Our 1.5-acre classroom was the site of massive flooding nearly five years ago that destroyed three homes. The Santa Clara Valley Water District board of directors bought the land shortly after the flood, razed the homes and pledged to rebuild the site as an educational platform for future generations.
Kathy Machado with one of the first groups to visit the new classroom.
The new classroom helps teach children how to prevent future flood losses and what it takes to nurture our riparian environment.
The classroom encompasses land alongside Coyote Creek and includes a covered gazebo classroom for students and teachers, as well as a platform overlooking the creek where students can study the stream's natural habitat. A groundwater monitoring well also on site will enable students to observe and evaluate the underground water table.
Water district staff lead field trips to the Coyote Outdoor Classroom to teach students how to safely sample and evaluate water from the creek, as well as from the groundwater aquifer where Santa Clara County receives about half of its drinking water in a normal year.
The site also features two planting areas - one site close to the creek planted with native trees and shrubs to improve the stream's wildlife habitat, and a "high terrace," or upland, area landscaped with oaks, grasses and other native plants to demonstrate drought-tolerant gardens.
The Coyote Creek Outdoor Classroom is located at 791 E. William St, in San Jose, between 16th and 19th streets, across from the Williams Street Park.
To schedule a visit to the classroom, e-mail or call Janet Hedleyat (408) 630-2601.