Authored by Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran. Published in the Milpitas Post October 13, 2017.
Milpitas is part of a much larger watershed that benefits Santa Clara Valley.
We live in an astonishingly beautiful region nestled against the rolling grasslands and oak forests of the Diablo Mountain Range. Milpitas residents clearly want to protect these beautiful landscapes. We voted overwhelmingly (79%) last November to renew the city’s Hillside Ordinance that insures protection of our scenic hills while allowing common sense development.
Water from those protected hillsides flows into Coyote Creek, which passes through our fine city on its way to San Francisco Bay. This makes Milpitas part of the same “watershed” – all the lands that eventually drain into the same creek – as San Jose, Morgan Hill, and the hills in southern Santa Clara County. The Coyote Creek watershed is 25 times bigger than Milpitas! Importantly, what happens upstream in Coyote Creek impacts water quality and flood management in our city.
Therefore, the Coyote Creek watershed is very important to Milpitas. One of the best opportunities for protecting this watershed and the benefits it provides is by preserving land in Coyote Valley-- 7,500 beautiful acres of farmland, wetlands, creeks, and trails just south of urban San Jose along Highway 101. Coyote Valley provides many important benefits to us all, like groundwater recharge, water quality protection, and slowing and capturing storm-water to reduce flood risk downstream. Efforts are underway by several environmental organizations, in coordination with local governments, to determine how best to protect critical Valley lands, thereby ensuring Coyote Valley continues to offer these multiple benefits.
The Coyote Valley also offers benefits to those who want to experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve on Palm Avenue is free to visit and offers four miles of trails. I encourage you to strap on your backpack, pack a picnic lunch, grab a friend and explore the oak woodlands, grasslands and meadows while you enjoy the magnificent vistas of Santa Clara Valley. In this ever-expanding urban metropolis, our community is very fortunate to have natural lands like these so accessible.
If you would like to know more about the multiple benefits Coyote Valley provides our region, you can access a recent scientifically-based report published by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, “Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage”, at openspaceauthority.org. The website also has information about the Open Space Authority’s preserves, programs, and activities. When you explore these beautiful open lands, think about the watershed connections between your home in Milpitas and the creeks flowing through Coyote Valley.
On Saturday, October 28, I’ll be walking Milpitas’ Coyote Creek Trail. Please join me!! Here are the details:
Creekside Walk and Talk
Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Coyote Creek Trail
North McCarthy Blvd and Ranch Dr, Milpitas
Mayor Rich Tran