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NEWSLETTER: August 2012

New Logo & Website

Our board of directors decided it was time for a brand refresh and charged Communications Committee Chair Jack Wimberly with coordinating the effort. We hope you enjoy the new look.

Greater & Greener

GRPC Board President Dave Finn and Executive Director Leslee Hamilton attended last month's Greater & Greener conference in New York City. They returned motivated by keynote speeches from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and by the remarkable investment that New York City has made in its parks. Mayor Bloomberg noted, "In a tough economy, we know it's important to keep investing in what makes a city inviting to businesses and new residents... The city walked away from its future in the 70s. We did not do that this time." Echoing the need for investment, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett remarked, 'We convinced people who live in the suburbs that the quality of life in downtown is important; you can't be a suburb of nothing." Inspiring indeed!


It's almost time for another season of homeschool classes. This year, we will offer programs for children from 5 to 12 years old. In September we will start with a series called Feathers, Fins, Burrows and Nests: Habitats and Adaptations in the River Park. Our Guadalupe Guides will be leading students on an exploration of the River Park where they will discover how animals live in their environments and what is needed to survive. The series will include two special guest animal programs. Click here for more information.

Trail Update

Great news - the trail from Hwy 880 to Trimble will re-open next month, well ahead of schedule! According to San Jose's Trail Manager Yves Zsutty, "the fog seal (final oil coat) will be installed along the Hwy 880 to Airport Parkway segment over next two weeks. Please do not travel on the trail until construction is complete as use at this time will damage the surface." Click here to follow Yves' construction updates.

Demonstration Gardens

The director of California's Department of Pesticide Regulation will be visiting the Courtyard Garden on September 22nd to see the results of a $200,000 Integrated Pest Management grant that San Jose's Environmental Services Department received. The demonstration areas include the use of different types of mulch to suppress weeds and water-wise alternatives to turf.

Historic Orchard Update

Silicon Valley HealthCorps member Natalie Stameroff's term is coming to an end. She has been coordinating activities in the Historic Orchard since last October. Through her extraordinary efforts, we now have a hedgerow to attract pollinators, additional education curriculum, an agreement with UCCE Master Gardeners to maintain the "family" section of the orchard, and we were able to donate well over 1,000 pounds of fresh cherries, apricots, and prunes to local soup kitchens and food pantries. Thanks Natalie!

We're reverting to our former orchard coordination system; i.e., Volunteer Coordinator Mike Peasland will be recruiting volunteers. If you're interested in helping us maintain the orchard, please contact

River Clean Up

Many thanks to the folks at Iron Construction who brought more than 50 people from BOMA, CREW, and IFMA for a river clean up recently. They removed nearly 4,000 pounds of trash. If your company or group is looking for a team building or service day, please contact

Volunteer Corner

Meet Board Member Terry Austen
Terry is a native San Josean. His academic credentials include a BS in biology degree from Santa Clara University, and an MBA from San Jose State University. Terry began his health care management career as laundry manager at now-defunct San Jose Medical Center. While there, he moved into finance and information technology management positions, leaving in 1992 to run a physician-owned company. In 1998, he joined Kaiser Permanente as CFO for three hospitals. Terry was promoted to Senior VP/Area Health Plan Manager in 2004, responsible for health care delivery to 200,000 KP members in San Jose, Morgan Hill and Gilroy. He also serves on the board of the American Cancer Society (Board President 2004-2006) and SJSU Research Foundation. Terry and his wife Carol live in the Rose Garden neighborhood where they tend roses, orchids and a wine cellar. Terry, thanks for sharing your many talents with us!

Meet Volunteer Marshall Woodmansee
Marshall first came to the GRPC for our homeschool program where he discovered the fun of geocaching. Later he became a Junior Guadalupe Guide, helping with our education programs. This summer Marshall has taken on the challenge of caring for our visitor center animals, who are always happy to see him! When he's not volunteering you might find Marshall hiding his own geocaches, riding his customized bike, or taking care of his own animals, a corn snake, albino rabbit, chicken, fish and two cats! Thanks Marshall!


Upcoming Events

Collecting and Planting with Seeds

Saturday August 11th
10:00am to 11:30am
$10/members, $15/non-members
Ages: 18 and up

Increase the varieties of vegetables and other plants you can grow while decreasing costs by starting your own plants from seed. Master Gardener Laura Monczynski will take you step by step through the seed-starting process and show how to collect and save seeds from existing plants. Sign up

Rose Deadheading

Tuesday, August 14th
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Free ice cream included!
Ages: 15 and above

Come join other awesome volunteers, learn about roses, and celebrate your handiwork with ice cream. Sign up

Composting Class

Wednesday, August 22nd
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Ages 18 and Up

Learn to turn your kitchen and yard waste into black gold. The two-hour workshop, taught by Master Composter Joan Kyle, will teach you the basic strategies to successful home composting. Come learn what materials can be composted, different techniques for the best results, and receive tips and hints to choose the best method for you. Help make the world a greener place -- it's HOT to ROT! Sign up

Gardening with Succulents

Saturday, September 22, 2012
10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

All you ever wanted to know about succulent plants! Master Gardener Laura Balaoro will discuss how to use succulents in the garden. Topics include which succulents tolerate sun or shade, which go dormant in the summer, when to best cut them, watering, soil mixture, how to propagate, and succulent pests and diseases. If there is time, Laura will demonstrate planting succulents with a design in mind. Sign up

Fall Walking Series

Saturdays, September 8th -- October 27th (8 weeks)
8:30 to 9:30am
Ages 18 and Up
$40/members, $50/non-members

Step by step, you'll be healthier as a result of this class. Join fitness instructors Kristin and Sheri Saturday mornings for fun, fitness and friendship along the Guadalupe River Trails. Whether you are looking to start a fitness program or add to your current program, you will be provided with instruction, motivation and accountability. Interval training, safe for all fitness levels, will be used along with strength and flexibility exercises. Starting Saturday, September 8th at 8:30am, this series will run for 8 weeks. Sign up

Plant Clinic

Sunday, September 2, 2012
10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 18 and Up

The Master Gardeners are hosting free plant clinics on the first Sunday of each month from 10 am-12 pm, at the covered picnic area in Guadalupe Community Garden. Entry is through the gate on Asbury. Members of the public are welcome to drop by to ask general garden and landscape questions, bring plant samples for diagnosis or learn what plants are best for our area. Thanks to Ann Northrup, Lee Ann Ray and Deyana Leni for spearheading this effort! Sign up not required.

Legacy Giving

Please consider a bequest to GRPC as part of your estate plan. There's no minimum amount required. In fact, you can specify any dollar amount, leave a percentage of your estate, or designate what remains after your estate has been settled. Here's some sample language:

I give to Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, a California non-profit corporation (Tax ID 77-0166797), $_______ or _____% of my estate or ____% of the residue of my estate.

I intend this gift to be used for an endowment that will support Guadalupe River Park Conservancy in perpetuity OR I intend this gift to be used at the Board of Directors' discretion.

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