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Thank you for being a supporter of the Conejo Open Space. The following is an update on our local open space and what you can do to stay involved. 

 

The devastation of the Woolsey Fire inspired this beautiful image and message of hope by local graphic designer, Silvia Berg, who was moved when she saw this new growth just 2 weeks after the fire. The Woolsey Fire burned much of our open space and structures within it. Your donations will help COSF fund rebuilding efforts and open space management, messaging, and education. Please consider donating to COSF today here. Many thanks!

You can find wildfire and trail status updates here. It’s important to stay on the marked trails and stay out of the burned areas on all sides of the trails. Our open space is healing, and boots, bikes, and horses off trails will greatly damage and retard the regrowth.
Donate Now
Volunteer Now
Conejo Open Space Challenge 2019
Please visit https://cosf.org/events/conejo-open-space-challenge/ for the links to the trail segments. Have fun out there, and remember to stay off the trails after a rainy day until they are dry. Be a good steward of our open space this spring!
Look for the Wildflowers
By John Kross 
Some of our native plants prosper after a fire because they actually need the heat to germinate. These are called "fire followers". Perhaps best known are the fire poppies, which flourished after the 2013 Springs Fire and early 2014 rains. Other fire followers include white eardrops and whispering bells. 
 
This year is amazing. The wildflowers are thriving. Many shrubs are able to re-sprout after a fire because their deep roots are undamaged. These include laurel sumac, toyon, ceanothus (several species), birch-leaf mountain mahogany, and others.

Some other flowers seen in abundance this year, but not necessarily in the burn areas: golden star, shooting stars, indian pink, popcorn flower, blue dick, and many more. Look for them, and enjoy!

And, please, remember to stay on the trails!
Please Don't Spread Seeds in the Open Space...
Seeding in open space by visitors is considered an encroachment and is a violation of COSCA Ordinance Section 234.  Our open space occurs in a Mediterranean ecosystem, which by definition is fire adapted.  Seeds from many different native (and unfortunately non-native species) already exist in the soil and will germinate in due time.  Random introduction of seeds to our open space areas by well-meaning visitors purely for the purpose of making something “pretty” is not conducive to ecosystem recovery.
Take a Look!

Estuary.us is a beautiful, informative, and educational blog about open space flora and fauna here in Conejo Valley and the SMMNRA. Its creator, Sherrie Felton, is a local road and mountain biker, trail runner, and hiker and she has been taking pictures, researching her topics, and writing brief essays that are fun and educational to read. You can find Sherrie’s blog here.
Spring Trail Work Day

The November wildfires and the sorely needed rains are creating many opportunities for a wide range of trail rehabilitation work. The March trail work day will be in Hawk Canyon.

A second Spring Trail Work Day on April 6 will be on the Wishbone Trail . If you would like to be notified of these and future trail work projects, please complete the application on the website that follows and remember to select Trail Work from the pull down menu in “Area of Interest”   https://cosf.org/volunteer/

FREE Hikes!
Come get to know some new trails - or come re-visit your favorite trails - in a guided group hike setting. The 2019 CRPD Open Space Appreciation Hike series is underway. Come join us for these monthly mid-range hikes! Upcoming hikes are listed below, or go here to see details of the 12 hikes we’ve planned for 2019. Participants must be at least 14 years old, and a responsible adult must accompany hikers under 18. No pets please.
  • Sunday, March 10, 2019 from 8 am to 11:30 am Rancho Simi – Simi Peak
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 8 am to 11 am Conejo Canyons –Elliot Peak from Rancho Conejo Road
  • Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 8 am to 11:30 am Dos Vientos – Dos Vientos Interior “Lollipop” Loop
Conejo Open Space Family Tree
Confused about all of the different open space acronyms? The above image should help to clarify who we all are and how we are related!
(Courtesy: Conejo Open Space Conservancy Agency)
Trail Trivia: About the Conejo Open Space Conservancy Agency

Thank you to Steve Clark for the above image that shows our open space. Steve dedicates countless hours to streamlining, updating, and maintaining the COSF.org website. We are so grateful for his time and contributions. Steve is a current director of the Conejo Open Space Foundation. Thank you, Steve!

The following is an excerpt from the COSCA website at http://www.conejo-openspace.org/about.html.

The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency preserves, protects, and manages open space resources in the Conejo Valley.  COSCA's open space system is a refuge from urbanization.  It's a resource that appreciates in value for both people and wildlife as time goes on.  With your help, our open space system will continue to offer a safe, stable environment for all organisms, whose complex interactions combine to form valuable habitat and ecosystems.

COSCA was created in 1977 by a joint powers agreement between the City of Thousand Oaks and the Conejo Recreation and Park District, in order to coordinate land use planning and policy decisions, and facilitate open space acquisition, management, and conservation according to the goals identified in the City’s General Plan.

