Fri07252014

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Water district grants flow to local restoration projects


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Grant money from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, including ,000 for Redwood Grove and ,000 for OKeefe Preserve, is funding local creek stabilization projects.

Los Altos and Los Altos Hills voters renewed the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan Parcel Tax in the November 2012 election, and a direct return on investment is on the horizon via two creek restoration grants.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board this month approved a $98,000 grant proposal from the town of Los Altos Hills to restore the habitat of Purissima Creek at O’Keefe Preserve and a $90,000 grant proposal from the city of Los Altos to continue the creek-bank stabilization of Adobe Creek at Redwood Grove. The district received 14 grant proposals and awarded six grants for projects that met the objectives of the Clean, Safe Creeks measure.

“It definitely makes us able to do this project,” said Redwood Grove Park Supervisor Damon Cockerham, who noted that funding from the district totals approximately 25 percent of the total capital improvement budget for Phase 2 of the Adobe Creek restoration project.

The city of Los Altos plans to pick up the remainder of the costs from the city’s park in-lieu fees, according to Cockerham.

“The hillside is eroding and we’re going to use a method to stabilize it using toe-wood installation, logs into the base of the stream bank, backfill cobble and brush layering,” said Cockerham of the project.

In addition to creek-bank stabilization efforts, a creek channel will be shifted to slow flowing water and a pedestrian bridge relocated. Restoration is scheduled to begin next spring and conclude by the end of the summer 2014.

Los Altos Hills residents can expect to see improvements to the banks of Purissima Creek at the O’Keefe Preserve, an 8-acre open space located near Interstate 280 and El Monte Road. Members of the town’s Open Space Committee said the grant would fund the removal of invasive plants along the creek bank and surrounding site. The town did not provide a project schedule to the Town Crier.

For the 2013 grant cycle, the Santa Clara Valley Water District also awarded grants for habitat enhancement at San Francisquito Creek, tidal marsh zone restoration at the Palo Alto Baylands, encampment cleanup at Coyote Creek and a trail along Ronan Channel.

According to district officials, 92 projects totaling more than $16.8 million have received funding through the grant program and other joint-funding partnerships since 2000.

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