Newsletter: December 2011
Happy Holidays!

Great Holiday Gift Ideas!
We offer many wonderful holiday gift items, some of which (e.g., rose adoptions) qualify as tax-deductions, and might also be eligible for corporate matching contributions.

Looking for a unique way to pay tribute to someone? Consider purchasing a paver or park bench in the Donor Walkway near HP Pavilion.

More Gift Ideas
Donations, Memberships, Adopt-A-Rose, Donor Walkway, Gift Certidicates, Greeting Cards, Umbrella, Sun Visor, Watershed Maps, Plane Spotter, Compost Bins

Mercury News Holiday Wish Book

Our environmental education field trips will be a featured in the Holiday Wish Book later this month. The story focuses on students from Washington Elementary who visited in October for our new Salmon and Trout Education Program field trip. For this program, we take advantage of the presence of Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout in the Guadalupe River to teach about life cycles and habitat preservation. We greatly appreciate the Mercury News for including us in this wonderful community tradition.

River Clean Up

Saturday, December 17th
9:00 am
to noon
Join us for our final river clean up of the year on Saturday, December 17th, from 9:00 am to noon. We will meet at the Visitor Center and work between Coleman Avenue and Highway 880. Click here to register, or visit or contact Emily at 408-298-7657 for more information.

Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 18th
8:00 am
to noon
The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count is an all-day census of early winter bird populations. More than 50,000 volunteer observers across the Americas take part in counting birds in their particular area. The result is over a century of data on bird populations from North to South America. This data is crucial because it is used by scientists to monitor bird population changes over time. Please join us to complete the census of birds in the section of Guadalupe River Park from Coleman Ave to Hwy 880 and in Guadalupe Gardens. No experience is necessary. Click here to sign up.

To see results from prior GRPG counts, click here.

Learn Rose Pruning from the Experts

Hands-on rose pruning lessons are being offered by volunteers in the Heritage Rose Garden on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning Wednesday, January 4th. Lessons begin promptly at 9:00 am. The training session is followed by hands-on pruning. We ask that you stick around for a couple of hours to help maintain this spectacular garden. No need to sign up; just make sure to arrive by 9 am or a bit earlier.

Taylor and Spring Streets
(On Taylor St, just west of Highway 87)
Parking available on Seymour St. (at Walnut)

Meet volunteer Deb Praisewater
Deb moved to San Jose to attend San Jose State University, where she earned a bachelor's in meteorology and a master's in information science. Her love of roses began as a child when her father planted some bushes for her mother. Deb worked with her mom to care for them. Thus, she was drawn to the Heritage Rose Garden when her employer encouraged her to spend 16 hours volunteering in place of her regular duties. Although she works full time and her 16 hours are almost up, she has enjoyed herself so much that she plans to volunteer with us whenever she can. Welcome Deb, and thanks to your generous employer for underwriting your time!

Upcoming Events

Annual Holiday Wreath Workshop
Saturday, December 10th
Morning: 10:00am to 12:00pm and
Afternoon: 1:30pm to 3:30pm NEW!
$25 members/$35 non-members

Get ready for the holidays the old-fashioned way by creating your very own wreath! Master Gardener Milli Wright and friends will teach us how to find unique and beautiful natural materials in our own gardens and parks that can be incorporated into home-made wreaths. After a basic design lesson, and examples of other clever projects, you will be ready to fashion your own personal wreath to hang in your home or to present as a holiday gift to someone special. All basic materials will be provided, but if you have greenery, lights, or ornaments that you would like to incorporate into your wreath, please feel free to bring them along.

Bike Ride to Alviso
Saturday, January 7th, 2012
10:00am to 2:00pm
Ages 18 and Older
$10/members, $15/non-members

Join Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and experienced 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 round trip ride from the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to Alviso, and back. This ride is mostly flat, but transitions from pavement to gravel. Make sure to 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 bicyclists are welcome, but must understand that they have to stay in pace with the rest of the class.

Successful Backyard Birdhouses
Saturday, January 14th
10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Building and installing a birdhouse is not as simple as it may seem. The location of your residence, the layout of your garden or patio, and the birdhouse’s design and size all factor into the habitability of a birdhouse. If you’d like to study the art of building birdhouses, join us on Saturday, January 14th for an adult workshop led by Mike Azevedo, County Coordinator for Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society’s Cavity Nester Recovery Program. In addition to teaching the aspects of a successful birdhouse, Mike will inform us about the efforts of the Audubon Society and others in the community to restore bird populations through cavity nesting programs. These programs establish special bird boxes throughout the wildlife corridors that run through our city—in backyards, parks, cemeteries, open space preserves, and even at the Guadalupe River Park!

Dormant Fruit Tree Pruning
Saturday, January 21st
9:30am to 11:30am
$10/members, $15/non-members

Winter is the perfect time to sign up for a pruning workshop with professional landscaper, Sean McGrail! Sean McGrail will teach you how to prune fruit trees and then you will gain hands-on experience by practicing your newly learned techniques on Guadalupe River Park & Garden’s Historic Orchard.

Sustainable Vegetable Gardening
Tuesdays from February 28th to April 3rd
7:00 to 9:00pm
$60/members, $70/non-members

Legacy Gifts

If you are over 70 1/2 years old and have an IRA account, you can make a tax-free charitable donation of up to $100,000 until December 31, 2011.

The advantage is that the transferred amount does not count as taxable income but does count toward your required minimum distribution. Please note, to qualify as an IRA Charitable Rollover, the distribution must go directly from your IRA custodian to the charity.


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Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
438 Coleman Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 298-7657
©2011, All rights reserved