Progress on Midpen Vision Plan Priority Projects
Working closely with the public, Midpen created a community-supported Vision Plan with 25 priority project areas to guide our work in open space. We have been implementing these projects since 2014, thanks to local voters passing Measure AA, a $300 million general obligation bond to fund these Vision Plan priority projects.
“Measure AA provides the fuel — the community investment — to make these significant projects happen, furthering our mission to preserve open space, restore the land, provide for public enjoyment and support local agriculture,” Midpen General Manager Ana Ruiz said.
As of June 30, 2020, Midpen has invested $65.1 million in Measure AA funds. Here are five highlights of your Measure AA funds at work.
Connecting Communities to Nature
To date, Measure AA funds have opened more than 20 miles of new trail to public access. For example, the new Ravenswood Bay Trail in Midpen’s Ravenswood Open Space Preserve closes a critical 0.6-mile gap to establish 80 miles of continuous San Francisco Bay Trail.
Restoring Wildlife Habitat
Protecting plants and animals is integral to Midpen’s mission to care for the land. The Measure AA-funded Mindego Pond Improvement Project at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve restores aquatic habitats for sensitive native species like the federally threatened California red-legged frog and the federally endangered San Francisco garter snake. In this edition, see our Highway 17 Wildlife and Regional Trail Crossings Project, also funded by Measure AA.
Protecting the Coastside
Midpen helps plants, animals and people thrive throughout the greater Santa Cruz Mountains region and on the rural agricultural San Mateo County Coast, where our mission includes preserving agricultural lands of regional significance, preserving rural character and encouraging viable agricultural use of land resources. To date, $19.9 million in MAA funding has been invested in Coastside open space. This includes preserving open space and agricultural lands, restoring sensitive wildlife habitat such as creeks and ponds, utilizing conservation grazing to enhance native coastal grasslands and reduce wildland fire risk, and opening new areas to public access, including lower La Honda Creek Preserve and Mindego Hill in Russian Ridge Preserve.
Preserving Open Space
To date, MAA funds have preserved approximately 2,000 additional acres of public open space, creating opportunities to connect protected landscapes and regional trails. For example, magnificent old-growth redwood trees were preserved as part of a land purchase recently added to Midpen’s El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve.
Caring for the Land
Measure AA funds numerous projects to restore forests and waterways. For example, removing and repairing old, eroding logging roads in Midpen’s El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve has significantly improved water quality in the San Gregorio Creek watershed, for people, fish and other wildlife downstream.