There is a lot going on in your open space during the summer months. We’re expanding our fire prevention efforts in high-priority areas; reaching out for public input on regional trails, public access and parking; winning awards and awarding grants to partners. Come out and enjoy the trails!
Midpen Open Space Proactively Increasing Fuels Management
We are adding an additional 210 acres to our current fuels management work over the next year. Local fire agencies helped us identify high-priority project areas near the wildland urban interface and the locations went through an environmental review process.
We’re also working on an environmental impact report that will allow us to continue expanding fuels management next year and to reintroduce prescribed fire to our land management toolbox in 2022. Learn more and help us shape our Wildland Fire Resiliency Program at a series of public meetings the week of August 19.
Regional Trail Connections Across Highway 17
We are currently developing wildlife and trail crossings across Highway 17 to connect over 30,000 acres of protected public lands. Part of this project includes regional trail connections with our partners at Santa Clara County Parks and Bay Area Ridge Trail, and we want to know what you think. Public comment on the Highway 17 Regional Trail Connections Study Report ends August 5.
Connecting People to Nature and Connecting Nature for Wildlife
Open space preserves provide sanctuaries and connectivity for native wildlife and vegetation, as well as a place for people to connect with nature. Part of our role is to manage interactions between visitors and the natural world in our preserves.
Mountain lion sightings have been reported at Rancho San Antonio and many other preserves. If you encounter a lion you should leave the area immediately, backing away slowly with your arms raised to make yourself look as large as possible. If the lion approaches you or acts in a threatening manner, shout, throw objects, and keep kids and pets close. Do not bend over or attempt to run or hide. If attacked, fight back. Report any sightings to Midpen Rangers as soon as possible.
Study Underway to Help Rancho San Antonio Access Issues
If you’ve visited Rancho San Antonio during prime time, you know that parking can be difficult. Because it is located so close to many communities and main roads, with a large network of trails and wonderful opportunities to connect with nature, Rancho is by far our most popular preserve.
To better understand the underlying causes for the parking and access challenges and to develop effective strategies to address them, Midpen is beginning a Parking and Transportation Demand Analysis. While the study is underway, Midpen, in partnership with other local public agency stakeholders, will be implementing short-term measures to alleviate congestion over the next two years.
Grantmaking Program Recipients Announced
The Midpen Board of Directors recently approved the funding of seven grant proposals as part of our new Grantmaking Program. This program supports organizations and projects that further understanding and protection of our natural world, build the capacity of the conservation field, facilitate access to the outdoors, or improve interpretation and education opportunities for the public. A total of $250,000 was awarded in this first funding round and projects are expected to begin in September. We look forward to seeing all they accomplish!
Hit the Trails in Style
Have you visited Bear Creek Redwoods yet? Share your love for the trees and the trails with a new t-shirt and water bottle, now available in the Midpen store. Buy both together and we'll take 25% off the cost of the bottle!
Climate Action Plan Award
Midpen’s new Climate Action Plan recently received an award for innovation in green community planning from the northern California chapter of the American Planning Association. We are proud to be one of the first open space agencies in the country to adopt a climate action plan and set formal goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And we’re ahead of schedule on reaching our first goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2022!
New Citizens’ Group Advising on La Honda Creek Public Access
A new working group has been formed to advise Midpen on planning public access to the central area of La Honda Creek Preserve. The group is comprised of La Honda-area residents, two Midpen board members and representatives from each of our seven wards. Join us for the working group’s kick-off meeting August 22 at Midpen’s office in Los Altos or learn more by visiting the project web page.
Local Youth Summer Program Visits Open Space
This summer, Midpen partnered with Latino Outdoors to introduce participants in the Girls to Women program to the joys of being outside. Girls from 7 to 14 years old, enjoyed three trips to our preserves — visiting the Deer Hollow Farm animals at Rancho San Antonio, sharing the view from under shaded oak trees at Picchetti Ranch and searching for geocaches at Skyline Ridge Preserve.
Join us this month at one of our many FREE docent-led activities. It’s a great way to get outside and learn a new side of your open space. See remnants of past temblors on an Earthquake Hike, escape to Enchanting Purisima or enjoy the Sweet Smells of Summer.
Calendar of Events
- August 14: Board of Directors Meeting
Red Morton Community Center, Redwood City
- August 17: Silicon Valley Volunteer Fair
- August 18–24: Mountain Lion Awareness Week
- August 19: Half Moon Bay – Wildland Fire Resiliency Public Meeting
- August 20: Los Gatos – Wildland Fire Resiliency Public Meeting
- August 22: Woodside – Wildland Fire Resiliency Public Meeting
- August 22: La Honda Public Access Working Group Meeting
- August 24: Senator Jim Beall’s 2019 Los Gatos Creek Cleanup
- August 27: Bear Creek Stables Community Meeting
- August 28: Board of Directors Meeting