Martial Cottle Park: A vision….one step closer.
Finally a project timeline (released today) has been set for the creation of a master plan for the Martial Cottle Park. It has been several years since we here in the South San Jose area were last updated about the future of the giant parcel of land once owned by Mr. Walter Cottle Lester. Over the next several months the California Department of Parks and Recreation along with the County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department will have their hands full with meetings, hearings, fact finding missions, and lots of paperwork as they put together this master plan.
When it’s all said and done we should see a clear picture of what the park will look like. Walter Cottle Lester’s vision was to have a park that would pay tribute to the history of farming in the Santa Clara Valley. Along with walking trails, picnic areas, gardens, small agricultural museum and more this could become one of South San Jose’s premier attractions. You can even see a man-made lake sketched-in on the artist rendering….wow!
Walter Lester is the descendant of Martial Cottle, a Santa Clara Valley settler and farmer who arrived to San Jose with his parents in 1854 after crossing the plains from Missouri. Martial Cottle and his father acquired the Lester property (a portion of the original Santa Teresa Rancho) in 1864. Martial Cottle (Lester’s grandfather) set up his own farming operation and eventually developed the existing farmhouse by incorporating additional improvements to the original 1878 structure. The farmhouse is listed in the Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory.
Lester gifted the County with 153.3 acres, and sold the State Parks 136.5 acres, where all of which will be preserved and developed into a historic agricultural park called Martial Cottle Park. The land is bordered by the streets Branham Lane, Snell Ave. and Chynoweth Ave. If you drive by you may still see some form of farming, but not much. Back in 1995 the city of San Jose re-zoned the land from residential to parkland. To this date it’s still one of the largest and most significant public donations in the history of Santa Clara.
If the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department stick to the dream that Walter Cottle Lester envisioned as his legacy, we here in South San Jose will receive a wonderful gift.
Read more about the Martial Cottle Park Master Plan here.