“The setting aside of 11 acres for permanent open space wouldn’t normally merit much remark, but these particular 11 acres will allow the public to move seamlessly between two county parks and four open space preserves,” said Simitian. “Without the new corridor we have islands of recreation and habitat. With the connector properties, we help ensure the easy connection between open spaces that people, critters and plants need to continue thriving.”
The property will connect Upper and Lower Stevens Creek County Parks and four Mid-Peninsula Open Space Preserves, including Monte Bello, Saratoga Gap, Fremont Older and Picchetti Ranch. In recognition of the mutual benefits to both public agencies, Santa Clara County and Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District collaborated in assembling the funding needed to acquire the property for public benefit.
These properties are particularly popular with residents in the adjacent communities of Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
The Board of Supervisors approved the County’s side of the purchase at its regular business meeting on August 15, 2013. In exchange for the County's funding contribution, the County will obtain a conservation easement restricting future use for public park purpose, open space, conservation, and passive recreational uses, while the Open Space District will hold fee title to the property.
“When we work together we can do more and do better, and the public and the environment both benefit,” said Simitian. “I look forward to working with the Open Space District to make every dollar of our budgets work smarter to provide the public with more access to high quality recreational opportunities like this.”
The County and District have partnered successfully in the past to acquire properties along the same corridor. The linkages between properties allow important connectivity for plants and wildlife and enhanced recreational opportunities for the public.
As a part of the Board of Supervisors action on Tuesday, the County and the District will enter into a trail construction and maintenance agreement within five years after the District and County have secured the land entitlements necessary to extend Stevens Creek Trail. Each agency will have the responsibility for maintaining the trail segments located on the agency's respective lands.