For more than 25 years, Andrea Mackenzie has been an effective and passionate leader for open space protection in the Bay Area, working at the intersection of urban and open space planning, policy, and funding to preserve the region’s significant natural and working landscapes. Andrea’s passion is fueled by a deep love of nature that has its roots in her childhood growing up in Los Angeles with the Santa Monica Mountains as her backyard.
After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara and a graduate degree in Urban Planning at UCLA, Andrea moved to the Bay Area to pursue her dream job as a National Park Service ranger for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Over the course of the next quarter century, she has worked for land conservation agencies and organizations around the San Francisco Bay region including the East Bay Regional Park District, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (OSA). This range of experiences has given Andrea a uniquely broad perspective on regional open space issues and opportunities.
As General Manager of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Andrea increased the agency’s portfolio of preserved lands from 25,000 to 75,000 acres and led the campaign for Measure F in 2006, which secured the agency’s funding for another 20 years. As General Manager of the OSA since 2011, Andrea has opened several new preserves to the public while tripling the revenue and doubling the staff of the agency, all in the service of implementing an ambitious 15-year plan to preserve the most significant remaining open space, habitat, wildlife linkages, and farmland in the South Bay. To secure the resources to implement this vision, Andrea helped guide the campaign for Measure Q in 2014, which ensures $120 million in new funding for the Authority.
Mackenzie remains an influential and visionary leader in regional efforts to promote nature as a critical life support system for our cities and urban population. As such, she is proud to serve on the Advisory Council of the Bay Area Open Space Council, the Working Lands Action Team of the California Economic Summit, and the California Council of Land Trusts’ Conservation Horizons Advisory Council.
Read about our other 2016 Local Heroes:
- Allen Fish, Environmental Education
- Naftali Moed, Youth Engagement
- Malcolm Margolin, Bay Nature Hero Award
Join us in celebrating Bay Nature’s Local Heroes at our 2016 Annual Awards Dinner on March 20, 2016 at the UCSF-Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. Click here for more details about the dinner, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities.