The Coyote Valley Linkage to the Latino Community

Community
Photo Caption: Coyote Valley. Photo Credit: Derek Neumann
Photo Caption: Coyote Valley. Photo Credit: Derek Neumann

From the acquisition of California from Mexico in 1848, to the agricultural ties of the Valley of Heart’s Delight, to the transition of Silicon Valley, Latinos have strong cultural connections to Santa Clara Valley. Historically, we merge the issues of economic equality, civil rights, and local environmental concerns together. Latinos have consistently shown they care about our culture, nature, future generations, and a strong connection to the land. There is a place right here in Santa Clara Valley that deserves such care, though many don’t even know about it. It’s known as the Coyote Valley.

An area of approximately 7,500 acres located along Highway 101, between San Jose and Morgan Hill. The North Coyote Valley includes Laguna Seca, a wet meadow, Fisher Creek, undeveloped agricultural lands with grasslands, and small areas of oak savanna. The Valley is an irreplaceable connection between the Santa Cruz and Diablo Mountain Ranges. A recent scientifically-based report published by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, “Coyote Valley Landscape Linkage”, describes the multiple benefits derived from protecting and restoring lands in the Valley.  The Coyote Valley Watershed is the largest in Santa Clara County with underground aquifers supplying more than half of the County’s water supply.  In addition, the rainwater that spreads in this Valley helps prevent flooding in downstream San Jose neighborhoods.  Wildlife, including deer, mountain lion, foxes, bobcats, and coyote, travel between the two mountain ranges, through Coyote Valley, in search of food and mates.  These wildlife corridors help ensure animals have a chance at survival.

Coyote Valley deserves to be protected from inappropriate or misplaced development, with its increased traffic, air pollution, and loss of the most important natural areas for wildlife. The conservation of the Coyote Valley Landscape is essential to ensure our quality of life by providing climate change resiliency, natural flood protection, water resources, habitat for wildlife diversity, and other public health benefits.

The City of San Jose is very fortunate to have natural lands easily accessible.  The Open Space Authority’s Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve offers 4 miles of trails and vistas of the Valley, surrounding mountains, farmlands and oak woodlands.  There is no charge to visit any of the Open Space Authority’s preserves. 

We encourage residents to explore these unique and rare open lands.  Bring your family and friends for a picnic and enjoy the trails.

You can find out more about Coyote Valley and the Open Space Preserve managed by the Open Space Authority at their website:  openspaceauthority.org.

 

Co-authored by:

Sergio Jimenez, San Jose City Councilmember, District 2

Ada E. Márquez, Environmental Scientist and Faculty Member, Department of Environmental Studies, SJSU

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