2023 Annual Report

A MESSAGE FROM THE GREENBELT
ALLIANCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

For over 65 years, Greenbelt Alliance has been mobilizing people power to protect and steward the Bay Area’s magnificent natural and working lands.

In 2023, we launched our Bay Area Resilience Hotspots initiative, a blueprint for protecting communities that stand to lose the most in the face of climate change and for doing this in ways that co-benefit habitats, open spaces, biodiversity, recreation, and more. Resilience Hotspots are those areas most at risk of overlapping climate hazards like flooding and wildfire due to a range of reasons. We especially take into account socioeconomic factors, like income or language, that contribute to some populations being more vulnerable to climate change than others.

At the core of this work we are developing strong local partnerships with the organizations and leaders who are vital to advancing place-based climate resilience to benefit our region’s dynamic communities and landscapes.

This is a pivotal moment for California and the Bay Area. In tackling the climate challenges of the future, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past. Bringing people together to form effective alliances that deliver long-term solutions is one of the things we do best.

In late 2023 we launched a new Strategic Plan to do just that. We have a bold 5-year vision for bringing people together to build a future where communities and nature don’t merely survive but thrive.

To us, thriving means:

  • Every community has abundant access to greenspace, open space, and working lands that provide a myriad of natural benefits, reduce climate risks, and promote healthier communities.
  • Every community at wildfire risk is surrounded with a necklace of well-maintained greenbelts that enhance protection from this climate hazard and provide recreation, stewardship, and economic opportunities to nearby under-resourced places.
  • Every shoreline, creekside, and riverside community is prepared for flooding caused by sea level and groundwater rise by implementing resilient nature-based infrastructure.
  • Every city has enough new homes in climate-friendly locations to ensure affordability at all income levels for existing and future residents.

Read our ambitious new strategic plan at www.greenbelt.org/strategic-plan, and see what we’ve accomplished so far this past year in this report.

We invite you to join us as we embark on this journey toward a thriving region.

Amanda Brown-Stevens

Greenbelt Alliance Executive Director

Amanda Brown-Stevens

Executive Director

“I’m energized by my community’s activists and leaders. I love solving challenges in a way that creates more health and equity.”

John Gioia, Contra Costa County Supervisor and Resilience Hotspots community partner

How We’re Inspiring Communities for Change

Greenbelt Alliance’s mission is to educate, advocate, and collaborate to ensure that the Bay Area’s lands and communities are resilient to a changing climate—taking steps today to build a future where people and nature can thrive, together.

Educate

With the Bay Area Resilience Hotspots initiative in hand—an interactive digital map that identifies climate risks and solutions in 18 Hotspots locations—we leveraged local community expertise and original research to pinpoint locations and to identify leaders to partner with in championing climate resilience.

Here’s just a snapshot of how we’ve started our Hotspots work:

  • Built support and developed a plan for implementation funding to establish resilience hubs that will protect residents who experience extreme heat in Gilroy in Santa Clara County.
  • Partnered with Suisun City, the local Sewer district, and local organizations to identify strategies for adapting to sea level rise, conduct educational activities and collaborate on a pilot of a horizontal levee project that will curb flood impacts in Suisun City in Solano County.
  • Built multi-stakeholder support for addressing risks of sea level rise for shoreline communities in North Richmond in Contra Costa County.
  • Helped establish a strong network of advocates in Newark and the Tri-City area to support the protection and management of the Newark area shoreline and citywide flood risks in Alameda County.
  • Facilitated community engagement opportunities in Southwest Santa Rosa in Sonoma County to prepare all residents for extreme heat events and wildfire smoke.

 

Advocate

At Greenbelt Alliance, we know that climate policy is housing advocacy. And our advocacy would not be possible without a committed community that drives change!

After years of coalition work, the Sunnyvale City Council unanimously adopted the Moffett Park Specific Plan and Environmental Impact Report in 2023, which supports the redevelopment of current industrial areas into climate-resilient, transit-oriented, mixed-use housing. Doing this promotes infill as a strategy to reduce sprawl and make homes more affordable while using nature as a climate adaptation strategy.

By strategically advocating for building more housing in the right places—within developed areas and away from our precious open spaces and working lands—we’re yielding a positive influence in cities and counties across the Bay Area. Our advocacy is also helping enact regional and state policies that eliminate barriers and fund affordable infill housing, reinforcing our commitment to sustainable and accessible living.

