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After discovering that Steelhead trout and Chinook salmon visit our creek each year to spawn, we decided to see if involving the community with the protection of these resources was important to a broader audience.  This led us to set up a table on the Los Gatos Creek bike trail in April of 2013, along with simple signs and a toy stuffed Chinook salmon. We had 33 people signup that morning which led to our first cleanup in early May.
 
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Today, we have nearly 1500 followers on our Facebook pages with over 500 active volunteers. Our core group of 50 Master Volunteers support our efforts with a wide spectrum of activities from cleanup team leaders, graphic art, videography, biology team members, website development, cleanup coordinators, etc. Cleanups, once limited to a single site, now find efforts stretching from up on Lexington Reservoir to the confluence in downtown San Jose and hundreds of volunteers in attendance. Los Gatos Creek is the most urban creek in the Santa Clara Valley and presents many challenges including encampment activity, street/freeway blown trash, storm drain litter all finding their way into this fragile ecosystem.
Salmon in Los Gatos Creek 1996-2000  This video footage was assembled from clips provided by Roger Castillo, Salmon & St
Salmon in Los Gatos Creek 1996-2000 This video footage was assembled from clips provided by Roger Castillo, Salmon & Steelhead Restoration Group and Willow Glen Homeowner, Frank Cucuzza. Many may know Roger Castillo as he is the person who discovered the Columbian Mammoth now on display at the Children's Discovery Museum. These videos were taken between 1996-2000.
Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to us. These small commitments of one’s time make a huge impact in our ability to keep the momentum and growth to neighboring watersheds moving forward. Leaving our next generation a clean healthy creek must be a priority.
 
In spite of all the limiting factors, this creek contains a lot of life from western pond turtles, local great blue heron, beaver, steelhead  and Chinook salmon.
We as a community must take a leadership role in the stewardship of our creeks and rivers. Nature has an amazing ability to recover and we are seeing the early signs of this.
 
As an organization our goals are to Reclaim, Restore and Revitalize our creeks through volunteerism by:
  • Strengthening local agency coordination and efforts with volunteer action
  • Conducting ongoing cleanups via Team 222
  • Having a youth education program “Bring Classroom to Creek”
  • Monitoring reclaimed areas for re-encampment.
  • Reporting illegal discharges from storm drains
  • Restoration through riparian work/vegetation management