On August 5, 2003, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Strategic Plan for the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation System. Prior to the Board’s decision, the County Parks and Recreation Commission endorsed the Strategic Plan, and the Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee (HLUET) of the Board of Supervisors accepted the Plan and forwarded it to the Board for final approval.
Summary Elements of the Strategic Plan
Planning Process and Framework
The strategic planning process involved a collaborative approach between the County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Parks Department staff to develop a plan based upon public input and guidance from key stakeholders and the community. A Steering Committee consisting of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, Director and Deputy Director of the Parks Department, sought input from other public agencies, volunteers, private organizations, lessees and other groups that provide or regulate outdoor recreation opportunities, and elected officials to develop the plan. Overall, the planning framework for the Strategic Plan included three major phases: Developing the Vision, Painting the Picture, and From Picture to Practice (defining the implementation actions).
Countywide Significance Criteria
To address questions that deal with a regional park activity or facility of “Countywide Significance,” the Parks Department and Steering Committee developed criteria that are consistent with the Department’s Mission, Vision and Values to evaluate future park improvement, facility development and recreational activity use proposals that would be of regional significance.
Regional Parkland Classification System
To focus planning, development and management efforts vital to balancing public recreation opportunities and resource integrity, the Department and Steering Committee developed a classification system of regional parks. Through park classification, the dominant character and principal values of an area can be defined under five main categories: (1) Regional Park Resource Bank, (2) Regional Park Natural Area; (3) Regional Park Rural Recreation Area; (4) Regional Park Urban Recreation Area; and (5) Regional Historic Sites. Such classification provides a framework within which system-wide use and management strategies may be applied for the programming, orderly development, and use of regional parks. Also included in the Strategic Plan is a set of Countywide Trail Classification that was based upon the Board-approved Santa Clara County Countywide Trails Master Plan (1995).
A series of system-wide strategies resulted from the strategic planning process that responded to the “key issues” and “current challenges” that were solicited from Strategic Plan community workshops, public meetings, surveys, Technical Advisory Group meetings and Department staff meetings. Overall, the plan calls out 8 Strategic Goals, 19 Strategy Areas, 56 Strategies and 100 Implementation/Action Items.
Action Plans and Priorities
Captured in three phases, the Strategic Plan’s implementation plans highlights 12 action areas: Acquisition, Capital Improvement Program, Countywide Trails, Interpretive Program, Maintenance, Marketing/Customer Service, Natural Resources Management, Operations, Outdoor Recreation Program, Partnership/Volunteers, Staffing/Organization, and Funding Plan.
Funding Plan and Strategies
As part of the Strategic Plan development, the County Parks and Recreation Department and the Steering Committee recognized the importance of stable funding for the implementation of the Strategic Plan strategies and the on-going operation, maintenance and improvement of the parks and recreation system. The Strategic Plan addresses the need to seek additional funding to supplement existing revenue sources as a strategic goal. The Funding Plan includes strategies for studying a variety of methods to finance acquisition, development, maintenance and operation of parks and recreation facilities.
NOTE: A copy of the Strategic Plan is available for viewing at the following locations:
- Parks Department's Administration Office: 298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA, 9503
- County Clerk of the Board's Office: 70 W. Hedding Street, East Wing, 10th Floor, San Jose, CA, 95110
- County Recorder's Office: 70 W. Hedding Street, East Wing, 1st Floor, San Jose, CA, 95110
- Reference Desks at Libraries within the Santa Clara County Library System (Alum Rock Library, Campbell Library, Cupertino Library, Gilroy Library, Los Altos Library, Los Altos Woodland Branch, Milpitas Library, Morgan Hill Library, and Saratoga Library)
TO PURCHASE A COPY OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN: If you would like to purchase a copy of the Strategic Plan, please download this order form
and mail a completed form to the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, 298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA, 95032.