Subject: Open Space Outlook August 2017


August 2017

What's Happening in Coyote Valley?
First Coyote Valley BioBlitz

Join us, along with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, for an exciting nature event! A BioBlitz is an event where experts and non-experts set out to identify as many living species as possible in an area during a short period of time. We will explore public spaces in Coyote Valley and record all of the plants, reptiles, mammals, bugs, and birds that we find using a tool called iNaturalist. This is a free, fun, family-oriented event with no previous experience required. To learn more and register for this free event, please visit here.
Wildlife Study Update

 Sage, one of the study's subjects.

This summer, the Open Space Authority and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) kicked off an exciting new wildlife research project: The Coyote Valley Bobcat and Gray Fox Connectivity Study*. Working with Professor Chris Wilmers and postdoctoral researcher Laurel Serieys, both with UC Santa Cruz, and Pathways for Wildlife, the project aims to understand how bobcats and gray foxes move through and use habitat in and around Coyote Valley by tracking their movements with radio-collars. The data gathered from the radio-collars is already providing researchers and conservation planners with critical information, including the habitats the animals are using and where they are crossing roads.

Read POST's latest blog to learn more about why this research is so critical and how the study's results will inform conservation in Coyote Valley.

*Funding for this study is made possible by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and POST.

Wildfire Prevention in Your Own Backyard
Fire season is here and our South Bay community has already been affected by multiple wildfires. On July 11th, 12 acres on Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve were burned in the Lariat Fire.

Unlike many other natural disasters, wildfires can be caused by humans, and spread more easily if our yards are left unattended. Whether we live near open space, or love open space, there are important things we can all do to reduce the risk of fire spreading.

California Department of Forestry & Fire Prevention (CalFire) gives these tips for creating a defensible space around your wildland or urban edge property (note that many of these tips apply to suburban yards, too):
  • 0-10 feet from your home: Locate all gas or propane tanks at least ten feet away from your home.

  • 0-30 feet from your home: Remove all stacked wood piles, and other flammable materials. Minimize vegetation – choose shorter plants (less than 2 feet) over taller ones. If kept green, grass and non-woody flowers are safer choices than shrubs and trees. If planting shrubs and trees, choose deciduous plants (that lose their leaves) over evergreen. Avoid planting juniper, pine, and palms.

  • 70-100 feet from your home (or to property line): Keep fuel down by removing any tree branches that are at least six feet from the ground as well as any dead branches, leaves, needles, logs, tree stumps, and surface litter. To further protect your home, choose landscaping with fire resistant plants.

Citizens' Advisory Committee Profiles
The Open Space Authority's Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) helps educate the public about the work of the Authority and gives residents the chance to make a lasting difference in their community.
Kathy Sutherland, current Chairperson, has lived in San Jose nearly her entire life and has dedicated much of her free time to bettering her community.

She's a well-rounded volunteer who has worked at schools, with neighborhoods, for parks, and is always finding new ways to take community action to another level.

"The CAC has a very important role," Kathy said. "We add another layer of community engagement."
Former Chairperson Gloria Chun Hoo is the first to admit she's not the type to sit still. Between her work with the Authority and the League of Women Voters, she stays very busy.

Chun Hoo enjoys every minute though, soaking up knowledge about conservation in the Bay Area and local watersheds.

"We all stand on the shoulders of others," Gloria said. "Serving on the CAC, there are everyday people like myself who spend the time because they appreciate the value of nature."
Who Am I?
I live in the Coyote Valley, on rocky outcrops in the serpentine grasslands across the region. I’m silvery grey with delicate leaves that grow in clusters between the rocks. I’m native to the Santa Clara Valley and flower from May to June and my seeds spread around the region in the wind.
Kelley Park Moonlight Walk
Explore Coyote Creek and our natural world at night, meet an animal or two, listen to campfire stories, and enjoy S’Mores! Feel free to also stick around after the program for the San Jose Giants Fireworks Show.

Friday, August 4, 2017
Kelley Park Amphitheatre
7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Learn more
Senator Beall's Creek Cleanup
Join Senator Beall for the 2017 Los Gatos Creek cleanup event. This event is free and everyone is welcome. Join your neighbors, enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and give back to the environment.

Saturday, August 19, 2017
Campbell Park
8:45 – 11 a.m.
Register here
Capture Nature's Details!
Join us for a Nature Treasure hunt as we look for special natural details like animal paw shapes, leaf veins, moss, feather shapes, and the texture of bark. Then we'll make clay sculptures of what we found in the treasure hunt.

Friday, August 25, 2017
Ulistac Natural Area
3-4 p.m.
Learn more

Who Am I? Answer
I am the Santa Clara Valley dudleya (Dudleya setchellii), one of 40 species in the dudleya genus. Many are native to the US Southwest, California, and Mexico. Listed as federally endangered, the Santa Clara Valley dudleya depends on the continued existence of rocky, serpentine habitats in the Coyote Valley such as those found in Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve. Serpentine soil, which contains the greenish rock serpentinite, is low in calcium and high in magnesium and other heavy metals, which allows plants like the dudleya to develop specialized abilities to cope. It is a low-growing succulent, which forms a rosette, or a circular grouping of leaves.
Photo Credits

BioBlitz - OSA Archive
Bobcat - Laurel Serieys
Lariat Fire - Andres Campusano
Kathy & Gloria - Dana Litwin
Santa Clara Valley Dudleya - Tom Jack
Campfire - ccRahul Rekapalli
Creek - Senator Beall's Office
Arts and Crafts - Susan Brazelton
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority | 408.224.7476 |
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