Natural Landscapes Initiative

The Bay Area’s famous natural landscapes shelter wildlife, foster healthy lifestyles, and attract visitors from all over the world. But unplanned growth can put our treasured spaces at risk, from the hills that offer stunning views, to the valleys and streams that provide clean water. At Greenbelt Alliance, we believe development done right can not only make our cities and towns wonderful, it will keep our open spaces open for generations to come.

By bringing together people from all sectors, we build a unified force with a shared vision for how to conserve our open spaces. Greenbelt Alliance preserves and protects natural lands designated as at-risk of development by bringing together partners to develop a regional conservation strategy, and we offer the tools to successfully protect the Bay Area’s natural landscapes. Further, we advocate for essential funding to conserve parks and natural lands, including increased local, regional, and state resources that can be used to expand and steward the Bay Area’s landscapes. We’re building a clear, achievable policy agenda to fully protect the Bay Area’s greenbelt.

We’ll achieve it by:

  • Ensuring regional agencies, county governments, and city governments use the most effective policy tools for protecting land;
  • Continuing our longstanding engagement with site-specific proposals for development on open space;
  • Supporting efforts to increase funding for the acquisition and stewardship of the Bay Area’s natural lands and parks.

We’ll know we’ve achieved it when:

  • Acreage of natural areas permanently protected from development is significantly increased;
  • All Bay Area residents have convenient, affordable access to open space near their homes, and can easily access recreation areas in the greenbelt;
  • Sufficient investment in “green infrastructure” such as wetlands, flood zones, and watersheds ensures natural resources are resilient in the face of stress on the environment—including the impacts of climate change.

Natural Landscapes Initiative News


Friday, March 27th, 2015     

CEO Jeremy Madsen in The Atlantic

Developers are still stubbornly focused on paving over natural and agricultural lands to build car-dependent single-family homes in far-flung suburbs. Fortunately, the Bay Area has been bucking the national trend as our CEO Jeremy Madsen explains to The Atlantic. Continue reading

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Thursday, March 26th, 2015     

Holy Urban Greening, Batman!

Urban Greening Priority Conservation Areas are an investment in our neighborhoods’ natural resources that will create healthier environments for humans and wildlife while also cutting long-term costs and increasing land value. Continue reading

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Tuesday, March 10th, 2015     

How Santa Clara County Is Protecting Our Most Valuable Resource—Water

Healthy Bay Area watersheds are fundamental to safeguarding California’s limited water resources, now under increasing strain from development and climate change. The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages an integrated water resources system that keeps our creeks and ecosystems healthy for nearly 2 million residents. Continue reading

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