New Trails at Coyote Creek Parkway

The 15-mile long, 2,200-acre park is the largest watershed in
the county
Morgan Hill – The final plans for Coyote Creek Parkway are taking shape.

Santa Clara County park planners are finalizing a master plan for the park that could bring parking and picnic facilities, equestrian and boat staging areas, and new and improved trails and riparian habitat areas just west of Lake Anderson.

Park planner Elish Ryan said the challenge of designing the park is the need to balance preservation of an important fresh water corridor with the reality of urban development.

“With the proposal of Coyote Valley [development], there’s going to be a lot of urbanization along this corridor,” Ryan said. “The question is, how does Coyote Creek maintain its riparian sense and be adjacent to major suburban areas? How does these become compatible?”

Coyote Creek parkway is a 2,200 acre county park and the largest watershed in the county. Ryan said that its size and shape – a 15-mile ribbon threaded from Hellyer County Park in San Jose to Cochrane Road – makes it difficult to construct a coherent use policy.

In addition to the demands of boaters, horse riders, bicyclists and hikers who want convenient access, planners must also limit uses in some areas as the creek recovers from its history of mining and environmental degradation.

“The areas of preservation need to be enhanced,” Ryan said. “There are severely degraded areas from past activities.”

The park plans will be opened for public input early next year. To view the proposed alternatives, visit www.parkhere.org.

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