Newsletter: August 2011

Pumpkins in the Park

Saturday, October 8, 2011
10 AM to 4 PM
Guadalupe River Park / Discovery Meadow, San Jose

Save the date - a bright orange pumpkin patch and a fanciful scarecrow display will welcome you to the park. The festival features free and low-cost activities for children, including pumpkin decorating, bounce houses, and environmental education activities, and entertainment by popular children’s entertainers Zun Zun, Andy Z, and many more.

We need volunteers to help make our largest event of the year happen! Various shifts and roles available, please register yourself or a group (high school, church, corporate, etc.) here: and help spread the word!

Sponsorship opportunities available - contact Phil at 298-7657.

New Field Trip Opportunity: STEP

Starting Fall 2011, we will be offering a new Salmon & Trout Education Program (STEP) field trip series for K-12 classes. Our STEP program consists of exciting field trips that focus on the Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout that make their way up the Guadalupe River every year and the healthy watershed that these important species depend on. The field trips feature hands-on science activities that fulfill California State Science Standards and that cater to a variety of learning styles. We greatly appreciate a grant from eBay Foundation that covered the start up costs for this program. If interested, please contact Steph at 408-298-7657.


We are elated to announce a $40,000 grant from the Yahoo! Employee Foundation. The funds will enable us to develop curriculum, purchase materials, and cover transportation costs for a pilot special-needs environmental education program. Thanks YEF!

New Homeschool Classes

Due to the popularity of our Outdoor Environmental Science Program for homeschool students, we are now offering a new workshop every week! Homeschool students can sign up for individual classes or a series to ensure that they establish a good foundation in environmental sciences. Individual classes are still only $10 per student, and registration for the series earns a discount. The first series is all about WILDLIFE, and the first workshop on August 17th will feature the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley and one of their live educational animals! Please click here to register.

Volunteer Power

Guadalupe River was the beneficiary of the first annual Silicon Valley Commercial Real Estate Community Beautification Day. Coordinated by Iron Construction, the event brought 75 people for a clean up of the Guadalupe River on July 30th. Vounteers from Iron Construction, BOMA, and other organizations removed about 1,000 pounds of trash –- thank you Silicon Valley Commercial Real Estate Community!

Survey Says...

We’d appreciate your feedback on our website and have created a brief, six-question survey. It’s time for a refresh, but, before making changes, we want to understand how you use our site. A Flip Mino HD video camera will be given to one lucky survey participant.
Click here to fill out the form.

Rose Dead Heading

Help promote a beautiful fall rose display by removing the spent blooms in the Heritage Rose Garden. Join us for our next evening deadheading event on Tuesday, August 9 from 5:30-7:30! Please register yourself, friends, family, group, etc. so we'll have enough ice cream.

New Picnic Site

You can now reserve a picnic site at the beautiful Heritage Rose Garden. The reservation fee is the City of San Jose’s standard $120 rate and includes access to a BBQ and four concrete picnic tables. Click here for more info.

Save the Date

The Italian American Heritage Foundation’s Festa returns to Guadalupe River Park on August 27-28.

Meet volunteers Jeanette and Scott Schnell
Scott and Jeanette have been married for 20 years and have seven biological/adoptive/foster children. Prolific gardeners, they belong to both the Orchid and Dahlia Societies and grow orchids in a greenhouse at home. They also love photography and have a video company called “My Greenhouse Productions.” As project managers for the Dahlia Demonstration garden, they invite everyone to visit soon as the plot is in full bloom and looking spectacular!

Thank you, Jeanette and Scott – we greatly appreciate your dynamic leadership and energy!

Like us on Facebook!

We are building our Facebook following. Click here to visit our FB page and give us a like. If you feel like going the extra mile, look for the "suggest to friends" link and tell your friends about all the great things we do. Many of which are listed throughout this e-newsletter!

