Inside this issue: our work protecting and restoring native wildflowers, celebrating 50 years of caring for the land that cares for us, upcoming events and activities, project updates and more.
Events & Activities
Here is just a sampling of what's happening in our preserves. Visit our event calendar to find more spring activities.
Daniels Nature Center Opens April 2
Throughout the spring and summer, the nature center will be open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. unless public health concerns dictate a change.
Docent-Led Guided Activities
Due to ongoing pandemic precautions ALL docent-led guided activities require online reservations. No walk-up participation allowed. Masks are required when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
All Preserves Great & Small
Immerse yourself in nature and history to celebrate Midpen’s 50th anniversary with docent naturalists as your guides for the “All Preserves Great & Small” year-long hike series. Each preserve offers something special and retired Midpen ranger Frances Reneau, now a docent naturalist, created this series.
Sunday, March 20, Pulgas Ridge Preserve
Friday, April 8, Fremont Older Preserve
Sunday, April 17, El Sereno Preserve
Friday, May 6, St. Joseph’s Hill Preserve
Sunday, May 15, Los Trancos and Foothills preserves
Health and Wellness Hike
Saturday, March 19, Monte Bello Preserve
Your health matters! Enjoy the benefits of being out in nature on this moderately paced hike while learning how to improve your health and well-being. The first mindfulness exercise will be overlooking a valley view where the North American and Pacific tectonic plates meet.
Wander and Wonder
Saturday, March 26, Skyline Ridge Preserve
Early spring brings out so many wonders! Join environmental education docents for a children’s focused adventure. Get ready to get down and look around at nature from a child’s point of view and maybe get a little muddy. This leisurely paced discovery walk is most appropriate for children aged 6-11 years.
Volunteer projects for the month of April are now open for registration — sign up while space is still available! New projects are posted the first Wednesday of every month.
Bayside Family Festival
Saturday, April 30 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Join us in celebrating Midpen’s 50th anniversary at this free, family-friendly event featuring activities, food and fun for all ages.
Enhancing Environmental Protection and Public Enjoyment at Preserves
Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
This preserve’s iconic redwood forests, coastal views and large network of multiuse trails accessible from both the Skyline ridge and Coastside, draw hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. Midpen planning staff is working on multiple interconnected projects to enhance the visitor experience while protecting the natural environment for the long-term.
Multimodal Access Study
Midpen staff are evaluating preserve visitation, identifying strategies and developing a plan to address parking and traffic issues, increase greener and equitable modes of transportation and better manage visitation. The results
will inform current and future public access projects. Look for a new public survey and opportunity to participate
in a public meeting coming soon. Join us for a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at 2 p.m. to learn more. Details on how to participate and comment will be posted at openspace.org/public-meetings on March 11.
Bay Area Ridge Trail Connection
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is planning a new Bay Area Ridge Trail segment on their watershed lands that would terminate near Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve. With grant support from the SFPUC
and donations from Bay Area Ridge Trail and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Midpen is studying the feasibility of connecting the SFPUC’s proposed new trail segment to the preserve’s existing trail system, including a Highway 35 crossing and expansion of the North Ridge parking area.
Purisima-to-the-Sea Trail and Parking Area Project
With support from a $301,000 California State Coastal Conservancy grant, staff is planning the long-envisioned Purisima-to-the-Sea Trail and parking area. When built, it will link the California Coastal Trail to the Bay Area Ridge Trail allowing open space visitors to travel on trails from the Pacific Ocean, through grasslands, canyons and forests, to the ridgeline of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Staff is putting out a public survey and bringing the preliminary plans a public meeting with the Midpen board of directors later this spring. A public survey seeking your input will be posted on the project page in mid-March.
Rancho San Antonio Preserve
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has walked its trails that Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve is Midpen’s most visited. With all those visitors come a lot of cars. We’ve been studying ways to improve parking congestion at this preserve, and this spring we’ll be implementing the first set of solutions.
Electronic signs displaying current parking availability will soon be installed at the preserve entrance. Real-time information will also be available on Midpen’s website for potential visitors to check before they leave home.
Carpools, Shuttles and Bikes
A pilot project to study the feasibility of a dedicated carpool lot will begin this spring. During peak visitation periods, parking in the lower equestrian lot will be reserved for carpools of three or more. ADA-accessible spaces and equestrian trailer parking will always remain available. We’ve partnered with the ViaCupertino on-demand community shuttle, and additional racks are now available for cyclists at several parking areas and
at Deer Hollow Farm.
Midpen Board to Consider Adopting Redistricting Map
Following the federal census every 10 years, Midpen’s board of directors is required by law to ensure that the
geographic areas, or “wards” that our seven publicly elected board members represent remain substantially equal in population. The process is called redistricting.
In January, the Midpen board of directors reviewed three redistricting map options and public feedback to select their preferred map that will be considered for adoption at a public hearing on March 23. If adopted, this map would be used in the November 8 general election.
Details about the map, our redistricting process and how to participate in the public hearing can be found on our redistricting project page.
Upcoming Public Meetings
March 8 - Planning and Natural Resources Committee
March 9 - Board of Directors
March 15 - Planning and Natural Resources Committee
March 23 - Board of Directors
March 29 - Legislative, Funding & Public Affairs Committee
Currently all Midpen board meetings are held via teleconference only. The meetings may be viewed online. There is also a dial in number to listen by phone. Links and numbers are included in the meeting agendas posted online 72 hours before the meeting.
Members of the public may provide written or oral comments by submitting a public comment form.