By Quimet Martinez, SJSU student
On September the 8th at the McKinley Neighborhood Center, the first Coyote Meadows Coalition Community Meeting was held to share ideas for reclaiming Coyote Meadows, a nearly 50-acre parcel of land at the intersection of Story and Senter roads in San Jose. Over thirty people attended the meeting and among them Angel Rios, Director of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) and Yves Zsutty, Trail Network Manager.
Coyote Meadows was known as one of the largest homeless encampments in the area (“The Jungle”) and contains a former landfill. One of the big advantages of possibly developing this space is that the land is already owned by the City of San Jose.
The audience was welcomed by Heather Lerner of the Happy Hollow Foundation. Deb Kramer of Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful provided background of how the Coyote Meadows Coalition came together, the vision of the group and the idea of cultivating a mindset of stewardship or community ownership for Coyote Meadows, a former landfill. One big advantage to activating this space is that it is already owned by the City of San Jose, so acquisition costs are not a factor.
He highlighted that political will is needed to make this happen, along with investment strategies and compromises. Trails Manager Yves Zsutty recommended going BIG on the proposals since there are not any neighbors to complain about the noise or use. Also in attendance was Santa Clara Valley Water District Director Barbara Keegan, who shared the concerns of by the Water District about pollution in the waterways, but that an open space park would help to reduce pollution and minimize homeless activity while providing excellent recreational opportunities.
Some issues that sparked interest among the meeting were mostly concerned with the homelessness problem in the area. Coyote Meadows is indeed a great idea and it has many supporters, but the Coyote Creek Coalition needs help from the wider community in order for this project to move ahead.
Learn more and see maps at the webpage.
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Written by Quimet Martinez, SJSU student.