The Open Space Council Blog


Ways to Take Action

June 11, 2017


“If you could think it up, you could make it happen.”


In her opening remarks at the 2017 Open Space Conference, Deb Callahan, Executive Director of the Bay Area Open Space Council, quoted these words from Russell Train, the second Administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and dedicated conservationist.

Photo by Jennifer Hale Photography


For EPA Administrator Train, the thoughts he put into action led to policies that were landmarks in the development of the environmental movement, such as the creation of the Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species, and Marine Sanctuary Acts, and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. What if each of us took a moment to think it up and make it happen in our own contexts? For example, what if we shared that the US outdoor recreation industry generates $887 billion in consumer spending with their elected officials? Or submitted comments to the Interior Department about the National Monuments under review? What if the sum of our individual actions rippled out into lasting impacts that got us where we wanted to go together and as a region?

If we take collective action together, we CAN make it happen.

To this end, below we’ve listed easy ways for you to take action based on the Conference speakers’ ideas and presentations. You’ll find links to learn more about and engage with their work, support initiatives, and reference material that can fuel your own efforts. For speaker contact information, please email Sarah Noel Ross at [email protected].

To view all of the speakers (some of whom are not listed here) and their presentations, click here to go to the 2017 Open Space Conference page.

This is just to get you started. If you have additional resources and actions related to the 2017 Open Space Conference that you would like to share, tweet them with #2017osc and we will share them.


Here are the ways to take action:

Outdoor Access for All

Rebecca Bear, Director of Education and Local Community Development at REI


Accelerating Nature-based Solutions to Secure a Healthy Future

Ellie Cohen, Executive Director, Point Blue Conservation Science


Awesome Nature Heals: Outdoors Experience, Awe, and Mental Health

Craig L. Anderson, Ph.D., Great Outdoors Lab, UC Berkeley


From Big Risks to Big Rewards: A Year in Review

Panel discussion on risk-taking’s role in land conservation success stories

Sara Barth, Executive Director, Sempervirens Fund
Chairman Reno Franklin, Kashia Band of Pomo Indians
Brendan Moriarty, Project Manager, Trust for Public Land
Doug McConnell, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, OpenRoad

  • Learn more about the incredible places around us by tuning into OpenRoad on NBC Bay Area.


The Power of Story: Restoring our Connection to Nature

David Loeb, Executive Director & Publisher, Bay Nature




1. Conservation Partnerships: Combining Complementary Strengths to Achieve More

Chris Coburn, Executive Director, Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Janet Klein, Natural Resource Program Manager, Marin Municipal Water District
Lisa Micheli, President and CEO, Pepperwood Preserve
Sara Press, Land Acquisition Associate, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
Abigail Ramsden, Conservation Planning Project Director, The Nature Conservancy
Monica Stafford, Community Ambassador Program Director, One Tam & Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Suzanne Whelan, Watershed Volunteer Coordinator, Marin Municipal Water District
Kevin Wright, Government and External Affairs Coordinator, Marin County Parks


2. Communications: Building a Bridge Between Message Research and Delivery

Deb Callahan, Executive Director, Bay Area Open Space Council
Liz Deering, Communications Director, Conservation Minnesota
Dave Metz, Partner, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3)
Robin Pressman, Consultant, Robin Pressman Consulting


3. Women in Outdoor Leadership

Rebecca Bear, Director of Education and Local Community Development, REI
Alyson Chun, Senior Instructor, REI Outdoor School
Janet McBride, Executive Director, Bay Area Ridge Trail Council
Aniko Millan, Supervising Park Ranger, Santa Clara County Parks


4. Economic Reports on the Value of Land

Mary Creasman, California Director of Government Affairs, The Trust for Public Land
Robert Doyle, General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District
Carol Johnson, Assistant General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District
Patrick Kallerman, Research Manager, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager, Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley


Climate Resilient Landscapes Panel

Matt Gerhart, Program Manager, San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program, California Coastal Conservancy
Robin Grossinger, Program Director and Senior Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute & The Aquatic Science Center
Nicole Heller, Director of Conservation Science, Peninsula Open Space Trust
Tom Robinson, Director of Conservation, Science, and Innovation, Bay Area Open Space Council


Take a moment to consider what thinking it up and making it happen means to you in your own context, and then put your ideas into action.


Photo by Angel Hertslet