a trail running along a fence and wooded hillside


(Charles Tu)

Midpen publishes a monthly e-newsletter with a quick look at the latest news and a brief overview of upcoming activities and public events. An expanded version is published on a quarterly basis and includes includes a full listing of docent-led activities and a message from the General Manager.

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Closeup of red clintonia flowers

February 2024

In this issue, learn about how the Santa Cruz Mountains region's rich biodiversity produces several winter flowering plants and where you can spot them. Plus, read more about the accomplishments of Measure AA in a recently released report and how that bond measure is funding new visitor amenities in La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve.

Frost on poison oak leaf (Oksana Baumert)

January 2024

Ring in 2024 by plugging into nature! This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the passage of Measure AA, a 30-year, $300 million bond, approved by over two-thirds of voters who live within the District's boundaries. All year, we will provide updates and progress reports on projects that Measure AA has allowed Midpen to accomplish. Projects funded by Measure AA help make our region a heathier place for plants, animals and people to thrive. 

In this issue, read about the complex symbiotic relationships that lead to lichen growth on boulders and trees and which Midpen trails you should visit post-rain shower. Find out how Midpen gets trails rain ready and how Measure AA led to the preservation of nearly 100-acres of coastal redwoods. Plus, Midpen awards grant funding to five local community organizations!

Red berries (Izzy Klugman)

Winter Views 2023

Inside this issue: Three rare species discovered in Midpen's coastal preserves. Plus, read about how to use Midpen's new Trail Explorer tool to narrow in on your next outing, how Midpen is helping both turtles and newts in our area and 'tis the season to restore an old Christmas tree farm site in Bear Creek Redwoods. Read about these and plan your next docent-naturalist led winter outing!
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Turkey Tail Fungus

November 2023

In November, the brisk air fills with migrating birds just as acorns adorn native oak trees. Learn about the distinctly somber song of the golden-crowned sparrow and how to correctly identify the different species of oaks found in Midpen preserves. Learn more about Midpen's trail building process and how we are working to be the best neighbor we can (eat your heart out Ned Flanders). Plus, join us for a special open house showcasing several restoration-focused projects!

Purisima Creek Redwoods Trail with fallen leaves near fence and ferns

October 2023

The crunch of fallen leaves, the pop of red poison oak and the scent of matured golden grasses signal fall in the Bay Area. Learn more about the ghoulish glow of the jack-o-lantern mushroom and gear up to explore Purisima Creek Redwoods where all trails are now open. Find out how Midpen is working to improve visitor access for Rancho San Antonio and Windy Hill preserves. Plus, take a deep breath of that brisk autumn air on a docent-naturalist guided hike.

Child on trail Russian Ridge

Fall Views 2023

Inside this issue: Drumroll please... for the unveiling of the winners of Midpen's 13th Annual Photo Contest. Plus, read about how caring for open space contributes to a more resilient climate future, how to participate in the next critical step of our Highway 17 Wildlife and Trail Crossing project, and a new Coastside partnership for Midpen. Also, check out a new round of Fall guided activities or volunteer projects now open for sign-up. 
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Sunset ista from Russian Ridge

August 2023

Welcome back to reopened Bear Creek Redwoods! Plus, learn how Midpen is working to improve the visitor experience at Rancho San Antonio, Windy Hill and Purisima Creek Redwoods open space preserves. And though summer is waning, Midpen docent naturalists can still get you out in nature with free guided outings. Read this and more in the August edition of Plug Into Nature. 

child standing on a log at Picchetti Open Space Preserve

July 2023

It's all about babies this month: Discover the little-known world of bat motherhood and follow along two purple martin pairs' nesting journey at Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. Plus, get ready to vote for your favorite photo in our photo contest. See this and more on our July edition of Plug Into Nature.

Closeup of deer

Summer Views 2023

Inside this issue: Take a sneak peek at our newest preserve, Cloverdale Ranch. Discover the two rare species making a surprising appearance at Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, how Midpen grants help foster future careers in environmental science and sign up for one of several eco-friendly activities available this summer. 
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Silvery Blue Butterfly

May 2023

This month, discover the incredible journey the beautiful monarch butterfly makes in its brief lifespan. And while trail repairs are in good hands with our dedicated field crews, Midpen is seeking help from the community to fight sudden oak death disease, sort through wildlife camera shots, and plan for ecologically-sensitive public access to a new area of Windy Hill Preserve. Plus, have you ever heard of fungi jumping? Find out more in May's edition of Plug Into Nature.  

Little brown mushroom poking up from a mossy bed

April 2023

Every day is Earth Day at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District! We appreciate the diverse creatures and plant life that make this earth a healthier place to live, and strive to protect and restore the natural environment in our little corner of this one planet we all call home.  Read on to learn about the impacts of winter's relentless storms and how we are cleaning up as spring slowly awakens.


Red-tailed hawk perching amongst tree branches at Rancho San Antonio

Spring Views 2023

Inside this issue: Preparing for wildfire resiliency, connecting La Honda Creek and El Corte de Madera Creek preserves, and some amazing discoveries about artificial ponds originally made for cattle. Learn about this and more in our spring edition of Views. 
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Picture of Western heart's ease flower in shape of a heart

February 2023

We're all about love in this issue: love for our heart-themed plants, love for your photo submissions, and love for newts! See this and more in our Valentine's-themed edition of Plug Into Nature.


closeup of bird in dry brush

January 2023 

Creating Midpen's 27th preserve, new amenities and experiences for La Honda Creek Preserve, a farewell to our outgoing board members, and a Bay Area native flower that smells like wine can all be seen in our first newsletter of 2023! 


San Mateo County Vegetation Map

Winter Views 2022-2023

 Learn about the potential creation of a new, large Midpen preserve near Pescadero, the reopening of Alpine Road Trail, the potential for upcoming trail closures due to mountain lion research, and get updates on other restoration, agricultural and public access projects in the works. Plus keep an eye out for our brand-new documentary airing on NBC Bay Area later this month.

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November 2022

Mudstomps, wildfire grants, the Alma cultural landscape, and more! Read on to discover what's new. Learn about ongoing projects, find out about upcoming virtual events and get public meeting updates.

October 2022

This issue focuses on wildlife and plans for new areas to explore. Read on to discover what's new. Learn about ongoing projects, find out about upcoming virtual events and get public meeting updates.

Fall 2022

Inside this issue: celebrating our work on the coastside, events and activities for you to join, new projects and programs, plus ways for you to share your feedback.

August 2022

In August we're bringing you stories of shared celebrations, how we're helping local wildlife, plans for preserve parking and ways for you to get involved. Read on to discover what's new. Learn about ongoing projects, find out about upcoming virtual events and get public meeting updates.

July 2022

Learn about new purple martin nests in Sierra Azul, help keep our golden hillsides safe on the Fourth of July, get trail updates and share your input on our prescribed fire plan or projects at Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve at an open house. Read on for more information about these stories, our 50th Anniversary celebrations and everything that's happening in the Midpen preserves.

Summer 2022

Inside this issue: opening new trails, our work protecting and restoring native wildflowers, celebrating our collective accomplishments, how a potential purchase could help an endangered species, upcoming events and activities, project updates and more.

May 2022

May brings warm weather so look for lizards and other creatures sunning themselves along the trails. Find out how to share what you see with our #SpottedAtMidpen contest. Read on for more information on our 50th Anniversary celebration and find out everything that's happening in the Midpen preserves.

April 2022

Wildflowers are in bloom, our calendar is bursting with events and we want to know what YOU are spotting in the preserves...it must be spring! Read on to find out everything that's happening in the Midpen preserves.

Spring 2022

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.

February 2022

Read on for fun ways you can celebrate our 50th Anniversary with us and get the latest news on Midpen programs and projects including free guided activities with Midpen docent naturalists, mountain lion research, an upcoming public meeting on e-bikes and more:  

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