Upcoming Events

Guided Bike Ride to Alviso (with Wildlife Viewing)
Saturday, August 13th AND
Saturday, October 29th
9:00am to 1:00pm
Ages 18 and Older
$10/members, $15/non-members

Join naturalist Greg Kerekes as we explore the Guadalupe River Trail on an exciting bicycling adventure! Observe and ask questions about the Guadalupe River’s diverse wildlife as we travel downstream on a 4-hour, 20-mile ride from the Visitor Center to Alviso and back. This ride is mostly flat, but transitions from pavement to gravel. Bring water, a sack lunch, sunscreen, sunglasses, a bike with tires that can handle gravel, and a helmet. Bicyclists must be in good health and able to ride at least 20 miles at a moderate pace without difficulty. More experienced riders are welcome but must keep pace with the rest of the class.


Foolproof Flower Arranging
Saturday, August 20th
10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Summer is underway, and you’ve gathered a marvelous bundle of colorful summer flowers and foliage. Now what? Master Gardener Milli Wright is presenting a workshop about the basic principles of floral design. Learn creative ways of combining colors, unique foliage fillers, and tips and tricks for harvesting, preserving, and showing your flower arrangements. Bring your own vase and then use the provided materials to create your own floral masterpiece!


Exploring our Watershed: A Sense of Place
6 Saturdays, August 27th to October 1st
9:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 17 and Older
$50/members, $60/non-members, or
$30/college students (Student ID required at first class meeting)

Underneath San Jose’s freeways, buildings, and technology centers, there is earth and water. Develop a sense of place as we explore the natural areas of San Jose. Expand your scientific understanding of our natural world, how we are affecting it, and how we can be stewards for its conservation. Investigate the various landscapes of the Guadalupe Watershed, such as the Guadalupe River Park, Santa Cruz Mountains, Almaden Lake and its surrounding forest, Ulistac Natural Area, and Alviso. The six-class series will focus on the natural history of the Guadalupe River and its wildlife, but will also touch on botany, watershed science, and other ecological concepts. More>>>


Fall Walking Series
8 Saturdays, August 27th to October 15th
8:30am to 9:30am
Ages 18 and Older
$40/members, $50/non-members
Instructors: Kristin Strellis and Sheri Suomela

Do you sit all day at work and need an energy boost? Did your exercise routine fall apart when the weather heated up? Burst out of summer with a fun, new way to get fit this fall! Join us for an eight-week fall walking series, led by fitness instructors Kristin Strellis and Sheri Suomela. Step by step, you will improve your health as you walk the paved trails along the beautiful Guadalupe River. Learn proper stretches, toning exercises and wellness tips as you meet others who enjoy outdoor exercise.

Nature News

Like the state it’s named after, the California poppy has always attracted intrigue and renown. The first Spanish explorers named the flower “Copa del Oro,” meaning “cup of gold.” According to legend, when the poppy’s petals fell they turned into real gold, which was eventually buried deep in the soil. In 1890, a few decades after the Gold Rush, the California Floral Society chose the California poppy to be the official state flower over two other contenders—the Matilija poppy and the mariposa lily. Today, there is a common myth that it is illegal to pick a poppy in California. There is no law that prohibits one to pick a poppy, but it is illegal to pick flowers or any plants on preserved land.

From spring to late summer, you can enjoy the bright orange blossoms of the California poppy, Eschscholzia californica. At Guadalupe River Park, you can find them in the grassy meadows, in small clumps in the Historic Orchard, in some of the garden plots at the community garden, and in the demonstration garden on Taylor Street. Poppies grow best in sunny, cool spots with well-drained soils, and are mostly found in grasslands, oak woodlands, and chaparral regions.

Silicon Segway offers tours of GRPG & SJ

In exchange for promotional consideration, Silicon Valley Segway provided a tour for our board retreat. You too can tour the GRPG like never before...atop a Segway! Lasting about two hours, your tour will follow the river trail making several stops along the way to visit key points. It also hits several spot in dowtown San Jose. Don't worry, segway training is included. Call ahead to book at 1-800-u-segway or visit Silicon Segway's website.

Legacy Gifts

Did you know that your attorney, CPA, or financial planner can help you craft an estate plan that provides for your favorite charities at little or no expense to your loved ones?


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Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
438 Coleman Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 298-7657
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