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District awards grant funds to three trails projects

Contact: Colleen Valles
Office: 408-630-2985
Mobile: 408-681-9265

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February 25, 2015

SAN JOSE—The Santa Clara Valley Water District awarded $571,000 in grants to three projects to provide new access to trails and open space.

The three awardees, the County of Santa Clara, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority and West Valley College, were selected from a pool of six applicants in the first round of competition for trails grants from the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, a parcel tax approved by voters in 2012. Grant amounts awarded in this cycle range from $171,000 to $200,000, and all projects must be completed by June 30, 2018.

“We had a number of interesting proposals for the grant funds. All three projects went beyond the minimum of 25% matching funds, and are committed to complying with Guidelines and Standards for Land Use Near Streams and other plans.” said Sarah Young, Senior Project Manager for the water district. “We look forward to working with awardees to build trail projects that minimize impacts to wildlife and wildlife movement and prevent encroachment into critical areas.”

County of Santa Clara
The county’s project provides access to previously inaccessible areas adjacent to Calero Reservoir at Calero County Park with 5 miles of new multi-use, natural surface trails. The county also committed to comply with the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan. These improvements to the park, in the Guadalupe watershed, will benefit residents from all over Santa Clara County. The county was awarded $200,000 in grant funds and the total project cost is estimated at $348,000.

Santa Clara County Open Space Authority
The Open Space Authority’s project provides an outdoor learning center that will serve as an event venue, outdoor classroom and a central meeting location for educational and interpretive programs highlighting the riparian and watershed features, as well as the natural and cultural resources of the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve. The project also includes a creekside loop trail that provides 0.66 miles of trail accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The authority’s $200,000 grant will contribute to the overall cost of $530,000 for the whole project.

West Valley College
The trail provides about 1,750 feet of ADA-compliant pedestrian access adjacent to a recently restored section of Vasona Creek and new wetland area within the West Valley campus. The trail work will connect with the City of Saratoga’s Heritage Loop Trail, improving public access to the West Valley College campus facilities and recreational opportunities. The total estimated project cost is about $420,000; West Valley College won $171,000 in grant funds.

Leveraging funding by partnering with local agencies through the grant process allows the water district to provide a greater benefit to the public. These grants build on the work of previous trails grants under the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Program, which provided more than $4 million to 22 trail projects between 2001 and 2013. These grant projects along with Joint Trail and Joint Use Agreements provided access to more than 70 miles of creekside trails throughout the county

The water district expects to distribute nearly $35 million in grants, partnerships and rebate programs over the life of the 15-year Safe, Clean Water Program.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 1.8 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 275 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.