Bay Area/ San Jose/ Parks & Nature
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Published on April 21, 2024
Santa Clara County Unveils "Hike the Hundred" Challenge in Parks Centennial CelebrationSource: Google Street View

Santa Clara County is rolling out the red carpet for its parks - with a nod to the past and an eye on the future. The County Parks and Recreation Department has launched a slew of programs to mark a century since the first chunk of land was earmarked for public enjoyment, the first being a lush 400 acres near Cupertino that blossomed into the sprawling Stevens Creek County Park.

The latest addition to this eco-celebration is the "Hike the Hundred" challenge, where trailblazers can hoof it through 13 different county parks in a scavenger hunt-style expedition, an update on the former "Pix in Parks" initiative. "I take great comfort knowing that parks like Stevens Creek will be here for generations," Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, proudly said in a statement obtained by Santa Clara County News, underscoring a legacy of outdoor stewardship.

Not stopping at trails, the Parks and Recreation Department also addresses the leafier side. County honchos have vowed to plant over 100 trees in tune with Earth Day sentiments. This push for green goes beyond mere saplings - it's a statement of resilience against the climate crisis, according to Don Rocha, director of Santa Clara County Parks. "As we commemorate 100 years of county parklands and Stevens Creek, planting these trees symbolizes our ongoing effort to preserve and protect our natural habitats," he told Santa Clara County News.

And because no parks party would be complete without some H2O hoedown, they've thrown in the "There's Something in the Water" bash, slated for the summer waves at Stevens Creek County Park. This isn't just about splashing around, though. The festival will shine a spotlight on aquatic hitchhikers - invasive mussels - and the nitty-gritty of nautical safety. "Educating our community about invasive species is key to protecting our waterways for years to come," Rocha noted via Santa Clara County's press release.

Since 1956, when the County Board of Supervisors greenlit the Department of Parks and Recreation, the county has crafted one of the largest park systems in California. Now, 28 parks and over 50,000 acres later, county residents continue to reap the recreational rewards. Those interested in joining the anniversary events and initiatives can dock their browsers at or contact the park's Interim Communications Officer, Audrey Diaz, for the ultimate outdoor scoop.