There are 15,250 acres of protected open space within Thousand Oaks' city limits and planning area.  COSCA currently owns and/or manages approximately 12,400 acres of that open space and maintains more than 150 miles of trails. COSCA's staff includes two full-time administrative staff and six rangers.

COSCA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of two members of the CRPD Board of Directors, two members of the City Council, and one appointed member of the public.
 

MISSION

To acquire, conserve, and manage open space within and surrounding the Conejo Valley for future generations, sustainably balancing public use with ecosystem protection.

VISION

The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency will permanently conserve a system of natural open space and multi-use trails within and around the Conejo Valley to steward natural and cultural resources, preserve native habitats, provide opportunities for public enjoyment through trail-based recreation and outdoor education, and visually enhance the community.

 In case of interest, a large map of our complete trail network is available here: http://www.conejo-openspace.org/assets/cosca-trail-system-20170921_.pdf

Spotlight on…
 
Who: Janna Williams, COSF board member, COSF Vice President. Janna is an energetic and positive person. We are so lucky to have her on our board and now serving as VP for the foundation! 

Day job: Owner/Aesthetician of Janna’s Skin Care in Agoura Hills. My practice is with West Valley Medical Aesthetics and we work closely together to provide high quality aesthetic services.

Why is open space important to you? I always say that being outdoors is my happy place and in particular when I am in the mountains on a trail. The fact that I live in Westlake and do not even need to get in my car to access the open space is such a gift and I feel so blessed that we have so much open space in the Conejo Valley.

What skills do you bring to COSF and/or Conejo Valley open space? I am the co-founder of the Conejo Valley Trails Runners which is a trail running club that was started in January 2013. We actually discovered many of our favorite trails because of the Conejo Open Space Challenge. Because we spend so much time on our local trails, I wanted to give back and applied and was accepted as a member of the Conejo Open Space Trail Advisory Committee. I helped with community outreach, trail work day and the Open Space Challenge. My skills would be: my passion and energy to get things done!

What do you like to do in open space? I am mostly a trail runner but I also hike and mountain bike. You can find me on the trails about 4 or 5 times each week.

Where’s your favorite place in to be in Conejo open space? That is a tough question because I truly love all the trails in our open space. If I had to choose, then I would pick the Los Robles Trails and I love to run it from Triunfo Community Park to Angel Vista. I have adopted the White Horse Canyon Trail which is also part of the Los Robles Trail System.

What are your hopes for the future of COSF and/or Conejo Valley open space? As a board member of the Conejo Open Space Foundation, I hope we can continue to educate the public about our open space and how they can help to preserve this gift we have in the Conejo Valley. I also want our board to continue working with COSCA and their mission to acquire, conserve, and manage open space within and surrounding the Conejo Valley for future generations.

Any other thoughts or words of wisdom? We have 150 miles of trails and people tend to go to the more popular trails. I would love to see people explore all the different trails within the open space. Because of the more than normal rain this year there is an expected super bloom which will definitely entice people out. I know that I am excited!
Want to Volunteer? Here’s How!
COSCA relies on volunteers to help us oversee and manage our open space and trails. Volunteering for these programs below is easy, fun, not time-consuming, and a great way to get involved. You’ll also meet people who share your love of Conejo’s open space. You can read about the specific volunteer opportunities below, and you can submit a request to volunteer, noting your specific interests, here.
  • Adopt-a-Trail Program
  • Trail Watch Program
  • Trail Ambassador Program  This program is newly revitalized with the help of our new coordinator, Jeff Fischer. Trail Ambassadors are advocates of our Conejo Open Space who enjoy giving back by helping other trail users. They provide directions or a map when needed, a kind word (beware of the poison oak on your left as you go down this trail), or a reminder about trail etiquette. Trail ambassadors have different skills and knowledge. There are flower people, bird people, and geology people among them. Some just know the trail they are on. But they are all united by the desire to give back by helping other trail users. Email trailambassadors@cosf.org for more information
  • Trail Work Days (See article above for more information)
  • Trails Education Days Coming up soon! (March 25-28, 2019)
On Friday, February 22, 2019, eleven SAGE volunteers, COSF board member, Jerry Westby, Adopt-a-Trail coordinator, John Kross, and Ranger Nick, worked on the Wishbone Loop Trail behind the Westlake YMCA. The rains had damaged some of the previous trail work and all the volunteers pitched in to build at least a 1/4 mile of new trail, stopping not far from the top. It's the 4th SAGE volunteer day. They always come with positive attitudes and we greatly appreciate their willingness to contribute to our beautiful open space! 
The Conejo Open Space Foundation was formed in 1995 to promote and maintain the open space and trail system of the Conejo Valley and to educate residents as to their roles as custodians and protectors of the open space and the environment. Our web site illustrates ongoing Conejo Open Space programs supported by the Foundation that help preserve and protect our precious open space.
Copyright © 2018 Conejo Open Space Foundation, All rights reserved.


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Conejo Open Space Foundation · P.O. Box 2113 · Thousand Oaks, CA 91358 · USA

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