Support for the “Preserve Our Progress - Guadalupe River Trail” memo

Joint letter logos

January 22, 2024

San Jose Rules and Open Government Committee
200 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113

Re: Support for Mayor Mahan and Councilmembers Davis and Torres: Preserve Our Progress - Guadalupe River Trail

Dear Chair Cohen and Rules Committee members,

The Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (SCVAS) and the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter (SCLP) support the memo authored by Mayor Mahan and Councilmembers Davis and Torres titled, “Preserve Our Progress -Guadalupe River Trail.”

The proliferation of encampments along San Jose’s waterways have been a sore issue for a very long time. These encampments have degraded riparian corridors, impacted vegetation, wildlife and water quality, and created unsanitary conditions along creeks. In addition, the encampments impede public access and enjoyment of city parks and trails. Successful clean up efforts have often been only temporarily effective, with people promptly returning to resurrect makeshift dwellings at a great cost to the environment and the community.

SCVAS and SCLP thus support the “Preserve Our Progress'' memo by Mayor Mahan and Council Members Davis and Torres, with the hope that the City Manager promptly implements a “no return zone” that prevents re-encampment along the Guadalupe River Trail. In addition, we hope the City prevents a subsequent expansion of encampments along the Guadalupe RIver south of Woz Way and north of Julian Street, and implements monitoring to quantify such potential impacts.

San Jose recently cleared encampments on Coyote Creek for the flood control project. We hope a “preserve our progress” policy can be implemented there as well, although we realize downtown is the priority. We hope that over time, implementing “no return zones” becomes an ongoing practice for the city of San Jose along all waterways in the City.


Shani Kleinhaus, Ph.D.
Environmental Advocate
Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society

Katja Irvin, AICP
Guadalupe Group Conservation Chair
Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter