Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, the Guadalupe River Park is a three-mile green ribbon of park that runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River. The River Park and Gardens provides 2.6 miles of trails, 150 acres of open parks to the public and is a resource of regional, cultural, environmental, anthropological, and historical importance to the people of Santa Clara County and the Bay Area.
The new visitor center, located where the Guadalupe River Gardens meets the Guadalupe River Park, will be used to hold educational programs about the River Park and Gardens and will act as a rest stop and starting point along the parks trail system. An industrial structure on the site, currently used by the Friends of the Guadalupe River, will be renovated into the main building of the new Visitor's Center. The building will be renovated with an eye towards creating a visual and physical connection to the river and gardens. New public restrooms, a children's play area, an amphitheater, a large meadow for gatherings and picnics, a new classrooms structure, and access to the lower river walk will be added. Working with the Friends of the Guadalupe River and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, the intent for this project is to be a showcase sustainable project, which creates learning opportunities for all visitors and promotes environmental stewardship. The project utilizes sustainable design practices and will be designed to LEED-EB certification standards. All the elements of the program will seek to draw the various systems of the Park and Gardens together and integrate itself into the landscape character around it.