Photo: Jen Hale

Together we can do more

You're invited to a regional conversation.

Upcoming Gathering

Policy and Politics for Bay Area Lands: 2018 Legislation and Ballot Measure Overview

Good policy can play a critical role in helping to address society’s biggest problems. Public funding can provide resources at a scale that supports key, solutions-based actions tackling our state’s and region’s greatest challenges. Politics is the art of leveraging public support and political leadership in service of achieving desired social outcomes.

Join us at our Policy Gathering on Thursday, January 25, 2018 to learn about important legislation, agency actions, and funding measures we’ll see in 2018 impacting Bay Area land conservation. You will learn about:

  • Policy: The latest updates on proposed legislation, policies and agency programs that could fund, benefit, or impact your work.
  • Bond Measures and Funding: The $4.1 billion statewide park and water bond measure that is slated for the June 2018 primary ballot, and other emerging county and statewide bond proposals.
  • State of Play: Current trends and new realities that will impact priorities and decision making by policy makers and officials.


Current speakers include:

  • Deb Callahan, Moderator, Executive Director, Bay Area Open Space Council
  • Robert Doyle, General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District
  • Fred Keeley, Former Speaker pro Tempore, California State Assembly, Board Member, Sempervirens Fund
  • Elected Official – TBD
  • County Representatives – TBD
  • Policy & Advocacy expert – TBD
  • Watch this page and subscribe to our newsletter via to receive updates as we confirm additional speakers for this Gathering. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well as we post updates most frequently there.


The Gathering will be held at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley. Doors open at 9:30am. The program starts at 10am and there will be time for Q&A with the audience. Lunch will be served from 12-1pm. We’ll be using #OSCPolicy to talk about the event on social.

Register now

Open Space Conference

Since 1999 the Open Space Council has convened an annual conference in the spring. Each is unique with a new theme and a diverse set of speakers.

The Open Space Conference is the place to lift our heads up from the day-to-day and look at the big picture, with with colleagues from around the Bay Area. It is where we can discover potential partners, and reconnect with our collaborators, who share our goals and values.  Attendees include funders, donors, policy makers, Executive Directors, General Managers, communications leaders, land managers, park builders, and more – a who’s who in parks, resources management, and land conservation.

Together, we will discover new ways to adapt to changing populations, climates, and funding realities; it is the place to be inspired, to learn, and to grow.

Learn more and join us.

Past Gatherings


Four times a year the Open Space Council convenes a Gathering about a topic relevant to land conservation in the Bay Area. 120-130 people attend from around the region to hear speakers, get information, and talk with colleagues. Ideas are shared, partnerships are born, and the community gets stronger.

Topics have included:

  • Status of California State Parks
  • Lessons learned from conservation ballot measures
  • Affordable housing and parks
  • Interactive web-based maps and mobile apps
  • Grazing and conservation
  • Water districts and conservation


Speakers have included:

  • Rue Mapp, Outdoor Afro
  • Peter Birch, Google Maps
  • Mary Ruckelshaus, Natural Capital Institute
  • Sergio Jimenez, San Jose Parks and Recreation Commission


See the topics, speakers, presentations, and photos from the past 6 years of Gatherings.

From the blog