You Are Making A Difference
We're happy to announce that, with guidance from county health officials, we have reopened all preserves. Some trail use restrictions have been lifted: bikes and horses are again allowed on multiuse trails. Safe social distancing is still required, and to make that easier, Midpen has implemented one-way routes on some popular loop trails. Please follow the signs.
Thank you for your cooperation as we have made adjustments to our public access guidelines over the past few weeks to help ensure the safety of our community. These efforts have made a difference in flattening the curve and it’s important that each of us continue to do our part for the benefit of all.
Other changes may be implemented as needed in the future. Please remember to check our website for the latest information before you visit.
Midpen Photo Contest Ends Soon!
Is your phone full of colorful wildflowers, dramatic sunsets and beautiful landscapes? We want to see your photos, even if they were taken last month—or last year! Use this time at home to organize your pictures taken at Midpen preserves and pick three favorites to enter in our photo contest! Hurry, the contest ends on May 31, 2020.
Partnering to Restore the Preserves
Since 2015, Midpen and Grassroots Ecology have partnered to provide volunteer projects that expand public awareness, involvement and support of restoration activities at Russian Ridge and Windy Hill preserves. Thanks to grant funding from Valley Water we’re expanding the program to preserves in Santa Clara County. At Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve, volunteers will work on collecting native plant seeds as well as clearing out French broom, teasel and Harding grass. We can’t wait to get back to our volunteer-based restoration projects when it is safe to do so, and we’d love for you to join us!
Grantee Profile: Vida Verde
Midpen's grantmaking program supports organizations and projects that align with our mission. This is the second spotlight in a series of profiles of this year’s grantees.
Vida Verde Nature Education is a San Gregorio based non-profit with a goal to promote educational equity by providing free overnight environmental learning experiences for students who don't otherwise have the opportunity. A Midpen grant of $50,000 will be used to fund Vida Verde’s programs to help youth from urban neighborhoods feel comfortable in the outdoors, build confidence and spark a lifelong interest in learning and exploring. Since the Midpen grant was awarded, over 270 students from 11 classes have participated in the programs.
Wildland Fire Resiliency Work Continues
In addition to beginning our annual vegetation management work for wildland fire safety in the preserves, we are continuing to develop our Wildland Fire Resiliency Program. This proposed program will proactively expand Midpen's current ecologically sensitive vegetation management to further establish healthy ecosystems, reduce fire risk and severity and aid fire suppression.
Join our board of directors for an online public meeting May 13 at 5 p.m. as they review and consider approving the program scope so that the required environmental review can begin.
Midpen supports effort to protect mountain lions
Midpen’s nearly 65,000 acres of preserved public open space provide prime habitat for mountain lions, a top predator in our region facing many challenges in our region. In April, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 5-0 to consider Southern California and Central Coast mountain lions for listing under the state’s Endangered Species Act. A year-long review by the CDFW will determine if six geographic populations of mountain lions, including those in the Santa Cruz Mountains, should be designated as threatened or endangered.
We’re working to protect regional mountain lion populations by preserving habitat, promoting rodenticide regulations and supporting research that improves our understanding of lion populations, ecology and behavior throughout our region of influence. We're also developing a wildlife crossing at Highway 17 near Los Gatos that will allow mountain lions and other animals to safely travel under the highway and connect over 30,000 acres of protected lands.
Midpen Featured on P-22 Presents
We'll be talking about Midpen's plans for the Highway 17 Wildlife and Regional Trail Crossings project.
Explore Nature at Home
Our docent-led activities and volunteer projects are on hold during current shelter-in-place orders, but you can always explore nature at home! We've been busy collecting a list of activities, virtual tours and educational resources that can help you find nature nearby.
Board Meeting Updates
- In March, the Midpen board of directors reviewed and voted to move forward with recommendations for structural stabilization to improve the roofing, attic framing, exterior walls, ground foundations and accessibility structures at the White Barn at Deer Hollow Farm in Rancho San Antonio Preserve.
- In April, the board of directors accepted the Measure AA Bond Oversight Committee’s report to the board that reviewed the past fiscal year’s expenditures. We are grateful to the seven at-large committee members that live in the District and volunteer their time to help Midpen ensure accountability, transparency and public oversight of all funds collected and allocated under the voter-approved bond measure.
Upcoming Public Meetings
In accordance with public health shelter-at-home orders, all Midpen board meetings are currently being held via teleconference ONLY. The public can view the meetings online or listen by phone. Links and phone numbers are included in the meeting agenda which is posted online 72 hours before the meeting.
Members of the public may provide written comments by submitting a public comment form.