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Sanborn Park clean up allows a brighter future

SAN JOSE – Sanborn County Park site restoration moves forward with the remediation and clean-up of the former Christensen Nursery, enabling next steps for the Sanborn County Master Plan implementation, which will facilitate in the creation of new campgrounds, trail connections, and other recreational activities for the community.

“Sanborn County Park is an important public space that serves thousands of residents annually,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. “I am pleased to see we’re making progress. Efforts to improve the Park and build out the amenities most sought after by the public should be a high priority.”

A significant amount of work needs to be accomplished at the former nursery site. Waste material and debris from the former nursery operation needs to be cleared, and existing utilities in and around the 17 structures located within the area will need to be capped. Contaminated soil will be removed and backfilled with native soil; fallen and diseased trees will be cut, chipped, or removed. The County will be developing a tree protection plan to minimize the removal of vulnerable trees in contaminated soil areas. The approved contractor, Brannon Corporation, will have 180 days to complete their work.

“Clean-up is not as simple as it sounds,” said Simitian. “Soils need to be treated to make sure they’re safe for the public. Trees need to be preserved and protected where possible. Once all this work is done, the foundation for a new public space will be in place, and that’s exciting.”

Sanborn County Park is located on the eastern slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains approximately two miles southwest of downtown Saratoga in the unincorporated County. The nearly 3,500-acre Park provides a variety of recreational opportunities for the public, with hiking, biking, camping, and picnicking among the most popular activities. Outdoor school and summer programs are also held at the Walden West Environmental Education Center located within the Park’s boundaries. The Park also provides important protected habitat for migratory birds, mountain lions, coyotes, reptiles and amphibians.

“Sanborn Park is a wonderful public resource, and Saratoga is fortunate to have such immediate access to it,” said Saratoga Mayor Kookie Fitzsimmons. “The Park is already one of many great attractions that bring county residents and visitors to Saratoga, and knowing Sanborn will be expanded and improved upon is something to look forward to.”

“The Park has a rich history, but the public hasn’t been able to fully tap into that history,” said Simitian. “There are buildings on this land that tell a part of the County’s story, but before that can happen we need to clean the place up.”

The Christensen Nursery was purchased by the County in 1993. Located close to the Park’s entrance, the approximately 57 acres was at one time a holiday estate, vineyard, and nursery. Currently, the land contains the Christensen home, a caretaker’s house, barn, and several other structures associated with nursery operations.