We Asked, You Answered: Why Does Open Space Matter?

Our conservation community agrees that open space and natural lands are important, but we have all arrived here from different paths. In late summer we sent out our annual survey asking for feedback from our members, and many of you responded with your reasons for prioritizing conservation in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.  We’ve collected some of the responses here (edited for length) to illustrate the motivations and hopes of our local environmental community.

“Our health, quality of life, and our very existence are all dependent on healthy ecosystems. This is true for everyone whether they consciously care about the environment or not. Personally, I feel most alive when I am in wild areas.”

“All efforts to protect wildlife and native plants are important. “

“We are running a small organic veg seed company. We have seen the benefit to small scale farmers of keeping land available for farming (particularly organic).”

“To further the survival of life as we know it.”

“Simple – I live here. Open space = good quality of life. I literally couldn’t survive without it. And I believe that non-human species have a right to existence.”

“I hate sprawl.”

“My childhood experiences in nature shaped me into the person I am today. I want every kid to have the chance to appreciate the beauty of open space. In addition, I see the protection and restoration of open spaces, farmlands, and natural capital as vital in the movement to mitigate climate change.”

“A city park is adequate, but the quiet and calm of nature is worth more than money can buy.”

“Just finished listening to a podcast about how having some greenery in one’s surroundings can reduce gun violence by 8%! It also correlates to less depression and more social connection.”

“Farmland near urban areas is one of the most effective ways to reduce the overall burden on our climate.”

“Nature matters intrinsically. A healthy environment also provides a healthy living environment for people.”

“I joined Sierra Club on the national level to protect the entire nation’s environment. It made sense to join Committee for Green Foothills for my local area. I have seen sprawl. I have seen polluted waterways. It takes a long time to rescue and renew land and water once damage is done. It’s best to keep the water pure now.”

“So our eyes and hearts and lungs don’t hurt.”

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