Staff Spotlight: Taylor Acosta (she/her), Stewardship Assistant

October 24, 2023

Posted in: People & Places

Say hello to our Stewardship Assistant, Taylor Acosta. Taylor was born and raised in Humboldt County and attended Sonoma State University earning a degree in Geology while playing Division II basketball. Following graduation, she moved to Portland where she worked for Deschutes Brewery and also advanced her education earning a GIS certificate from Humboldt State University. She eventually returned to Sonoma County, joining  Ag + Open Space in 2020 as a Stewardship Technician. Taylor was recently promoted to Stewardship Assistant and treasures her connection with so many of the special properties she has the pleasure of visiting as part of her work with Ag + Open Space. She’s also taking a Python class through Stanford University to further her technical skills.

woman smiling with a cow

What’s your favorite Sonoma County place to get outside and why?
While there are so many great places in Sonoma County to be outside, Doran Beach is one of the destinations I visit over and over again. Me, my partner, and my dog, Rawley, love to go there whether it’s a weekend, weekday, cloudy, or raining. On our way there we love to pick up scones and eat them as we walk along the beach. Creatures wash up on the beach all the time too and my dog loves to eat those or roll in them, presenting a new adventure (and a bath) almost every time.

What’s one fact, statistic, or interesting tidbit about land conservation that you enjoy sharing with others?
Did you know that Sonoma County is home to over 150 plant species or subspecies that are considered rare, threatened, or endangered? (Shout out to the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society). On the lands that Ag + Open Space has protected, I’ve been lucky enough to work closely with a handful of these species including Sebastopol meadowfoam, Sonoma sunshine, Clara Hunt’s milk-vetch, and dogbane.

What’s your proudest moment working in land conservation and why? What compelled you to pick a career in land conservation?
The moments that are most special to me are when I visit a piece of land with its steward and sense connection with the land, the person, and the earth just by walking, talking, and listening. When I write it down, it sounds pretty cheesy, but those are the moments I feel most like myself and the most connected to something I don’t really understand – and that’s why I do this work. Land conservation (what we do at Ag + Open Space) is a job, it can be measured, but what it does for our community and for us is sometimes intangible.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and why?
I don’t eat much ice cream anymore, but if I do, I like ice cream with bananas (so banana splits) or ice cream with cookies in it (like cookies and cream). Or just a chocolate chip cookie. It’s really clearly all about the cookies.