The latest news and information about the District and Preserves.

Construction Notice - Rancho San Antonio

The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) will begin construction on its Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project beginning in late 2016/early 2017. The project will occur in the vicinity of the current equestrian and paved parking areas at the eastern section of Rancho San Antonio County Park. The project is managed by the SCVWD and the first phase of the project will include building a new and enlarged paved parking area along with additional and designated equestrian parking. The project also includes a new restroom facility at this location. The SCVWD will host public meetings on this project on November 10 and November 14. Public Meeting Information

For more information about the project, what to expect during construction, and to get project updates visit:

Project Fact Sheet

Rancho San Antonio County Park is managed by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District as a result of an Operations and Management Agreement with the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. The Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project is a Santa Clara Valley Water District Project constructed at Rancho San Antonio County Park. 

SCVWD Construction Plan

Accomplishments Report

The Fiscal Year 2015-16 Accomplishments Report presents the results of Midpen’s overall endeavor during the past year to manage the regional open space preserves on behalf of the public.  The list includes major and notable projects and milestones that were completed as part of the FY2015-16 Action Plan as well as those relating to unanticipated projects.  Accomplishments are listed by five major categories:

  • Public Access and Education
  • Natural Resources Protection and Restoration
  • Land Acquisition and Preservation
  • General/Midpen-Wide Support of Mission
  • Awards/Grants/Recognition

Download Accomplishments Report

Highlights of the major accomplishments

  • Completed numerous major actions and commenced or continued other major actions toward opening the Mount Umunhum Summit in the Sierra Azul Preserve for public access, including construction much of the four-mile Mount Umunhum Trail; restoration of the summit closer to its natural form; finalized plans for the Summit Project, which includes parking, ADA-accessible trails, weather shelters, stairway, and ceremonial circle; approved decision to retain and seal the Radar Tower including interim repairs to safely allow for the public to walk around the exterior perimeter of the structure; and began work with the Amah Mutsun Land Trust and the United Veteran’s Council of Santa Clara County to collaboratively honor Mount Umunhum’s history.
  • Completed numerous major actions and commenced or continued other major actions toward opening lower La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve to the public, including second phase of Sears Ranch Road repairs and culvert replacements on lower Sears Ranch Road and began the public access site plan for the Red Barn Area, including traffic counts, site evaluation for a new driveway and parking lot, and evaluation of site historical features.
  • Completed numerous major actions and commenced or continued other major actions toward opening Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve to the public and improving Bear Creek Stables, including numerous public meetings, completion of a cultural resources evaluation and draft Alma College Cultural Landscape Rehabilitation Plan, and evaluation of potential water sources to support the stables and other preserve infrastructure and code requirements.
  • Coordinated with various agencies and organizations to finalize the preferred trail alignment for the San Francisco Bay Trail Connection Project, which includes a privacy buffer for the neighboring University Village neighborhood. Secured a $1,000,000 San Mateo County Measure A grant to fund the Ravenswood Bay Trail Gap trail design, permitting, and construction.
  • Held the Grand Opening Dedication event for the Mindego Hill Trail, the District’s first public access alongside cattle grazing.
  • Completed the El Corte de Madera Preserve Watershed Protection Program final phase implementation and reassessment, significantly improving water quality in these headwaters over the course of 15 years of restoration activities.
  • Continued implementation of critical Financial and Operational Sustainability Model study recommendations to enhance the District’s delivery of Measure AA project and fulfillment of its Vision Plan and Mission, including reorganization of departments and divisions into clear business lines of Project Planning and Delivery, Visitor and Field Services, and Finance and Administrative Services.
  • Completed the first issuance of Measure AA General Obligation Bonds to fund priority Measure AA projects.
  • Following extensive public outreach within Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, secured approval for the designation of six Priority Conservation Areas in San Mateo County and nine Priority Conservation Areas in Santa Clara County from the Association of Bay Area Governments Executive Board.
  • 2016 ESRI Map Gallery Award - 3rd place in the ESRI International Users Conference Map Gallery for "Best Map Series or Atlas" for Vision Plan and Conservation Atlas.

Automatic External Defibrillators

Midpen is equipping all of the agency’s 36 emergency response vehicles with life-saving Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs).  These portable electronic devices, when applied in combination with Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by a trained emergency responder, diagnoses life-threatening heart conditions in a patient and is able to treat them through the application of electrical therapy to allow the heart to reestablish a normal rhythm.

Philips HeartStart AEDA portion of the cost of the AEDs was supported by funding from Palo Alto-based Racing Hearts non-profit organization.   Racing Hearts has obtained grant funding from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to support local agencies and organizations in purchasing this life-saving equipment.

District rangers are trained emergency medical responders, who respond to over 150 medical calls and accidents a year.  Midpen encourages everyone to obtain CPR training.  The training is available through the American Red Cross and American Heart Association.

Now Hiring

Join our passionate, talented and dynamic team as we work collaboratively towards our vision.

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OWL Viewer

Saturday, September 17, 2016 -
10:00am to 2:00pm

Coyote Point Recreation Area
San Mateo, CA

Join Midpen staff and docents to take a virtual reality tour of sea level change though innovative OWL viewfinders that are part of the Look Ahead—San Mateo project produced by Climate Access and a project of the Sea Change SMC program.

See first-hand what a rising sea level could look like, how the county is responding, and ideas for responding to more dramatic sea level rise in the future.

Find out more



What's happening in the preserves this fall?

Read all about it in our monthly e-newsletter.

Mount Umunhum Road Closure

Another Measure AA Project in Progress

We are working to improve the road and summit of Mount Umunhum so that we can open it to the public. Our goal is to have the summit open to the public by Summer 2017.

In the interest of public and contractor safety, the following closures will occur.

Weekdays, beginning Monday, September 12th

Mt. Umunhum Road will be closed from Jacques Ridge parking lot to the summit. Only local vehicle traffic, contractors, and approved District staff will be permitted past Jacques Ridge parking lot.  Other vehicle traffic along with bicyclists, equestrians, and hikers will not be permitted on the road Monday through Friday for the duration of the project (estimated to finish in Summer 2017). The Jacques Ridge parking lot will continue to be open during regular preserve hours.

Weekends (Saturday and Sunday)

Mt. Umunhum Road will be open for all uses up to the Bald Mountain Parking Area only.  Only local vehicle traffic will be allowed past this point. Bicycles, equestrians and hikers will not be allowed on the portion of the road above the Bald Mountain Parking Area at any time.

Additional Trail Closure

Barlow Road (trail) will be closed between Woods Trail (part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail) and Mt. Umunhum Road for the duration of construction on both weekdays and weekends.

Please note: residents and visitors can expect increased construction traffic along Hicks Road, Alamitos Road and Almaden Road.  For public safety, the District also reserves the right to close Mt. Umunhum Road at any time without prior notice.

We thank you for your patience during this time. We are targeting the completion of construction by Summer 2017. This information will be updated as the project progresses. There will also be a phone hotline with updated information. This hotline may be reached by calling 650-691-2154.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District receives AAA Rating, will begin issuing Green Bonds

On August 18, 2016, the credit rating agencies of both Fitch Ratings, Inc. and Standard and Poor’s assigned to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (District) a AAA rating, the highest available rating for financial performance.

The District’s strong management, financial position, and growing tax base are reflected in the District's recent credit ratings. In addition, the District Board of Directors voted to refinance current bonds at a lower interest rate estimated to save approximately $15 million. The Board also voted to issue the refinancing bonds as Green Bonds, which support environmentally-beneficial purposes, and to offer these bonds to individual retail investors and institutional investors through Morgan Stanley as the underwriter.

“This is a very exciting project,” stated General Manager Steve Abbors. “We’re saving the taxpayers approximately $15 million in future payments, paying bonds off three years early, issuing Green Bonds for the first time, tapping into the retail market for the first time, and we’re rated AAA.” 

The District’s Green Bonds are expected to sell during the week of September 5, 2016. More information on the Green Bonds can be found here.

This is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Green Bonds which can only be sold by the underwriters pursuant to an Official Statement of the District when available from the underwriter.

Midpen Store

The Midpen online store is now open, offering a selection of logowear and accessories. Show your love for Open Space while you're out on the trails and explore the preserves in style!

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Ravenswood Bay Trail Project

The Ravenswood Bay Trail will complete a 0.6 mile critical missing gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail on the San Francisco Peninsula, between the existing Bay Trail along University Avenue and the existing unpaved multi-purpose trail in the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and the City of East Palo Alto’s Cooley Landing.  Completing this trail gap will open up 80 miles of continuous Bay Trail connecting to Menlo Park to the north, Mt. View/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara to the south and across the Dumbarton Bridge to the East Bay.  The San Francisco Bay Trail is a planned 500 mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay through all nine Bay Area counties and 47 cities.

Learn More