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Getting Started

How can I get started?

Adopting a creek in Santa Clara County is easier than you may think. The program is FREE and requires only two days a year (minimum) out of your time. Here's how it works:

  1. Identify the creek that you would like to adopt and identify the area by city and nearest cross streets. For example, you may choose "Canoas Creek between Blossom Hill Road and Branham Avenue."

    You can find out which creeks are available for adoption by emailing [email protected] or calling the Adopt-A-Creek program at (408) 630-2333. You can also view creeks by city.

  2. Review program requirements and safety guidelines.

  3. Download, complete, and email the Adopt-A-Creek application to Valley Water at [email protected]. You may also choose to print and mail your application to our address: 5750 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA 95118-3614, Attn: Adopt-A-Creek Program. If you prefer, we can also mail you an informational packet which includes an application. Call us and we'd be happy to mail one out to you.

  4. The program coordinator will be in touch with you within seven working days of receiving your application to notify you of the availability of your creek selection. If your creek choice is not available, we will recommend another area as close to your home or business as possible.

  5. Get your permit. Once your application has been processed, we'll email a permit that will allow you and your team to remove litter or graffiti. We'll also put up an Adopt-A-Creek sign to recognize your group. It will take approximately 2 months to process permits.

  6. Schedule your first creek cleanup and notify the water district at least 10 days in advance. This will allow us make sure there is no maintenance work scheduled during your creek cleanup. See the three steps to start your first cleanup.

The water district will furnish garbage bags, gloves and gate keys (if necessary) to access your creek site, all FREE of charge. The program also arranges for a maintenance crew to pick up the collected debris after your cleanup event.