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Public Trails Policy Criteria and Guidance

Click or tap to Be Heard!

Be Heard! 

To share your ideas and feedback about the Public Trails Policy Criteria and Guidance, please visit our online engagement site Be Heard Valley Water. 

There are more than 800 miles of creeks in Santa Clara County. Valley Water has jurisdiction over 275 creek miles in addition to ten reservoirs and narrow bands of adjacent lands totaling about 12,000 acres. We are currently collaborating with various municipalities to provide access to over 40 miles of trails on Valley Water land. These public trails are operated and maintained by either the city, special district, or Santa Clara County; the trails' location determines this oversight. 

Valley Water committee updates
Staff provided updates on the Public Trails Policy Criteria and Guidance draft to the Santa Clara Valley Water Commission on April 14 and the Environmental and Water Resources Committee on April 19. Here are the details from those meetings:

Santa Clara Valley Water Commission: Please click here to view the agenda and meeting materials.

Environmental and Water Resources Committee: Please click here to view the agenda and meeting materials.

A recording of the update given to Valley Water’s  Board Policy and Planning Committee is available for your viewingPlease click here to view the agenda and meeting materials from the January 25, 2021 committee meeting.

Public input and survey
Valley Water needs your input on our Public Trails on Valley Water Lands: Draft Policy Criteria and Guidance. This policy describes how Valley Water collaborates with local municipalities interested in using its lands for public trail use. You can provide your input by clicking on the Survey Monkey link below. Our goal is to:

  1. Develop a policy that supports healthy communities by providing appropriate public trail use on Valley Water lands, engage residents with water resources stewardship, and protect streamside ecosystems.
  2. Create a joint-use review process for trail projects, including requirements that maintain Valley Water’s operational, water supply and quality, flood protection, and environmental stewardship functions.
Materials from the December 17, 2020, Virtual Public Input Meeting

 - Agenda

 - PowerPoint Presentation

- Public Trails on Valley Water Lands: Draft Policy Criteria and Guidance

- Survey Monkey

- Video recording of the virtual meeting 

You can submit your input to Lisa Bankosh, Assistant Officer, Division of Watershed Stewardship and Planning at [email protected]. You can also sign up to receive project updates via email.

Valley Water protects the wildlife habitats on the lands and creeks entrusted to maintain and care for on behalf of the public. Valley Water is also committed to collaborating on recreational opportunities. As opportunities to provide public trails and recreation arise, a balanced and clear policy is necessary to guide decisions. Your feedback will help Valley Water establish an approach compatible with its water supply, flood protection, and environmental stewardship functions.

Click or tap photos below to enlarge