Greg Unangst - President
Steve Garrity - Vice President
Garth Williams - Treasurer
Andrea Stawitcke - Secretary Directors
Subra KumaraswamyMessage from the President
Rajiv Mathur Advisory Board
Rhonda Farrar, Founder
Dear <<First Name>>,
I am extremely honored and humbled by being selected to take my turn as President of the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail. I want to thank Scott Trappe for leading the Friends through a difficult time of pandemic-induced uncertainty. Much was accomplished during his two year tenure and he has laid a solid foundation for the future.
The trails continue to see heavy use by both pedestrians and bicyclists. We urban residents are on the trail for recreation, exercise, mental health, emotional cleansing, and just to be outside near nature, sunshine and fresh air. We are also starting to see moderate increases in commuter traffic which should continue through the course of the year.
We hope that 2022 will be the year we start to return to normal, or at least closer to normal. We have learned that this virus can mutate such that we have to retreat back to where we were a few months before. Nonetheless, we are starting to plan for outdoor activities like our Trail Clean Up event in April and a non-virtual Trailblazer Race in September. When the various cities start to have Art & Wine Festivals, we will be there promoting the trail.
In spite of the pandemic, local governments continued to make progress on trail development in both visible and less visible ways. Cupertino held an opening ceremony for extending the trail from McClellan Ranch south to Linda Vista Park, about 1/3 mile. Sunnyvale has issued RFPs and has received responses from contractors to conduct environmental and design work for extending the trail from Remington to Fremont Ave. Contractor selection should occur in early 2022. Mountain View is right behind and will be issuing RFPs for extending the trail from Dale – Heatherstone to Remington. Mountain View is also actively working to bring the Crittenden Ln access point to ADA compliance. They also expect to start the Colony St entrance to the Permanente Creek Trail and to finish the project within 2022. In Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, the Midpeninsula Open Space District has approved the Stevens Creek Trail designation for 4 miles of trail. We are now working with Santa Clara County Parks to apply a new common SCT signage to the existing Tony Look/Stevens Creek Trail in Stevens Creek County Park.
Speaking of common signage, a highlight of our year was the adoption of a new Stevens Creek Trail medallion to unify all segments of the Trail from the mountains to the bay. We’ve also created a Signage Working Group to continue projects in all of these jurisdictions. A video tour of the Trail was created to highlight key features and demonstrate the need for a common symbol to connect all the segments. This video is available to all on our website.
We don't design, build or fund these trails—the cities and other government agencies do. Our role is to educate and foster support in the community for these projects, provide feedback to the agencies on citizen issues and nurture communication with and between all the stakeholders to try to make these projects happen faster.
Thanks to the hard work of our many volunteers, board members and staff, we continued to make progress on several of our key objectives.
I am grateful for the support, both in time and money, of our members and corporate sponsors that have made it possible to continue to promote these trails and advocate for their enhancement. I am looking forward to seeing many of you on the trails in 2022.
Friends of Stevens Creek Trail
Thanks to the help of our enthusiastic volunteers, supporters and local governments, we are proud to report the following:
Local Government and Agencies
Mountain View The City approved, in principle, the extension of SCT from Dale/Heatherstone to Remington Drive and committed funds for its design with Measure B funds from VTA. Environmental Reports and Detail Design efforts are scheduled to begin in July 2022. (The exact routing for both Mountain View and Sunnyvale extensions of SCT has not yet been determined.)
The City funded the initial design and construction to connect the Permanente Creek Trail to the east end of Colony Street. This will allow the growing neighborhood in that area to more easily access the trail to get to Shoreline Park as well as Crittenden Middle School. Currently, the City is working with Valley Water and California Department of Fish and Wildlife to obtain the necessary permits. Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2022 with completion by the end of calendar year 2022.
Construction work is well underway to bring the Crittenden Lane access point to Stevens Creek Trail into compliance with ADA regulations. The design uses fill to lengthen and decrease the slope of the ramp between the trail and Crittenden Lane. No switchbacks are involved. Completion should occur in the first quarter of 2022.
Sunnyvale Using VTA Measure B funds, the city of Sunnyvale has begun the environmental clearance and detailed design work on a one mile trail extension from Remington Avenue to Fremont Avenue. This will be the first trail segment within Sunnyvale boundaries. The current activity is to select a lead civil engineering firm, which is expected to be decided in spring, 2022. For Sunnyvale, this is considered Phase One, which the City will lead. Phase Two, the trail extension from Dale/Heatherstone to Remington will be shared by Mountain View and Sunnyvale, with Mountain View taking the lead.
The Friends has begun a partnership with Walk Bike Sunnyvale, to enhance our effectiveness in advocating for more walking/biking transportation options, including the SCT.
