The Valley Water Youth Commission is made up of 21 high school students throughout Santa Clara County, each appointed by one of the seven board members. It is an official board advisory committee that assists the board with public policy, education, outreach, and all matters impacting Santa Clara County youth. The Youth Commission meets quarterly and each commissioner serves a 2-year term.
Interested in learning more? Submit your interest form to stay connected and learn more about upcoming opportunities!
Did you know tens of thousands of pounds of trash is picked up each year along our local creeks, rivers, and streams in Santa Clara County? We can all play a part in stopping trash and debris from reaching our creeks, rivers, and the San Francisco Bay.
Join us for the National River Cleanup taking place every Saturday in May. Register for one or all Saturdays (May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29) and do your part to keep our creeks clean!
By pledging/registering, you will receive free exclusive tips on conducting a safe and effective cleanup. Pledge/Register your cleanup to stay connected with thousands of other volunteers hosting their own cleanups and to help us track the amount of trash we're keeping off our streets and creeks.
To keep our creeks clean, we'll be cleaning up in our neighborhoods and local natural areas.
Put those grocery bags and gardening gloves to use! Only collect what you can carry during your cleanup and what you have space to dispose of in your home trash and recycling bins. When registering, you will have the option to request assistance to obtain basic cleanup supplies: trash bags, gloves, and litter sticks. Before you explore this option, we STRONGLY encourage you to re-purpose cleanup supply items from home, like gardening gloves and grocery bags, to limit travel and exposure.
About National River Cleanup:
National River Cleanup is a national day of action to protect our rivers, watersheds, and wildlife from trash and debris. Since its inception in 1991, American Rivers have engaged more than 1.3 million volunteers who have participated in thousands of cleanups across the country, covering more than 261,000 miles of waterways and removing more than 32.5 million pounds of litter and debris.
Valley Water’s Public Arts Program works in collaboration with community stewards and local artists to beautify Valley Water's infrastructure through their expressive artwork. Currently, Valley Water is piloting the Adopt-A-Bench Project in which seven of our existing Valley Water benches throughout Santa Clara County will have updated interpretive art installed on them. This working group supports the AAB project via their creative input and involvement in project implementation and outreach. The previous Youth Commission cohort worked with local artist Paul J. Gonzalez to create the designs, provide feedback and assist with the painting of the bench artwork.
To learn more, visit the Adopt-A-Bench Arts Program.
The Creek Stewardship group plays an essential role in helping the community take action and responsibility for our local creeks. Members can participate, promote, and come up with creative ways to engage the community in large events especially during times of COVID-19 when large gatherings are discouraged. On a smaller but more involved scale you can help Valley Water develop a better system to recruit volunteers for the Adopt-A-Creek program or adopt a creek yourself! There’s a lot of room for creativity and improvement to give the community a strong sense that they can be part of the litter solution in our creeks. Plus, you can get outside and see the visible difference you are making!
Job Shadowing and Mentorship
The Job Shadowing and Mentorship group support the annual Youth Commission sponsored Valley Water Job Shadow Day, offering career exploration opportunities to high school students who job shadow professionals working in various Valley Water career fields. Job Shadow Day offers a chance to see what it is like working in a specific job or area of interest in the water industry. The subcommittee is responsible for social media promotion and school outreach to help spread the word on the various issues related to water, environment, and stewardship that impact young people. Throughout the school-year members of the subgroup help develop pathways for high school students to access mentorship opportunities with Valley Water
Youth Citizen Science Network
The Youth Citizen Science group was created to promote water-related Citizen Science projects to high school students throughout Santa Clara County. Citizen Science provides an opportunity for volunteers to collaborate with other agencies and to contribute data to scientific projects. Water Quality testing with a local environmental nonprofit was offered as an opportunity for Youth Commissioners to experience hands-on water quality testing at Steven’s Creek and the sub-committee members were looking for other opportunities to promote to youth throughout the county.
- How you can help keep creeks clean in Santa Clara County
- Adopt-A-Bench Public Arts Project with the Youth Commission
- 2021 Job Shadow Day
- Water Matters: A Family Affair
- High School Students Learn About Careers in Water at Job Shadow Day
- We Want You (Th)! Open Seats on Youth Commission For High School Students
- What’s in A Drop – A Youth Commissioner’s View
- Seeking Youth Water Leaders
- Developing the Next Generation Of Water Resources Stewards
For questions or more info email us at [email protected].