For example, we’re helping drive statewide solutions that address California’s housing and climate crises. In total, eleven housing and three climate and environmental bills endorsed by Greenbelt Alliance passed this past year. Two of these bills are SB4 and SB243, which are critical housing legislations to advance and streamline the production of mixed-use developments. These bills will promote housing affordability, sustainability, climate resilience, and the protection of open space—and will enable us to build a more climate-resilient and equitable future.

 

Collaborate

Greenbelt Alliance is forming partnerships and working collaboratively to tackle our region’s most urgent climate and housing challenges. Our work across sectors brings local communities and key leaders together to plan a collective vision for the future. In 2023 alone, our team collaborated with 296 partners across 12 coalitions throughout the region. And our collaborations are growing.

In the face of a massive sprawl development proposal in Southeastern Solano County, we have been instrumental in forming the Solano Together coalition of local ranchers, farmers, environmentalists, residents, and organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting the County. Our leadership in the coalition is helping the community envision a better future for the County that focuses development on existing cities and strengthens the region’s agricultural industry.

Greenbelt Alliance will support Solano Together’s mission to engage, educate, and activate the County’s residents and organizations by uniting diverse interests around core values and advocating for Solano County’s long-term health and vibrancy through city-centered growth and the protection of working lands and open spaces.

OUR IMPACT IN 2022

Educate

0

students, corporate employees, community used our Resilience Playbook to address climate and housing issues.

0

people who signed up to explore the Bay Area’s natural lands and urban areas through Greenbelt Alliance’s Outings Program.

Advocate

0+

advocates wrote letters, sent emails, signed petitions, and attended city council meetings to get critical land-use and development initiatives passed.

0

state bills that passed, of the 20 endorsed by Greenbelt Alliance.

0

ballot measures that passed, of the 20 endorsed by Greenbelt Alliance.

Collaborate

0

partners Greenbelt Alliance worked with across 9 coalitions throughout the region to ensure a climate- resilient Bay Area for all.

0

Resilient, Transit-Oriented—development projects Greenbelt Alliance endorsed this year.

“Thank you, Greenbelt Alliance, for all your good work helping the Bay Area aspire to being a more livable, equitable, and sustainable place.”

Peter Albert, Greenbelt Donor

Greenbelt Alliance Celebrates 65 Years of Protecting People and Nature

This past year, at various events with our community, we raised a toast to our legacy—and to the people who make our work possible—and looked ahead toward the next 65 years of protecting people and nature.

Our annual Hidden Heroes of the Greenbelt award ceremony was particularly special, as we celebrated our 65th anniversary while launching our new Bay Area Resilience Hotspots initiative, our roadmap for investing in people and leading with nature. Working effectively with the public sector is instrumental to our success. We were delighted to recognize the dedicated Bay Area government staff in Contra Costa, Solano, and San Mateo counties as this year’s Hidden Heroes, community members who work to champion climate-smart plans, policies, and actions in communities where we work. Watch our Hidden Heroes films at www.greenbelt.org/hidden-heroes-greenbelt, and stay tuned for Hidden Heroes 2024!

The organization wouldn’t be where it is today without the incredible generosity and commitment of our longtime supporters. Greenbelt Alliance celebrated our 65th anniversary with our community of donors and friends on the Historic Klamath Ferry. These supporters came together to raise funds for our on-the-ground efforts to build climate resilience around the region. We broke an institutional fundraising record while raising a toast to the many individuals who help us build a future Bay Area where communities and ecosystems not only survive but thrive!

FINANCIAL
SUMMARY

As of September 30, 2022

  • Support and Revenue
    $2,051,916
  • Individual Contributions and Events
    $1,531,088
  • Grants and Contracts
    $410,769
  • Investment income (Excluding unrealized gain/loss)
    $110,059
  • Expenses
    $1,903,717
  • PROGRAM SERVICES

  • Greenbelt Alliance Programs
    $1,167,251
  • SUPPORTING SERVICES

  • Administration
    $247,585
  • Fundraising
    $488,881

Statement of Financial Position

  • Assets
    $4,136,361
  • Current
    $1,363,083
  • Endowment
    $2,741,496
  • Other Assets
    $31,782
  • Liabilities
    $129,730
  • Net Assets
    $4,006,631

Note: This chart does not include unrealized gains and losses. For a full report, please see Form 990.

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