The Open Space Council Blog


We asked for it

August 11, 2015

We have a lot of data. After each Gathering we send an online survey asking what the attendees thought and what ideas they have. And after all of our Open Space Conferences we ask for feedback. This year we had a whopping 139 responses from the post-conference survey and we’ve read each and every one of them.

Recently we asked our members and supporters what they thought of the Open Space Council, and how we could best serve them. And you know what happens when you ask for input? You get it!

So far we have 87 survey responses. Thanks to all 87 of you! Do you work for an Open Space Council member or supporter and you haven’t taken the survey yet? We’d love to hear from you. It’s not too late! Click here.Word-cloud

What have we learned? It looks like this:


Almost ¾ (71.4%) agreed that networking at our events was one of your favorite things, closely followed by our focus on the regional scale (62.5%) and the Open Space Conference (60.7%) 

Our focus

We asked what programs we should focus on. There was a pretty even split between Convening, Protecting, and Regional Funding. Other ideas included:

About our Convening efforts

No one else can do that regionally; suggest we broaden out in a strategic way to gather more than the same olds…that’s done well. Let’s push it further. Get uncomfortable.

All of the other choices are great things to focus on, but the priorities among them (and other possible focii) will change over time, so the council’s convening function is THE priority, because through those meetings and discussions, the community can arrive at its current priority/ies. Without that convening function, the ability to mobilize the community behind any particular priority/ies is lost.

“Securing regional conservation funding is key, but I believe the key to that is through convening the community.”

About our efforts to Connect People to Land 

“People are coming to our park in droves and some behaving poorly. Outdoor Voice can be a positive medium to connect people, then help explain choices that are positive for people and the parks they visit.”

About our efforts to generate funding for the region

“In order to sustain the progress made over the last 30 years in Open Space conservation, it is essential that long term funding sources are developed to provide for stewardship and restoration of currently protected lands while also supporting additional land acquisition to protect established habitat reserves and expand migration corridors.”

 About our efforts to collaborate on Protecting the Land

“Protecting the land by establishing solid scientific data is the basis for then connecting people to the land and seeking funding. However, public agencies, in concert with NGOs are in the best position to secure funding. BAOSC is best positioned to create regional awareness.”

And lastly we asked for people to describe the Open Space Council. And folks said:

“I value the Council’s intra- and inter-agency advocacy for the acquisition, protection, and stewardship of open space.”

“The Open Space Council inspires and incubates progressive ideas in its members through its gatherings, and helps give a common voice to conservation around the Bay Area through its coordination of marketing and lobbying.”

“It represents an organized, cohesive leadership team that keeps an eye on current events and needs and promotes open space across the Bay Area.”


Do you work for an Open Space Council member or supporter and you haven’t taken the survey yet? We’d love to hear from you. It’s not too late! Click here.