Our open space is an amazing resource! Not only is it a great place for outdoor recreation, it also provides several important ecological functions and is home to a variety of plant and animal species.
• It helps to offset the effects of the urban heat island and is also a factor in maintaining good air quality.
• It absorbs and cleans storm water run-off and provides areas for groundwater recharge.
• And, it’s valuable habitat for native wildlife and plant species and provides vital migration corridors so that wildlife can access other open space areas. “Wildlife” includes everything from meta-predators such as mountain lions which are important for keeping populations of other mammals in balance, all the way down to pollinating insects which are important for maintaining plant diversity.
With regard to the plant and animal species that make our open space home, we have:
• More than 600 plant species, 17 of which are either rare, threatened, or endangered.
• Wildlife such as mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, deer, raccoons, skunks, and many others.
• And, about 175 different bird species throughout the year.