a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Preserving Land, Wildlife, Waterways, Endemic Plants and Flowers--and Sanity--

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Preserving Land, Wildlife, Waterways, Endemic Plants and Flowers--and Sanity--

SUMMARY: Open space around me
Backfill: In response to a friend's blog post showing many lovely old barns in her area (Michigan) while musing on Christmas music and years past.

[NOTE: I'll clean up links & things later. sorrrrrrry....]

We lose rural landscape or any available open space so quickly here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We are so lucky that a lot of open space has been preserved, by Open Space Districts (funded via donations and voted-on taxes, including the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District (fondly called MidPen  https://www.openspace.org/), the East Bay Regional Parks district...) , the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (relatively new compared to the other two https://www.openspaceauthority.org/), city parks, county parks (where I live: Santa Clara County Parks (ParkHere.org)), and organizations like hte Committee for Green Foothills  (recently rebranded Green Foothills https://www.greenfoothills.org/), all of whom work towards purchasing lands like these that could be converted to public spaces for hiking, biking, picnicking, wildlife preservation, and so on.  

When we moved here in the '60, barely any of it existed as public lands.

All those organizations, and more, fought for years and recently have been fairly successful at staving off or forever preventing major development in the historically rural Coyote Valley between south San Jose and Morgan Hill to preserve wildlife corridors at the very least (https://www.google.com/maps/search/coyote+valley/@37.1631954,-121.77322,27776m/data=!3m1!1e3).

I don't expect you to follow the links--they're just data--but yet there are so many times that I drive south or east out of the area and see malls or housing developments going up where there used to be lovely old buildings like those in your photos. Which remind me of my grandparents' old old used-to-be-red barn.  

My grandparents' barn/farm (early 1950s photos)

This is not in California. Looking past the farmhouse at the barn
This is also part of why my grandparents started going to Florida every year during the winter.
When I was a kid , the barn wasn't looking nearly this sturdy.
It was eventually taken down some time after the farm was sold.

From higher up in the farm (I think it was 20ish acres): Red barn (actually storage) to the left, white farmhouse center, brown chicken coop (actually storage) to the right. 
The property ended at the road and at th big tree visible between the barn and farmhouse.

Barns in preserved parkland around here

Old barn, still usable, being preserved, at Martial Cottle County Park  near my house
(CA state and Santa Clara County park cooperative). 
The hills in front are privately owned ranchland still,
but behind that might be the massive Henry Coe State Park.

Old barns being repurposed at the massive Henry Coe State Park, 
over 87,000 acres of rough terrain east and southeast of us.

Old barn in what is now Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve in the eastern hills, after purchase but before open to the public (2014). Not sure whether this barn stayed.

Family's old farmhouse in the same park. This was the first weekend that the park was officially open to the public. We asked about whether it was going to stay, and I *think* that the answer was yes but as you can see considerable work would need to be done. (Such as the door that opens 3 feet in the air.)

At Rancho San Antonio County  Park, in the west foothills, very popular hiking area,
barn still being used at the time. (2008)

Barn at Pichetti Ranch Open Space Preserve in the southwest hills (was a winery--still is, to a certain extent, also used for educational purposes) (2016).

Barn at Santa Teresa County Park (2004), just south of here and where I used to hike a lot,
still being used at the time.

Not sure whether this is the same barn, but I think so (the old Norred barn when this was privately owned and you could board and rent horses here) (2009).

Old barn along the Coyote Creek Trail somewhere (southeast valley).
Note the deer. (2012)  I don't know whether it's still preserved or had to come down. 
I need to be able to get out hiking again....

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