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Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Digest

Palo Alto Eyes New Sites for Pet Projects


Dog owners in south Palo Alto have plenty of reasons to get excited as they watch the city add new fenced play areas for their furry companions. But things are different in the north, where supply hasn't kept up with demand.

Mountain View Drafts New Plan for Parks, Open Space, Seeks Community Input


Mountain View is looking to expand its park system with an ambitious plan that will bring more parks, trails and open spaces to the city, laying the groundwork to create what's called the Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan.

East San Jose Walking Trail Will be Expanded


Twenty years after East San Jose residents began advocating for more open spaces in their community, city leaders have completed a key step in expanding the neighborhood’s celebrated Five Wounds Trail.

Neighbors Cheer as Work Kicks Off on Boulware Park


Palo Alto city leaders gathered on a dusty field to celebrate the city's first expansion of a park in at least two decades.

Vast Marine Sanctuary Proposed in Partnership with California Tribe


The Biden administration is one step away from designating the first national marine sanctuary nominated by a tribe. Tribal members of the Chumash, who have lobbied for the creation of this Central Coast preserve for more than a decade, would be involved in managing it.

Palo Alto Eyes Safety Improvements at Foothills Nature Preserve


With Foothills Nature Preserve seeing a surge of visitors, Palo Alto is preparing to install new pathways, parking areas and traffic-calming measures.

Castle Rock State Park Grows By More Than 200 Acres


Castle Rock State Park expanded on Aug. 15 when the Sempervirens Fund sold six properties to the state of California for $4.21 million. Nestled on the border of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Castle Rock now covers more than 5,400 acres.

Accessible Playground Project Set to Break Ground


Rengstorff Park is set to be home to a Magical Bridge playground, which is designed to be accessible for people of all ages, including those with physical and cognitive disabilities.

Open Space Authority Reaches 30-Year Milestone


Three decades of commitment to preserving nature and connecting communities will be celebrated by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority in 2023. The celebration will include the fall opening of Coyote Ridge Open Space Preserve.

Council Fills Seat of Ousted Parks and Recreation Commissioner


After a controversial decision to block the reappointment of a parks and recreation commissioner, the Santa Clara City Council has decided on his replacement.

East San Jose Lake Finally Receives Funding for Restoration


The state budget allocated $1.5 million to improving Lake Cunningham, which for years has suffered under the weight of faulty infrastructure and poor water quality.

Fewer Visit Despite Open Access to Foothills Nature Preserve


The number of visitors to Palo Alto’s Foothills Nature Preserve in 2022 dropped 24% compared to 2021, but rangers note that unexpected problems are cropping up having to do with the lack of cell phone coverage.

California Legislature Passes Joshua Tree Protection Law


California lawmakers passed the Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act, permanently protecting the iconic and imperiled species.

Will San Jose’s St. James Park Revamp be a Catalyst?


One of San Jose's oldest parks wants to remake history again after more than 150 years. St. James Park, located on nearly seven acres in the downtown core, is getting a complete makeover.

Chris Isaak’s Former San Mateo Coast Property to Become a Park


A stunning property once owned by rock singer Chris Isaak moved a big step closer to becoming a new public park—the first of its kind in more than 50 years—when the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve an $11.6 million construction contract to build amenities at Tunitas Creek Beach.

Lawsuit Doesn’t Stop San Jose Park Concerts


Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose hosted its first springtime concert in St. James Park, the latest step in establishing a permanent outdoor performance venue. The shows will take place despite an appeal in a lawsuit to stop the revamp of the park.

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Plans Plod Ahead


Plans to revamp the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds into a sports and recreation facility have been progressing for more than a year, but it's unclear when shovels will hit the ground.

Council Adds New Faces to Human Relations Commission


The Palo Alto City Council added new members to the Human Relations Commission while favoring existing members for the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Great America Chaperone Policy in Effect


Moving forward, young teens and children who take a trip to California’s Great America will need to do so with a chaperone. Now, any guests 15 years old or younger must have a chaperone who is at least 21 years old.

San Jose Council Considers Relocating Proposed Landmark


A proposed downtown San Jose landmark may have a new home after years of deliberation. The promoters of the "The Breeze of Innovation"—a design that would use hundreds of swaying rods powered by wind to light up at night atop a viewing platform and cafe—want to built its landmark at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The San Jose City Council unanimously agreed to study whether the proposed location works and to create a master plan to improve the park.

Redone Teen Center Ready for New Students


The Los Altos Teen Center, housed inside of the Community Center, was recently renovated. Anyone in grades 6-12 may attend for free, and operating hours are 3:30-6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Helen Chapman Fights to Save San Jose’s Open Space


Growing up, Helen Chapman was surrounded by acres of nature. She pursues her passion for preserving open space as the chair of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. And Coyote Valley is her crown jewel.

E-bikes Are an Environmental Dream—Except in Nature


The boom in electric-powered bicycling is reducing car travel, lowering carbon emissions and introducing homebodies to the great outdoors. But the activity is on a collision course with an equally cherished environmental ideal: peace and quiet.

Coalition Pushes for Park Along Coyote Creek


A 50-acre piece of land along Coyote Creek sits deserted and is frequently home to encampments, yet San Jose still hesitates to support a coalition's pursuit to turn it into a park.

Open Space Authority Celebrates 30 Years, 30,000 Acres


The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year by achieving a milestone of conserving 30,000 acres of open space. This open space includes 16 agricultural and natural resource conservation easements covering 5,146 acres.

Bay Area’s Largest State Park Targeted for Off-Road Activity


Henry W. Coe State Park was named as a possible location as California attempts to find new places where people can ride dirt bikes, dune buggies and ATVs.

San Jose Expands Police Patrol on Walking Trails


San Jose police officers will soon routinely patrol an area that once was the city’s largest homeless camp in an effort to help revitalize the region.

City Seeks Input on Memorial Park Revitalization


As the revitalization of Memorial Park continues, Cupertino residents are being asked whether they want the space to focus on local gatherings or to focus on nature.

Visit California Hires Global Consulting Firm


JLL will prepare a dozen regional strategic plans to help the state marketing organization promote smart, sustainable tourism over the next decade.

Palo Alto Eyes New E-Bike Restrictions in Nature Preserves


With e-bikes growing in popularity, Palo Alto officials are racing to keep up with the changing legal landscape and impose new rules aimed at protecting sensitive habitats.

President Biden Announces New National Monument Near Nevada-California Border


Avi Kwa Ame National Monument will protect sacred Native American sites, wildlife.

Pescadero's Pigeon Point Lighthouse Turns 150


The local landmark that hosts daytrippers and hostel guests alike is about to undergo renovations that could increase public access.