Subject: Open Space Outlook March 2017


OPEN SPACE OUTLOOK

March 2017

Wildflowers Galore
The wildflower season will soon be upon us and the Open Space Authority wants you to enjoy all that the season has to offer. With recent rains, the wildflowers will be blooming with intensity this year. Check out all the ways you can see the wildflowers this spring:
Sneak Preview Library Programs
Visit your local library to get a sneak peek of what the wildflowers are all about. The program will include the types of wildflowers that grow in open spaces and the wildlife that roam our preserves.
Healthy Parks Healthy People - Wildflower Walks
Join us at Coyote Ridge for a gentle walk winding through the wildflowers!
Wildflowers Anytime
Visit any of our 3 open preserves for chances to see wildflowers – from the meadow at Rancho Cañada del Oro with an ADA accessible trail, to the beautiful rolling hills of Coyote Valley. Be sure to always check our trails conditions page before venturing out.
Coyote Ridge Wildflowers
Keep an eye out on our website for guided wildflower hikes and family programs starting in April. You’ll see an amazingly beautiful wildflower display, and may even be greeted by the flutter of Bay checkerspot butterflies.
Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista Partnership
Click to view larger map

The City of San Jose Parks and Recreation Department and the Open Space Authority are now working together to co-manage Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. The City of San Jose will provide onsite office space and storage along with parking, and in turn Authority staff will lend a helping hand with trail maintenance and invasive plant work. The Authority will be able to increase staff presence at Sierra Vista and free up 140 hours annually for other projects. This partnership leverages the City’s and the Authority’s strengths, while also saving taxpayers’ money and improving visitor experience at both parks.
Meadow Restoration in Action
The recent rains have brought the Santa Clara Valley relief from our 5-year drought – and demonstrated how valuable natural and agricultural lands are for absorbing rainwater and replenishing our groundwater supplies.
 
The completed South Valley Meadow Restoration project at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve is the perfect example of natural lands capturing rainwater.

Storms have also brought the emergence of Laguna Seca, a historic lake and natural seasonal wetland in Coyote Valley, along Santa Teresa Blvd, that hasn’t been seen since 2000. This wetland serves as another example of the value of natural lands to capture rainfall. We encourage you to go out and visit the site while it lasts!
Who Am I?
My house, which is made of sticks, could be as big as a human, but I’m only a little longer than a foot. You might spot these houses in Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. I usually live there by myself, although some mice might room with me. I’ve lined the inside with leaves, including those from the California bay laurel tree, which contain compounds thought to ward off ticks and mites. One more clue? My favorite foods include mice, lizards and beetles.
Celebrate Local
Conservation Heroes

Join Bay Nature for the 2017 Local Hero Awards Dinner

Sunday, March 26, 2017
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Mission Bay Conference Center
San Francisco, CA
Purchase tickets here!
Starry Nights
Join astronomers from the San Jose Astronomical Association for a peaceful and cool evening out under the stars. They bring the telescopes!

Saturday, March 18, 2017
8:15 to 9:30 p.m.

Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve
Who Am I? Answer
I’m a dusky-footed woodrat, named for my sooty gray feet. I’m not closely related to black rats, which have long, smooth tails. My tail is lightly covered with fur and I have long whiskers and rounded ears. I’m found from Oregon to California primarily in oak woodlands. This habitat has shrunk significantly due to development, so a subspecies found in the San Francisco Bay area is considered a California species of special concern. That’s why it’s important not to disturb my stick home. But if you peered inside (please don’t - how rude!), you’d spot chambers for storing food and leaves connected by tunnels, as well as an area I use as a latrine. If I hear a loud noise outside, I sometimes shake my tail in dry leaves, mimicking a rattlesnake in order to stay safe.
Photo Credits

Widflowers - Cait Hutnik
Coyote Ridge - Derek Neumann
Rancho - OSA Archive
Coyote Ridge - Derek Neumann
Alum Rock Park Map - City of San Jose
Meadow - Ron Horii
Laguna Seca - Patty Eaton
Woodrat - ccMbmceach
Tide - Bay Nature
Stars - Ed Wong
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | 408.224.7476 | openspaceauthority.org
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