Natural Landscapes


From our famous redwood forests, to oak-studded hills, to the Pacific Coast, the San Francisco Bay Area is unique among American metropolises in the stunning beauty of its natural landscapes.

Our natural areas support our health and quality of life by giving us the opportunity to get outside and be active. They contribute to clean air and water and help our region be resilient to disaster threats like flooding and landslides that will be on the rise as the climate changes. Our natural landscapes define the identity of the Bay Area and are magnets for the innovators that drive the region’s economy.

Today the Bay Area’s natural landscapes are in jeopardy.

322,000 acres of our region’s open spaces—that’s more than 10 times the size of the city of San Francisco—are at risk of being lost to development over the next generation.

Decision makers—like city councils, county boards of supervisors and voters—can weaken the rules that are protecting much of the Bay Area’s landscape today.

Teresa’s Story

At Greenbelt Alliance we bring together people who cherish the Bay Area’s open spaces to protect our landscape by shaping the rules that govern how our cities and towns grow. We advocate for policies and funding programs that protect our open spaces. Our experts educate decision makers across the Bay Area about land conservation tools. We work with decision makers to put conservation tools in place that work for their unique communities. We mobilize residents across the region so that decision makers know that their constituents want them to make the right decisions about growth. We also support the right kinds of development within our cities and towns to meet the Bay Area’s need for housing, make neighborhoods great places to live, work, and play, and reduce pressure to develop our iconic landscapes.

Related Projects:

We’ll achieve our goals by:

  • Ensuring city and county governments, and regional agencies put in place effective plans and policy tools for protecting open spaces;
  • Supporting efforts to fund permanent protection of natural areas and parks through acquisition and stewardship;
  • Stopping specific sprawl development proposals in critical locations around the Bay Area.

Did you know: 37 Bay Area cities and towns have urban growth boundaries—policies that clearly define where development is, and is not, appropriate—that can only be changed by the community’s voters. Greenbelt Alliance has led the effort to have Bay Area cities and towns adopt urban growth boundaries.

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