Spring 2016

Several residents and visitors have sent in pictures taken in our city's open space of scenic moments, group events, and beautiful flora and fauna. 

If you have pictures you would like to share, please email us 1-3 photos along with your name, the city you live in, and a brief message describing your activity. You may see your photo on our Facebook page or in a future newsletter!


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Brad Gates, President
Dick Paulsen, V.P. 
and Treasurer
Tim Neely, Secretary
Mike Barth
Greg Dillion
Mike Evans
Matt Gaffney
Al King
Rhonda Kreger
Tom Ostensen
Paul St. Pierre
Harrison Taylor
Derek Ostensen, Conservation Consultant
Robert R. Redwitz, CPA


San Juan Capistrano
Open Space Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) 
non-profit private foundation that was established in
January 2009.

Our mission is to acquire and promote 
the preservation, restoration, expansion, improvement and public use of open space within the City of San Juan Capistrano to enrich the quality of life for area residents.

Open Space Foundation Offers to Build Needed Fence Along New Trail
New trail extension is complete
©Eddie Perlas/Epic Photos
Trail users rejoice! A new section of the San Juan Creek trail now links the area from Mission Trails Stables to the Reata Park and Event Center. The 1,000-foot trail extension was built by Davidson Communities, the developer of the new Oaks Farms neighborhood off of Ortega Highway, as a condition of the development's approval by the San Juan Capistrano City Council. The trail extension completes the city's plan for a multi-use link from the beach at Dana Point to the hills east of the city.

The trail was designed to accommodate bikers and walkers on the paved north portion of the trail, and equestrians on the unpaved south side of the trail. The new trail extension also includes a bioswale drainage system to remove pollution from runoff water before it flows into the San Juan Creek.
The city council initially required that a split rail fence be built between the paved and unpaved portion of the trail to increase safety for trail users. However, it did not require the developer to build this needed fence.
The SJC Open Space Foundation learned of this need and sent a proposal to the city offering to construct the fence using volunteer labor and the city's fence materials. The volunteer labor would be offered at no cost, saving the city an estimated $15,000-$20,000, according to city staff estimates. 
The proposal was presented at the March 15th city council meeting, but a decision was postponed to a later date. We hope that the city council revisits the issue in the near future and votes to move forward with our proposal to provide volunteer labor to construct this needed fence. We will keep you updated on the status of the proposal and the city council's decision.

Outpouring of Community Support in Memory of Sheldon Cohen
When Sheldon Cohen passed away last December, the community rallied to show their support of one of San Juan Capistrano's most beloved residents. Sheldon was devoted to his family, friends and community, and served on the city's Planning Commission as well as several other committees. He was a founding SJC Open Space Foundation board member and served as its first Treasurer. 

In recognition of Sheldon's contributions to preserving open space on behalf of the public and residents of San Jan Capistrano, his family suggested memorial donations in his name be made to the SJC Open Space Foundation. The outpouring of support has been tremendous, and we wish to thank every person who made a donation in Sheldon's memory. Your donation honors him in a meaningful way, while supporting a cause that was dear to his heart.

Two benches in memory of Sheldon Cohen have been proposed
©Eddie Perlas/Epic Photos
Sheldon's family and friends have submitted a proposal to the city requesting that two memorial benches in his name be placed in our city's open space. If approved, the SJC Open Space Foundation has committed its support to obtain and install these benches so that they may be enjoyed by all who visit our open space areas. We will keep you updated on the status of the proposal as details become available.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Sheldon Cohen, please visit our website for more information and/or to make a donation online.

Spring Has Arrived in our Open Space
Pacific Coast Iris and Coral Bells bloom at Reata Park
Photo: Christine Kramer
It's springtime and our open space is in full bloom! The native plant garden at Reata Park and Event Center is thriving and filled with color. 
"Reata Park is at its prime right now," said Mike Evans, SJC Open Space Foundation board member and president of Tree of Life Nursery. "Spring flowers are everywhere providing a food source and nesting materials for song birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators. Though our seasonal rains have been lighter than expected, the gardens in the natural area have not been irrigated since last summer, showing the true ability for natives to make it on their own. The gardens around the house, fountain, and patio are also in full bloom, showing spring's abundance." 
Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for a tranquil stroll through a natural garden. Stop by for a visit soon and enjoy the blooms of spring!
Thank You to our Members!
The SJC Open Space Foundation exists because of you - our members! Thank you to everyone who recently joined or renewed their annual membership. Your support makes our work possible and you can see firsthand the difference you have made in our community.
If you haven't joined or renewed yet, it's not too late! Become a member today and receive these benefits:
  • Subscription to the SJC Open Space Foundation's quarterly e-Newsletter
  • SJC Open Space Foundation decal
  • Advance notice of public events
  • Sponsor recognition in select SJC Open Space Foundation publications
  • Knowing that you are doing something positive for your community!

For more information and/or to register online, please visit our website. Thank you for your support!