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NEWSLETTER: March 2015

In this issue:

Rotary PlayGarden Dedication

On February 21st, the Rotary Club of San Jose held a dedication to thank the many donors who contributed to the PlayGarden, the club's centennial gift to the community. Mayor Sam Liccardo and GRPC Board President Terry Austen accepted the ceremonial key to the park from Rotary fundraising co-chairs Mike Blach and Bert George. (see header photo)

When Rotary approached the city about a $6 million all-access PlayGarden, they were told that, due to budget cuts, Rotary would need to also pay to maintain it or find a private organization that would.  Had we not stepped up, this would have been a deal breaker. Fortunately, our board recognized the importance of this investment to the park and our community and accepted the maintenance responsibility.

We will be fundraising to cover maintenance costs and appreciate all donations.

Interested in volunteering at the PlayGarden? If so, please send a message to

We are so grateful for the Rotary's vision, leadership, and generosity!  This fantastic park will open sometime in late April, once the landscaping is established -- stay tuned for a date.

Construction Update

As part of the PlayGarden project, the Coleman/Autumn intersection was improved to create access to the new parking lot. To park near the Visitor & Education Center, enter the new lot and take a right at the driveway. Click here for a larger .pdf version.

Adopt a Rose

Many thanks to Schurra's for donating chocolate and discount cards, Catered Too! for delicious cookies, Citti's for their flower-a-month contribution, and to all who adopted a rose. We also appreciate Donna Snodgrass' many hours in the Heritage Rose Garden tending plaques and the volunteers from South Bay Heritage Rose Group whose twice weekly sessions keep the roses looking good.

Education Updates

On February 12th, we helped the California Academy of Sciences,, and Nerds for Nature hold a short BioBlitz during the Citizen Science Association Conference at the San Jose Convention Center. Using the iNaturalist app, 48 participants totaled 781 observations and 143 species while walking through Guadalupe River Park.

The next day, we hosted Erick Burres, the Citizen Monitoring Coordinator for the State Water Resources Control Board's Clean Water Team, for a Watershed Management and Assessment workshop. A group of eighteen GRPC staff members, community watershed stewards, and students from San Jose State University learned about conducting a water quality program.

The Morgan Autism Center's recent newsletter features an article about the program's involvement with the park and us. We greatly enjoy their weekly visits!

Volunteer Corner

A hearty thanks to all the volunteer groups that toiled to make GRPG a more beautiful place this past January:

California San Jose Mission
Homestead High National Honor Society
Los Gatos High School
Mission Bay
Piedmont Hills High School Interact

And that is only the groups! We also appreciate the scores of individuals who come out weekly to make a difference. We logged more than 606 volunteer hours in January.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunties

  • Rose Garden Workdays
    Weds. and Sats. 8:30-11:30 am. More info.

  • Monthly River Clean Up
    Sat. March 21, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.

  • Historic Orchard Volunteer Work Day
    Sat. March 7th, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.


Meet the Board - Marty Kopp
Marty is an attorney with the downtown San Jose law firm Hoge Fenton. He is a part of the firm's litigation practice group, handling a wide variety of cases ranging from real estate disputes to the protection of intellectual property rights. An East Bay native, Marty attended law school at Santa Clara University and has not strayed far from San Jose since graduating in 2012. He is a downtown resident, volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and enjoys sitting and eating, mostly eating, in the Heritage Rose Garden. Thanks Marty for sharing your time and talents with us!

Meet Volunteer Sharon Yee
Sharon, our newest education intern, is a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz and is currently working towards her Master's degree at San Jose State. Sharon has a great interest in the environment and joins our organization hoping to gain professional experience in the environmental field. Over time she hopes to combine her love for the environment with her passion for music and the arts. Sharon hikes and loves to attend live theatrical events as well as concerts. She also enjoys capturing some of these performances with still photographs and videos to share with others. Thank you Sharon!

So many ways to give:
Adopt A Rose, General Donations,
Rotary Children's Playgarden,
The Donor Walkway, Memberships,
Endowment, Critter Donations

Upcoming Events

Homeschool Programs

Investigating California Natives

Explore with us the different types of California native plants that make up the Guadalupe River Watershed. Students will learn to map their surroundings, identify natives versus non-natives, take measurements and sketch in the field.

Lay of the Land
March 4th/5th

Taking Inventory
March 11th/12th


March 18th/19th

March 25th/26th

Click here to learn more!

Spring Walking Series

Saturdays, February 28th through April 4th
8:30am to 9:30am
Age 18 and up
$30/members, $40/non-members

Burst out of winter with a new walking series! Join fitness instructors Kristin Strellis and Janet Schumacher for the 6-week Spring Walking Series. Step by step, you'll be healthier as you travel the paved trails along the Guadalupe River. Learn proper stretches, toning exercises, and walking technique as you meet others who enjoy exercising outdoors along the way. The program will be tailored to your fitness level.

Click here to sign up.

Sustainable Vegetable Gardening Series

Wednesdays from March 4th to April 8th
6:30pm to 8:30pm
$60/members, $70/non-members

Did you know that our Mediterranean climate is perfect for year-round gardens? Join Master Gardener Dee Brown for an exciting six-week series about sustainable vegetable gardening! Topics include: soil preparation, amendments, and fertilizers; irrigation methods and systems; working with both seeds and seedlings; sustainable drought strategies; requirements of specific warm and cool season crops and varieties that do well in our area; and how to identify and manage common pests, weeds, and diseases of vegetable crops in Santa Clara County.

Click here to sign up.

Gardening with Cold Frames and Mini-Greenhouses

Saturday, March 21th
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Start your garden out on the right foot! Greenhouses are not just for the winter. Master Gardener Sharon Johnson will lead this workshop about the many seasonal uses of cold frames and greenhouses. Participants will learn an easy way to build a cold frame as a place to start your seeds, acclimatize your nursery plants before setting them in your garden, as a place to keep the plants you don't have time to plant, or to start seedlings for an earlier harvest. With hands on participation, you will learn how easy it is to make a cold frame with a few tools and a little time.

More info.

Urban Foraging Workshop

Saturday, March 28th
10:00am to 12:00pm
All Ages
$10/members, $15/non-members

Have you ever been out for a walk and wondered if any of the plants around you could make it to your dinner plate? Join urban foraging enthusiast Jeremy Dalton for a two-hour workshop on finding and cooking edible weeds. Jeremy will teach participants how to identify edible plants and then lead the class on a foraging excursion around the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens. Finally the class will come back to the Visitor Center to cook up some of the fruits of their labor. This class is open to all ages; minors must be accompanied by an adult.

More info.

Legacy Giving

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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