The Sagacious Sibella Kraus
Back in June, the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve opened its gates to the public. Silicon Valley’s newly-enshrined park is the latest win for the environmental community that has fought developers for decades to safeguard Coyote Valley—the 7,400 acres of greenbelt lands between San Jose and Morgan Hill—from sprawl.
Partnerships are essential to much of our work. In Coyote Valley, one of our most important partners has been the industrious Sibella Kraus, President of Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE). Our partnership with Sibella actually dates back 30 years to when she was a chef at Berkeley’s famed Chez Panisse working to connect restaurants with farmers.
In 2003, Greenbelt Alliance partnered with SAGE in Coyote Valley for our Getting It Right report. Since then, SAGE has led the multi-stakeholder effort that resulted in the 2012 Sustaining Agriculture and Conservation in the Coyote Valley study and is now working with local farmers to implement the study’s findings to keep Coyote Valley agriculture viable. Building off this work, SAGE’s upcoming effort is Food Works, an assessment of local food as a driver to make San Jose a “cooler” city.
“What I love about my work is that it spans from the conceptual—thinking about regional agricultural planning and investment—to on-the-ground steps for keeping regional agriculture viable,’” she says. “The key is partnerships.”
And we’re lucky to have a partner like Sibella. She helps us make the case that Coyote Valley is better as an agricultural and open space jewel than as a sea of sprawling development.
Header Photo: Carol Dula ©
Sibella Photo: Taylor Hanigosky ©