This November election, Santa Clara County has the opportunity to invest in its natural capital. The Friends of Santa Clara Valley Open Space—which is co-chaired by Greenbelt Alliance and the Peninsula Open Space Trust, and also includes the Committee for Green Foothills and others—is leading the campaign in support of Measure Q, a $24 annual parcel tax measure that would fund the following:
- Preservation of scenic hillsides, open space, wildlife, redwood forests, and agricultural lands
- Increase in public access to open space and improvements to parks, trails, and trail connections
- Protection of county water supplies through the preservation of land around creeks, rivers, and streams
- Local environmental and outdoor education programs (25% of the funds will be allocated to cities, schools, nonprofits, and the County for this purpose)
Greenbelt Alliance urges you to vote yes on Measure Q this November.
This measure was placed on the ballot by the Santa Clara Open Space Authority (OSA). Greenbelt Alliance helped found OSA in 1993, and since then, OSA has preserved over 16,000 acres of open space in the county. More recently, over the past year, OSA has researched and gathered community feedback to establish guiding priorities that will help the County more effectively utilize preservation funding. The result of this process is the Santa Clara Greenprint, which identifies the 10 highest-priority areas for conservation.
One such area is the Baylands, wildlife habitat for more than 500 species. Coyote Valley is another—3,700 acres of active farmland and a critical wildlife corridor between the Santa Cruz and Diablo mountain ranges.
In addition to the greenprint, Santa Clara County has calculated the economic value of its natural and agricultural landscapes. The Healthy Lands & Healthy Economies, Nature’s Value in Santa Clara County report estimates that the county’s natural capital provides $1.6 billion to $3.9 billion in benefits to residents and the local economy every year.
If Measure Q is successful, Santa Clara County will be able to use these new resources to preserve our open spaces more efficiently than ever before.
Our success depends on raising significant funds and mobilizing tens of thousands of voters this November, so we need your help. To learn more about Measure Q and how to get involved, visit yesforscvopenspace.org.
Updated on 10/23/14: The San Jose Mercury News recommends voting YES on Measure Q (link to editorial).
Photo: Daniel Hoherd