The Open Space Council Blog


Turning the Corner, a letter from the Board and Advisory Council

March 1, 2019

Dear colleagues:

Since we last wrote in December, we have been working to reset and stabilize this beloved organization. We write today with good news, updates and plans.

Board leadership
New voices, big ideas, and critical thinking are needed as the Council imagines and creates its next chapter. Over the past few months we have been working to find new people who will bring these skills onto our board of directors, and as part of this effort, we are thrilled to welcome Caryl Hart and Francie Mitchell to the board.

In addition, the board recently elected new officers. Holly Potter now serves as president, Paul Ringgold as secretary, and Noelle Thurlow as treasurer. Pat O’Brien and Tim Ramirez continue to serve as directors. Plus, members of the Advisory Council – including Max KortenAndrea Mackenzie, and Bill Keene – have been participating in board meetings to share their perspectives. We’re confident that this new board will bring the vision and leadership to make BAOSC a vibrant and sustainable organization.

We want to express our gratitude to Kate Bickert and Ron Brown for their service on the board and to this organization. Kate and Ron stepped down in December 2018, and we want to be sure that their contributions are acknowledged. Kate and Ron were two of the first board members when the Council incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2012. Plus, Ron started on the Executive Committee in 2002 and served for many years as the Treasurer. Thank you, Ron and Kate, for your contributions to this organization and the land conservation community.

Our top priority has been to stabilize the organization financially and operationally. Annie Burke continues to serve as the interim Executive Director and has been leading this work. We have made significant progress and we want to provide the following updates:

Programmatically, the Conservation Lands Network continues to move forward with a launch being planned for this fall. Over 100 scientists, planners, and conservation practitioners are involved in this update which has been funded by the State Coastal Conservancy and Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. Tom Robinson leads this effort and can be reached at [email protected]

We are excited to announce that the Bay Area Open Space Council has stabilized and is now poised for its Version 2.0.

What’s next?
Next month we will launch an 8-month process to develop a long-term Vision, Strategy, and Implementation Plan. The plan will articulate a compelling mission, shared vision and values, clear goals, and the path to achieving it all. In parallel to the development of the strategy we will identify a business plan. Financial sustainability, and the discipline of connecting it to the organization’s mission, is critical.

Four members have stepped up to provide financial support for this important planning process. We thank Marin County Parks and Open Space DistrictMidpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, and Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District for their leadership and support.

Annie Burke will lead this process with a project team consisting of Tina Stott of Stott Planning Associates and Laura Rodriguez of Youth Outside. We are forming a Planning Committee and Feasibility Working Group with experienced leaders and people with different perspectives to help shape this plan.

We want your input on the future of this organization.

We will provide updates on the planning process – including ways for you to participate – on our blog in the coming weeks and months.

If you have any questions about or ideas for the Bay Area Open Space Council as we embark on this planning process, please contact Annie Burke at [email protected]

Thank you for your support of and participation in the Bay Area Open Space Council. The community of this organization has been and will continue to be its strength.


The Board of Directors and Advisory Council