlooking sunlight-filled valley with mountains in the distance
This rich natural heritage paired with a vibrant economy make Santa Clara County the fastest growing county in the Bay Area. However, a growing population and steady development pressures, along with a changing climate, pose new threats to the health and sustainability of the region. These challenges require the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority to be resourceful, innovative, and effective in the protection of open space.
 The Authority has created initiatives like the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage, and Healthy Lands, Healthy Economies. The Agency also supports the Regional Conservation Investment Strategy and the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan. These efforts support the Authority's vision to build livable communities, sustain a vibrant economy, create healthy urban areas, and to protect beautiful open spaces and ecosystems.

Our Approach

The Open Space Authority is guided by the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, a 30-year roadmap that identifies goals, priorities, and strategies for land conservation – and highlights opportunities for partnerships and funding to support these efforts.

To achieve this vision, the Authority identified the following goals, priorities, and strategies for land conservation:

  1. Protect and manage an interconnected system of wildlands and natural areas to support native habitats and species and to ensure resilience to a changing environment
  2. Protect and restore water resources to benefit local communities and the environment
  3. Conserve farms, ranches and other working landscapes to sustain the economic and environmental viability of agriculture in the County
  4. Protect and manage a network of open space lands that provide opportunities for nature-based recreation and education for all residents