San Jose CA (PRWEB) July 25, 2014
The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to place the Open Space, Wildlife Habitat, Clean Water and Increased Public Access Funding Measure on the November 2014 ballot.
If approved by voters, the measure would fund open space protection, help protect water resources from pollution and toxins; preserve wildlife habitat, scenic hillsides, redwood forests, and agricultural land; and improve and maintain parks, trails and trail connections among local and regional parks. The measure would enable the Authority to increase the amount of protected open space from 16,000 acres to over 30,000 acres and add over 25 miles of additional trails and public access points in local parks and open spaces in San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, Morgan Hill and unincorporated Santa Clara County. Twenty-five percent of the measure’s funding would be allocated to cities, schools, nonprofits and the County as grants to support open space, restoration, recreation and outdoor environmental education programs and projects in urban areas. The proposed measure is a uniform parcel tax, which would cost property owners $24 per year, and would expire after 15 years.
In April 2014, with extensive community and stakeholder involvement, the Open Space Authority approved the Santa Clara Valley Greenprint, a 30-year strategic plan to preserve the most important open space lands and natural resources remaining in the County.
"The Greenprint reflects the strong interest by our communities to protect local water supplies, water quality, wildlife habitat, provide more parks, open space and public access in urban areas," said Mike Potter, chair of the Authority’s Board of Directors. "This additional funding will ensure we continue to maintain a high level of open space service for the residents of Santa Clara County.”
Potter added, “Our population is expected to grow by 36 percent by 2035. This increases demand for land, water, natural resources, and parks and open space. Continued investment in open space protection is needed to balance growth and maintain our quality of life in Santa Clara County.”
A Cambrian-area resident and open space volunteer, Marc Landgraf, spoke at the meeting and explained the wide support for the measure in the community. “I’ve joined a team of local civic leaders, who are committed to protecting open space in our communities so that future generations can experience and enjoy the nature surrounding our neighborhoods, just as we do. As our volunteer committee has been out speaking with business owners, elected officials, environmental organizations and other key stakeholders, we are hearing so much support for the work that the OSA is doing. They are voicing strong support for this measure and I am confident that we can successfully pass this important revenue measure to preserve open space in Silicon Valley.”
“The health of our open spaces, habitats, creeks and streams is tied to the health of our communities,” said Andrea Mackenzie, general manager of the Open Space Authority. “This revenue stream will ensure that our children and all future generations will continue to experience the benefits of open space and nature that we enjoy today.”
The Open Space Authority was founded over 20 years ago to balance urbanization in Santa Clara County. The Authority has protected over 16,000 acres of open space, agricultural lands, watersheds, and wildlife habitat. We operate preserves with trails that are open to the public 365 days a year. We take pride in our role as stewards of the region’s natural capital – our air, water, and soil – which supports over 1.8 million people.