Winery Walk with Otters

otter sonoma

Not long ago, but before Shelter in Place, I spotted three adult river otters swimming in a vineyard pond behind Ram’s Gate Winery at the south end of Sonoma Valley. I was on a late afternoon winter ramble on the walking trail behind the fancy tasting room above the wetlands of San Pablo Bay. I’d never seen river otters around here. I first glimpsed them in the lower pond. Then all of… Read More

Our Commitment to Advancing Racial, Social & Climate Justice

black lives matter

We are witnessing horrific acts of senseless murders, police brutality, and racial injustice against Black people in America. Greenbelt Alliance acknowledges the heart-wrenching pain and outrage. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in the fight for lasting change to cease this country’s perpetual systemic racism, violence, and injustices. My colleagues at Greenbelt Alliance and I have been reflecting on the underlying systems that perpetuate racism—in particular in our own fields… Read More

Climate Smart Steps for Bay Area Cities

climate SMART steps

In the past few years, there has been a change in our understanding of the need for climate protection and equity, alongside widespread awareness of rapidly increasing economic inequality. This new understanding and awareness also include recognition of the growing threat of natural resource scarcity and depletion, influenced by the climate crisis and driven by natural limits alongside a growing population. One of the most important ways to make an impact on… Read More

Affordable Housing Month Debrief

affordable housing month

Last month, Greenbelt Alliance was proud to collaborate with local partner organizations Livable Sunnyvale and the Santa Clara Community Advocates to host educational webinars as part of Affordable Housing Month. The topics covered, “Building Equitable and Resilient Climate Communities” and “Why is El Camino Real Good for Affordable Housing” drew nearly a hundred attendees, many of them local residents motivated to engage in dialogue around what it takes to secure an environmentally… Read More

City of Sonoma UGB Renewal in Final Stretch

Sonoma City Hall, where the future of the City of Sonoma General Plan will be decided.

The renewal measure for the City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) is nearly ready to go to a vote of the people for the November 3, 2020 ballot. If passed, it will renew the existing UGB for another 20 years with stronger provisions for affordable housing exemptions. For more background information on this, click here. The Urban Growth Boundary renewal measure was fine-tuned at a recent City Council meeting when several… Read More

Press Release: Greenbelt Alliance Endorses New Mixed-Use Master Plan CityWalk Bishop Ranch in San Ramon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Ramon, CA—Greenbelt Alliance has endorsed the proposed CityWalk Bishop Ranch master plan. “The CityWalk Bishop Ranch Master Plan is the kind of climate-smart development that we need in the Bay Area to meet our housing goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make sure that local residents are able to stay and thrive in their own communities as housing costs rise,” says Greenbelt Alliance Executive Director Amanda Brown-Stevens. Bishop… Read More

Wildfire & Greenbelts: Saving Sonoma County

wildfire and greenbelts

Thanks to all of you who joined our most recent webinar highlighting the role that greenbelts and smart growth played in the Kincade Fire. We learned so much from our guests, Town of Windsor Councilperson Deb Fudge and Deputy Fire Chief Matt Gustafson of the Sonoma County Fire Protection District. We don’t want you to miss any of this important content so we put together a summary of the conversation and even… Read More

Rewriting a ‘New Normal’ in Our Response to Climate Change

trail mount tamalpais

So many things in life go through stages. Phases of the moon and changes of the seasons. The pre-during-aftermath of a disaster like a wildfire. We even see coronavirus evolving, mutating like most viruses do.  With respect to our global pandemic, at present I find myself somewhere in between the stages of acceptance of what is happening and attention to what is next. We have critical choices to make. Already we know… Read More

The Value of Public Space

Public Space COVID-19

Thanks to those of you who joined our webinar where we discussed The Value of Public Space with our guest Ghigo DiTommaso from Gehl. In our thirty minutes together, we explored how our relationship to public space has changed due to COVID-19 and how we can use these observations to build a more equitable future. Watch a recording of the webinar here. For those of you who were not able to join,… Read More

Solano County Declares Outdoor Recreation Essential

Lagoon Valley Solano County

Solano County’s Public Health Officer has released new guidelines regarding outdoor recreation during the Shelter-In-Place. This is a great step to promote resident’s physical well-being, mental health, and the county’s economic vitality through the careful, limited phased reopening of the county, starting with areas for outdoor exercise and recreation. Activities such as (but not limited to) walking, hiking, biking, golfing, and running are allowed, provided that social distancing guidelines are being followed…. Read More