Martial Cottle Park Foundation Provides Key Donation

Santa Clara County Parks
Photo Credit: SCCGOV

Santa Clara County, CA – Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation received a generous donation from Martial Cottle Park Foundation towards restoring and repairing the historic structures of Martial Cottle Park’s Life Estate located at Martial Cottle Park in San Jose.

The Martial Cottle Park Foundation donation, in the amount of $196,147, covered the full cost to restore and repair the windows of the Cottle House, bringing the total of their donations to nearly $300,000.

The donation reflects the joint effort between the Foundation and the Department to develop, operate and maintain the park, and to promote and sustain farming traditions thereby displaying the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara County from the mid 1800’s to the present.

The Department is grateful for the Foundation’s contribution, which expands the Department’s ability to operate, develop, preserve, educate and improve the park. Sharing the park, its history and stories with park visitors and the community embraces the vision of Ethel Cottle Lester and Walter Cottle Lester to provide education and outreach on agriculture and what it was like to live on the Cottle Ranch during the century of The Valley of Heart’s Delight.


Martial Cottle Park is comprised of 287.51 acres of farmland, a remnant of Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural history. Martial Cottle Park is the result of a generous gift from Walter Cottle Lester of 120.12 acres to the County and the sale of 136.52 acres to the State.

Walter Cottle Lester lived out his life on 31 acres of the life estate and upon his death in 2014 the land and buildings transferred to the County. In 2015 the County purchased the remaining Cottle/Lester personal property from his trustee. In his estate planning documents, Walter Cottle Lester established the Martial Cottle Park Foundation, which is managed by his trustee. The Martial Cottle Park Foundation’s primary goals are to assist the County in archiving the family collection and repairing and restoring the historic structures with the life estate.

The Martial Cottle Park Foundation previously donated $95,088 for materials to preserve, restore and repair Cottle/Lester family buildings and belongings at Martial Cottle Park.

Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department has provided recreational opportunities, beautiful parks and precious natural resources for Santa Clara County residents for more than 60 years. This golden legacy has resulted in one of the largest regional park systems in the State of California.