Hidden Heroes of the Greenbelt


AUGUST 28, 2024

Preservation Park


5:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Hidden Heroes of the Greenbelt is an annual benefit for Greenbelt Alliance that honors the often unseen yet remarkable government staff leading extraordinary work at the intersection of land use and climate change in the Bay Area.

In its fourth edition, this year Hidden Heroes will be bigger and better than ever as we host a community block party at Oakland’s historic Preservation Park, on August 28!

Explore Preservation Park’s gorgeous urban oasis as we welcome our community to enjoy activities that celebrate our region’s climate resilience work while honoring our 2024 Hidden Heroes of the Greenbelt and their partners. Together, we’ll activate Oakland’s treasured Victorian neighborhood with networking games, guest speeches, and special pop-ups that will inspire us all to help build a more vibrant and resilient Bay area.

Grab a drink and some food from Off the Grid’s Food Truck selection, vibe out and dance to Karambá band—a group that fuses Latin-Brazilian music with contemporary rhythms—, and learn how incredible leaders in local government are making a difference in our Bay Area communities this August.

We hope you join us for this exciting occasion, as we raise a toast in support of our work to create a more climate-resilient region!

About the Venue

About the Caterer

Preservation Park

Occupying two blocks in the heart of downtown Oakland, Preservation Park is a Victorian neighborhood, a unique collection of historic residences transformed into the City’s most innovative workplace and event center. Preservation Park is an innovative office center for nonprofit organizations and small businesses that further cultural, social, and environmental aims. Alive with new use, the houses continue to play a vital part in the City’s history, as they have for a hundred years. 

Enjoy the Bay Area's Authentic Food!

Bringing authentic Nepali cuisines from the heart of Kathmandu to the Bay Area!  

Sunrise Deli
Enjoy the best falafel in town!


Karambá Band

Karambá is a local band from the East Bay that fuses Latin-Brazilian music with contemporary rhythms, they are sure to make you dance!


Get one-of-a-kind Greenbelt Alliance swag printed live during the event!

Community Booths

Engage with climate policy, housing, and land use experts and learn how to get involved in climate initiatives happening in your community.


We are thrilled to announce that we have 4 exciting prizes available for raffle at the event this year! To enter to win, buy a “Special Admission” or “Greenbelt Ambassador” ticket at checkout, or collect at least 5 stamps by visiting activity booths at the event.


This year’s Hidden Heroes of the Greenbelt awards are being given to three extraordinary leaders from across the Bay Area whose stories are inspiring and contribution to climate and land-use policies will leave a legacy of positive impact in the region.

Hidden Hero of the Greenbelt recognized for fostering nature-based climate adaptation

General Manager at the Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District.

Misti began her professional career at Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District (Ag + Open Space) as a Planning Technician in 1996. She has held positions
at every level of the organization, but the majority of her experience was in the
Acquisition Program. As the Acquisition Manager, Misti oversaw a wide variety of land
conservation efforts for agriculture, greenbelts, recreation, and wildlife habitat, resulting
in the protection of more than 50,000 acres.

 She has been involved in over 150 land conservation transactions ranging from the development of small-scale community farms
to landscape-scale conservation easements on wildlands. In addition, Misti was the lead for some of Ag + Open Space’s largest and most complex acquisitions such as Jenner Headlands, Cooley Ranch, and Buckeye Forest.

Hidden Hero of the Greenbelt recognized for planning for climate change resilience

Urban Planner and Retired Deputy Director in the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement at the City of San José. 

Michael Brilliot is an Urban Planner who recently completed his 27-year career in the City of San José as the Deputy Director leading the Citywide Planning team in the Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement. Over his career, he has worked with community stakeholders, developers and property owners, and the City Council to revitalize disadvantaged communities and retrofit suburbia by focusing growth along transit to create walkable, urban great places.

Michael was instrumental in the creation of the Envision San José 2040 General Plan’s Urban Village Strategy and more recently led policy and ordinance initiatives to facilitate infill housing to address the City’s housing crisis. As part of the Four-Year Review of the General Plan in 2019 - 2021, Michael drove policy discussions on the future of Coyote Valley, which ultimately led the City Council to amend the General Plan to ensure that Coyote Valley was preserved for future generations.

Hidden Hero of the Greenbelt recognized for promoting climate-SMART housing

Planner at the City of Oakland Bureau of Planning.

Over the past 16 years, Lakshmi has had the privilege to work with communities across the San Francisco Bay Area and India, focusing on land use planning, sustainable development, and mobility. Her work aims to advance racial equity and ensure equitable access to opportunity and investment in communities. She collaborates with urban planning professionals, elected officials, and community leaders, and currently serves as a Planner IV with the City of Oakland’s Planning and Building Department.

In this role, Lakshmi led the Award-Winning Phase 1 of the City’s 2045 General Plan Update, working towards meeting Oakland’s housing needs and demands for more affordable homes, reducing barriers to housing development, and advancing environmental justice in our most impacted communities. She currently oversees the City’s Impact Fee Update Phase 2, and will work on Phase 2 of the City's General Plan Update.


By sponsoring Hidden Heroes of the Greenbelt this year, your organization will have the opportunity to connect with the Bay Area community and uplift the stories of critical Hidden Heroes who are making our region more sustainable and equitable.


Natural Lands Sponsors

Thriving Neighborhoods Sponsors

Alta Housing | BART | Brookfield Properties | Community Planning Collaborative | Enterprise Community Partners | HOK | Housing Action Coalition | MidPen Housing | Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District | PlaceWorks | Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | Shining Star Consulting | SOMO Village | Sonoma County Ag + Open Space | The Nature Conservancy | WRT

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