Newsletter: May 2011

WORP Save the Date

New Date - join us on June 16th for our 10th annual Window on the River Park fundraiser.  Information regarding sponsorships and individual tickets can be found at here. Proceeds fund ongoing education and stewardship efforts in the park.


Thanks to all our sponsors who made Spring in Guadalupe Gardens a great success – Adobe, Best Electric, Blach Construction, the City of San Jose, Club Rodeo, Greenwaste, The Health Trust, NBC Bay Area, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, and South Bay Water Recycling.

This year we added a...

5K Fun Run

Orchard Egg Hunt

and had the ribbon cutting for Phase 2 of the community garden.

L-R Leslee Hamilton (GRPC staff), Julie Edmonds-Mares (PRNS Assistant Director), Patrik Kwok (SCVWD Director), Sam Liccardo (City Councilmember), Jim Alves (GRPC Board Treasurer), Jodi Starbird (GRPC Board President), Bracey Tiede (Master Gardeners)


Become a S.T.E.W.A.R.D. this Summer

Looking for something different for your child this summer? Send your child to a fun and educational camp experience at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens.

Campers will be participating in educational activities, experiments, and games all while discovering how to be a:

S cience
T echnology
E nvironment
W ilderness
A dventure
R ecreation
D iscovery

This camp is designed to be small, so that each camper has an excellent opportunity to experience science and stewardship activities first-hand. As a result, space is very limited and pre-registration is required. Click here or call 408-298-7657 for more information.

Announcement - to maintain appropriate teacher:student ratios and ensure we have sufficient materials, we now require advanced registration for all our education programs.


Trail Update

The new trail segment from Woz Way to Virginia St. opened last month, linking the Washington and Gardener neighborhoods to downtown along the west river bank. Access to the east side trail at Grant St. is temporarily closed due to the flood control project but will be improved as a trailhead once construction is completed.

The city's new trail markers are being installed along the Guadalupe River Trail. Each marker features mileage from the terminus in Alviso. Pictured are the marker closest to the Visitor & Education Center and a way-finding sign. Thanks Trail Manager Yves Zsutty for making the trail more user friendly!


West Valley College and San Jose Park Rangers Team Up

Twenty-five West Valley College Park Management students and their instructors teamed up with GRPG Rangers and maintenance staff to complete a pair of projects last month. Students in the Power Saw class removed 44 dead or badly diseased trees. Students from a Park Operations class installed a stabilized decomposed granite base for a new picnic area near the Heritage Rose Garden. The site will soon be finished and available for reservations. City staff coordinated - and the students provided - 512 hours of volunteer labor valued at nearly $12,000. Kudos to Ranger Pam Helmke for spearheading this project!


The Bay Friendly Tour

The Bay-Friendly Garden Tour – Sunday, May 15th, 10am to 4pm – will showcase private and public gardens in Santa Clara County. Get ideas for sustainable home gardening techniques and practices. Guadalupe Gardens’ Courtyard, Taylor Street and Community Gardens will be featured. Booklet maps serve as the entrance fee for the tour and can be purchased for $10 on the Bay Friendly Coalition website or in the Courtyard Garden on May 15th.

12:00 Brian Debasitis, Bay-Friendly Qualified Landscape Professional and local soil health specialist will speak at Visitor & Education Center at 438 Coleman Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110.


Bike to Work Day

We will once again host an Energizer Station from 6:00 - 9:30 am on May 12th. Look for us on the lower trail, just north of the office.


Volunteers Needed!
Emily Creegan, our new volunteer coordinator, has hit the ground running and lined up lots of opportunities.

1) Water Wizard Festival on May 25th - 300 third-grade students will descend on the park to learn about our watershed. We need assistance to set up in the morning, run the booths, and clean up around noon. Corporate groups invited to help with event!! BBQ provided after event. To sign up or for more information, visit

2) Orchard Volunteer Days
Volunteers welcome: wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, bring sunscreen, hats and your own water bottles. We encourage you to bring cameras, too – there are some beautiful images of ripening fruit to be had! Please contact Kate at 408 298 7657 for more information. Click here to read the Orchard blog!

Spring Cleaning Workday, Saturday, May 7th - 10 AM to 1 PM
Fruit thinning, weeding and mulching

Community Workdays
Monthly, 4th Saturday, starting May 28th
10 AM to 1 PM
Harvesting, sheet mulching, fertilizing/soil amendment, pruning, weeding and more!

3) National River Clean Up Day

On Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 9 AM to noon, we'll be cleaning our adopted section between Coleman and HW 880 (Site 18). If you'd like to join us, just click here to sign up. We can only take 25 people for this site, but there are many other sites that could use help. To see a list of other sites, click here!

4) Office Volunteers
Are you more comfortable in an office setting than outdoors? If so, we could use help answering phones, especially Thursdays and Fridays.

For more info or to sign up, contact Emily Creegan at 408-298-7657.


