Santa Clara Valley Water District awarded grants to help restore nearly one half mile of Stevens Creek
On Oct. 17, the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program presented its 2010 Site Design Award to the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the city of Cupertino, Calif. for a restoration project on Stevens Creek where it passes through Blackberry Farm Park.
The project was designed to maintain the natural floodplain of the creek, providing protection from flooding to the surrounding neighborhoods while reducing runoff.
The first phase of the Stevens Creek Corridor Restoration Project was completed in 2009. The water district awarded grants totaling $1.39 million to the city of Cupertino to help restore nearly one half mile of Stevens Creek. In addition to funding support, the water district provided expertise on the design of the project.
Four partial barriers to steelhead migration were removed and creek banks that had been compacted and denuded by years of heavy picnic use were restored with native plants. Stevens Creek has been identified as one of the prime steelhead habitats within Santa Clara County. This particular reach of the creek serves as a steelhead spawning and rearing area.
The project also included the replacement of 3.4 acres of an asphalt parking lot with a permeable surface, reducing runoff into the creek.
Phase Two, which is scheduled to be constructed in 2013, will complete riparian restoration in the section of the creek that flows by the Blackberry Farm Golf Course. Worn out concrete-lined channel will be replaced with pool-riffle sequences and fish habitat structures that provide much better habitat. The newly restored creek banks will be planted with native vegetation. This phase also includes the addition of trails and environmental enhancements and will be partially funded by two grants totaling $850,000 from the water district.
The water district’s grant support for this project is funded by the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Program, approved by Santa Clara County voters in 2000.