COYOTE — It wasn’t probably the most outstanding award bestowed upon people icon and social activist extraordinaire Joan Baez this yr — she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame — however the Woodside resident was all smiles amongst followers on the Committee for Inexperienced Foothills fundraiser on Sunday.
Baez, a Woodside resident who’s internationally recognized for her three-octave soprano vary and diehard anti-struggle efforts, can also be recognized on the native degree for preservation work on the Peninsula, notably these aimed toward serving to fauna buddies.
“The gathering at this time was about individuals, young and old, who understand the worth of the wilderness, the nonetheless operating wild deer, bobcat, birds, and naturally, the coyote,” she stated after the occasion, which drew about 500 individuals. “There’ll all the time be the troublesome challenges of slugging via the seize for land and energy, common ignorance of our have to resist international warming. However we will proceed to point out people who with out nature we’ll quickly barely exist.”
The committee, which is devoted to preserving open area in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, has been targeted on the Coyote Valley south of San Jose on both aspect of Freeway a hundred and one. It’s greater than 7,000 acres of greenbelt that committee director Megan Medeiros stated is likely one of the most threatened swaths of open area within the state.
“It’s the world the place the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Vary come so shut collectively they virtually kiss,” Baez stated. “And it’s distinctive — it’s the place bobcats and coyotes nonetheless thrive in Silicon Valley, maintaining the ecosystem in stability. It advantages the whole Bay Space.”
The Committee for Inexperienced Foothills has been rising. They’ve seen member households develop from 550 in 2013 to about 1,000. And attendance on the fundraiser has elevated from 200 in 2014 to this yr’s 500. So whereas Baez, seventy six, is an enormous-identify draw (she didn’t truly sing a track, however did do a coyote name impression that had the gang tittering) she’s not the rationale for the curiosity.
Different audio system included former Congressman Pete McCloskey, ninety, who co-based Earth Day in 1970; Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, who carried out a prayer ceremony; and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who talked concerning the committee’s favourite matter.
He stated that whereas the town has a basic plan that requires tasks that may create jobs, “we’re more and more recognizing that there are different alternatives for what can occur right here in Coyote Valley.”
He introduced up the significance of wildlife corridors, water retention, and flood management and recharging underground aquifers — all of that are eradicated when an space is paved over. A plan to construct an enormous warehousing operation within the valley was lately averted when the Peninsula Open Area Belief purchased the 30 acres for $5.eight million.
“We’ve, I consider, some very enlightened landowners who’re fairly prepared to interact with us,” Liccardo stated, “to speak about how we will greatest protect what’s most valuable.”
Baez stated that regardless of her ’60s roots she’s typically thought-about herself a cynic or a realist, not an idealist or an optimist. However particularly on the native degree, one can anticipate outcomes from a push for preservation.
“These good issues can occur if we work exhausting sufficient,” she stated, main into certainly one of her personal well-known quotes. “I stand by that ‘motion is the antidote to despair.’”