Author: Nicole Solis, Communications Specialist
With the pass of Earth Day 2016, happy and energetic volunteers canvassed the Five Wounds Trail for a Saturday morning cleanup, led by Terry Christensen. The efforts to clear the trail included 18 community residents, 13 Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School students, and 54 San José State University students. Equipped with trash bags, gloves, and trash pickers, volunteers collected 91 bags of trash! Several large items were gathered for removal that included a printer, mattresses, a fan, and large pieces of wood.
“I didn’t know how good it makes me feel to be a part of the community until I started joining in to help maintain it. I live here and want to help the area represent the kind of people we are.” –Cleanup Volunteer
Named after the iconic 100-year-old Five Wounds Portuguese National Church that stands near the center of the trail, the Five Wounds Trail is a crucial link in the city-wide trail system. It runs from Coyote Creek at Story Road under I-280 to the Five Wounds church on East Santa Clara Street and north across Julian Street to Hwy 101 and Lower Silver Creek.
Joan-Cosby Rivas, Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace Neighborhood Action Council, educated volunteers with the “broken window theory.” The theory states that if a window is left broken and unrepaired, people believe the the community does not place any care or value in the property. By implementing a community-driven strategy to maintain the trail environment and surrounding quality of life, it can lead to a drop in crime and encourage engaging and vibrant neighborhoods to thrive.
Davide Vieira, a liaison for Five Wounds, educated the volunteers with the Five Wounds Urban Village Plan. Stemming from concerns in 1999, residents of the Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace neighborhoods first expressed an interest in converting the railroad line that runs through their neighborhoods into a trail for pedestrians and cyclists. Later in 2006, the rail-to-trail idea became a “top ten” priority. The coalition maintaining and creating plans for the trail are the Friends of Five Wounds group made up of the neighborhood residents, Save Our Trails, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and the San José Parks Foundation. Working with the city, county, and VTA, the group succeeded in placing the concept into the city’s new general plan as parkland/openspace to develop the urban trail.
Learn more about the Five Wounds Trail and the Friends of Five Wounds Trail initiatives for their continuing progress. Volunteers for trail cleanups play an essential role in community management, growth, and building. More opportunities to become a part of this movement are coming soon. Be the advocate for transformation!