Meet Board member Michael Bangs
Michael is Global Facilities Manager at Adobe Systems, Inc. He was raised in Livermore and after 3 years in the Navy attended Cal Poly SLO, graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and has held various positions in technology companies, including 3Com and Juniper Networks before joining Adobe in 2006.  He was co-founder of the Moffett Park Business and Transportation Associates while at Juniper and served as founding Board Chair for 2 years.  Michael recently completed a 6-year term on the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce, serving as Board Chair in 2005-2006.  He’s been a corporate representative on transportation committees of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and coached youth sports in Campbell for many years.


Volunteer of the Month: Rebecca Schoenenberger
Rebecca has played a huge role in getting the Taylor Street Rock Garden ready for the Bay-Friendly Garden Tour. She studied to be a park ranger, but found her calling in native garden design and has launched her own company. Thank you, Rebecca, for your commitment to green living, volunteerism, and Guadalupe River Park Conservancy!

Upcoming Events ~ Kids

Historic Orchard
Friday, May 13th
3:30pm to 5:00pm
Ages 5 to 10
$10/members, $15/non-members

Join Guadalupe River Park Conservancy for the last after-school workshop of the school year and explore one of Silicon Valley’s most precious natural resources – the Historic Orchard. The Historic Orchard is made up of 3.3 acres of fruit trees reflecting "the Valley of Heart’s Delight." First, reconnect with Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural heritage and learn about the origins of healthy food. Then, tour the Historic Orchard, learn how your favorite fruit trees grow, and create your own historic fruit labels.


Upcoming Events ~ Adults

Wild Neighbors
Saturday, May 21st
10:00am to 11:30am
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Join Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for a fun-filled, adult only workshop all about our amazing wild animal neighbors. Come learn about the crawling, flying, and swimming critters that share the Guadalupe River Park with San Jose’s residents. Be amazed at the number of species that live in our urban environment and enjoy an up close and personal visit from one of the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley’s live educational animals. Ask questions about animals that you might encounter in the city and find out what to do if you find injured wildlife in Guadalupe River Park.


Composting Classes
Wednesdays, June 1, July 6, August 3
6 to 8 pm

Start from the beginning and learn nature’s way of recycling in a free composting class. Join various Master Composters for a workshop covering items such as what can be composted, the different composting methods available (including worm composting), and what to do with the finished compost. The Wriggly Ranch worm bin and the Bio Stack compost bin will be available for sale before and after this workshop.


Twilight Yoga in the Park
10 Week Summer Series
Thursdays, June 9th – August 18th
6:15pm to 7:15pm
18 years or older
$60/members, $80/non-members

As summer’s warmer weather and longer evenings approach, we look forward to Twilight Yoga in the Park. Join Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and fitness instructor Kristin Strellis for a gentle yoga class designed to improve your flexibility, balance, and relaxation. All you need to bring is yourself, dressed in comfortable clothing, and any stress or worries that have accumulated throughout the week to release outdoors in the beautiful Guadalupe Park. All other necessary equipment in provided. This class will be taught outside and enrollment is limited, so make sure you reserve your space in this very popular healthy living class.


Beginning Nature Photography
Saturday, June 11th
9:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 18 and Up
$15/Members, $25 Non-members

Are you passionate about photography, but have never taken your art outdoors? Did you get a nice camera for Christmas that is now gathering dust in the closet? Set off on a three hour adventure with Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and SJSU photography program graduate and naturalist Greg Kerekes to enter the exciting world of nature photography. The class will start indoors as Kerekes reveals the basics of nature photography. Then, you will venture out into Guadalupe River Park for hands-on practice with your camera.

Bring your own camera; any digital SLR camera is preferred, but Kerekes will work with anyone who has basic point and shoot equipment. This class is ideal for the beginning photographer who has little experience with nature photography.


Introduction to Birding
Saturday, June 18th
9:00am to 11:00am
Ages 10 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Have you always wanted to try birding, but never knew where to start? Are you looking for a fun, affordable activity to do with your family this summer? Join Guadalupe River Park Conservancy for a family-friendly class all about the world of birding. Learn the basics of birding while exploring the beautiful Guadalupe River Park & Gardens and finish the class with the skills you need to start birding on your own. Introduction to Birding will be led by Ralph Schardt, who is an avid birder, a seasoned environmental educator, and a skilled photographer. This class takes place entirely outside, so bring good walking shoes, a water bottle, binoculars (optional), and a passion for birds of all shapes and sizes!


Summer Fruit Tree Pruning
Saturday, June 25th
9:30am to 11:30am
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Summer is an ideal and pleasant time to train young trees and encourage optimal fruit production. Summer Fruit Tree Pruning, a sequel to Guadalupe River Park Conservancy’s dormant pruning workshop, will be held in the Historic Orchard, a 3.3 acre site planted in 1994 to showcase the varieties of fruit trees that once made the Santa Clara Valley the “Valley of Heart’s Delight”. Using demonstrations and hands-on practice, professional landscaper Sean McGrail will teach you how summer pruning can help you train trees for an easier harvest. Bring pruning equipment, and dress ready to walk a spectacular orchard that contains over 250 fruit trees, including cherries, apricots, prunes, apples, and more.




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