Cupertino The Stevens Creek Trail extension to Linda Vista Park from McClellan Ranch was opened by the City of Cupertino in June 2021, and a small dedication ceremony to unveil our plaque thanking land donors Richard and Ellen Lowenthal took place in August. We are also backing the paving of this trail and other future improvements to ensure it is accessible to as many visitors as possible.
Efforts are on to explore alignments to close the gap from Linda Vista Park to Stevens Creek County Park.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District In October, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) Board of Directors approved the Stevens Creek Trail designation for three trails within Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. Totaling 4 miles, these include the White Oak, Skid Road, and Stevens Creek Nature Trails, all traversing portions of the Stevens Creek watershed (see map below).
With this approval, Midpen will be the first agency to install the new Stevens Creek Trail (SCT) medallion as the official symbol to identify and unify the trail in Santa Clara County. Installation will be by Summer of 2022.
Midpeninsula Map SCT Designated Trails in Monte Bello Open Space
Santa Clara County Parks The Friends are working with Santa Clara County Parks (SCCP) to implement the common SCT signage for the Tony Look/Stevens Creek Trail in Stevens Creek County Park. A sign plan is in development to place medallions along the trail from the northern trailhead at the main entrance to the southern trailhead at Stevens Canyon Road.
Projects & Events
Unifying Trail Signage Unifying segments of Stevens Creek Trail through common signage is an initiative sponsored by the Friends in close cooperation with the cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and Los Altos, and local agencies Santa Clara County Parks, Midpeninsula Open Space District, Ridge Trail and Bay Trail. These organizations formed a Signage Working Group in 2021 and endorsed a medallion symbol to use throughout the Trail. Variations will also be used for specific designations and wayfaring.
Removal of barrier to fish passage This large, complex and expensive project budgeted at $175K (double our annual operating budget) is now primed for construction. This project to remove a barrier to fish passage along Stevens Creek at Deep Cliff Golf Course saw the designs being completed on schedule, in spite of the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Though navigating the labyrinthine regulatory approval process was a major challenge for us, approvals from nearly a dozen local, state, and federal agencies were obtained.
The construction and project completion is expected to happen in 2022. We are grateful for their funding for the project to Valley Water, the Cities of Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Los Altos, the Santa Clara County, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the Deep Cliff Golf Course. Additional grants from Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Guadalupe Coyote Resource Conservation District and the Los Altos Community Foundation helped us tide over the increase in project expenses caused by the longer approval process.
We held the second “virtual” Trailblazer Race in 2021 with over 100 participants. We can’t wait to resume hosting this as our usual in-person event in the Fall of 2022, the 28th instance of the race, and are hoping it will be safe to do so!
Employees from Google and Visa helped in making safer and cleaner trails for all by participating in Trail Cleanups. We thank the Fire & Environmental Protection and Parks & Recreation departments in the City of Mountain View. Thanks also to Valley Water for enabling us to support these cleanups. We expect to have multiple trail cleanup days in 2022.
We participated in multiple fairs, festivals and events in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino. These create greater awareness of our trails and wildlife corridors and help educate residents and visitors about them.
Retreat Our annual planning meeting is normally held in the first quarter of the calendar year. However, because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic it was pushed out to October. As a group we decided to form two new committees, Fundraising and Communications, to address vital aspects of our mission and operations.
Changes in the Board Our Board, with the exception of three changes, remained the same over the year. Marianne Baker, board member & de facto Director of Communications, returned home to the UK. We are fortunate to have Richard Lowenthal join the Board. He has a long association with public service, trails and specifically Stevens Creek Trail. Scott Trappe stepped down from his position as President and Greg Unangst took over from him from the start of 2022. We wish to thank and acknowledge the dedication and many contributions of all of our volunteer Board members.
We also wish to thank Chris Mendible, our Associate Director who retired from the Friends in June. Chris was associated with the Friends in one way or another from the very beginning and is sorely missed.
How You Can Help Do these projects matter to you, or do you have something you wanted added to our list? If so, get involved! We are a community organization, and our work is done primarily by concerned citizens like you! Reach out to us through any of the means listed below.
Donate We welcome contributions by check, credit card or through PayPal. We also accept stock donations. For any inquiries or additional information, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our grateful thanks to our donors. Many of them went the extra mile to secure matching contributions from their employers. We will not share names without specific prior consent. We are, however, very appreciative!
Volunteer Those who are passionate about the trails or the wildlife corridors and would like to volunteer, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sponsor Sponsorships have been an integral part of the fundraising efforts at Friends of Stevens Creek Trail. Here’s more information on sponsorship opportunities.
Amazon Smile Anyone can contribute to the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail when making Amazon purchases by choosing us as the nonprofit to support on Amazon Smile.