Staff Spotlight: Sara Ortiz, Administrative Aide

January 25, 2022

Posted in: News Articles

This month, we’re hearing from Sara Ortiz, one of our fantastic Administrative Aides, who works to make sure our agency runs smoothly. Our staff spotlights are a chance to learn more about the people who work to protect our natural and working lands, and also to hear about how they got into conservation work. You may even get some advice for your next dessert!  

What’s your favorite Sonoma County place to get outside and why?
Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve holds a special place in my heart. My husband and I hike it regularly with our dog, who is fascinated by the cow patties and always tries to roll in them. I love to see the diversity of folks who enjoy Taylor Mountain and I’ve recently gotten into playing disc golf there as well.

What’s one fact, statistic, or interesting tidbit about land conservation that you enjoy sharing with others?
Land conservation benefits everyone in our community in myriad ways. The most well-known is access to popular parks like Taylor Mountain, but land conservation is also responsible for ensuring we have drinking water and scenic views when driving between cities instead of suburban sprawl, protecting habitats for animals and plants, providing a wildfire buffer for communities, retaining the agricultural nature of Sonoma County, and so much more. Land conservation is for everyone.

What’s your proudest moment working in land conservation and why?
At Ag + Open Space, every person is involved in the work. My proudest moment is when a project is completed, and knowing I had a tiny part in making it happen. I am proud of the mountain of paperwork and land management contracts that went towards getting the Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve ready to transfer to Regional Parks so that it can one day be open to the public.

What compelled you to pick a career in land conservation?
I’ve done a variety of different jobs, including working for a different government agency. I wasn’t passionate about that position and was so excited to see an opening for Ag + Open Space. It’s a privilege to work somewhere I am committed to the mission and get to work with smart, talented people who feel the same way.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
Cookies ‘n Cream forever. I hate Oreos, but I love Cookies ‘n Cream.