Last May, POST reached a long-sought milestone by transferring the 136-acre Calero Lakeview property to our colleagues at Santa Clara County Parks (County Parks). POST acquired this important connective property in 2019 and spent the following years restoring it. Nestled in South San Jose’s verdant Almaden Valley, it features stunning views of Coyote Valley and Mount Umunhum across Calero Reservoir. The property was a priority due to a high threat of development and its location between other protected lands in the region.
Recreation enthusiasts will delight that Calero Lakeview provides the exciting opportunity to connect a pair of beloved County Parks — Calero and Santa Teresa — with a future trail. It’s also vital for wildlife connectivity between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range.
It was clear from the start that Calero Lakeview had great potential for wildlife and public access alike. That said, there was much work to do to restore this landscape to a level appropriate for both human and wildlife use. With a lot of elbow grease, we knew we could give this property a new, healthier lease on life.
As a private nonprofit, POST can carry out complex stewardship projects that include restoration, permitting, planning and more with a mix of speed, agility and grace. Before transferring land to public agencies like County Parks, we take steps to leave the property in better shape than we found it. We assess the situation, then repair and enhance natural resources. This involves removing dangerous structures, addressing environmental hazards and debris, and preparing the landscape for a better future. Once this is complete, it is much easier for agencies like County Parks to take over managing the property and start planning for its future.
When POST acquired Calero Lakeview, it included an aging horse boarding facility that had operated on the property for decades. After exploring all of the ways we might maintain it, POST and County Parks made the difficult choice to shut it down and remove the structures due to their extreme disrepair and lack of code compliance. In the end, the price tag to bring them up to usable standards and ensure ongoing operations and maintenance was simply too high. It was a painful decision, but the landscape now holds new promise: Its natural resources are in better shape after addressing contaminated soil and upgrading boundary fencing with a new wildlife friendly design. Plus, one day thousands of people may enjoy this as an extension of nearby parks.
It’s a common misconception that the lands we protect are in pristine condition. Calero Lakeview is a perfect case in point that they are not. Here are some highlights illustrating what it took for POST to restore the landscape:
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more