Newsletter: November 2011
Special Needs Field Trips

Thanks to a grant from the Yahoo! Employee Foundation and a partnership with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (OSA), we hosted our first free special needs field trip for a class of autism spectrum disorder students on Oct. 25th. Working with Teri Rogoway, OSA’s coordinator of interpretive programs, we developed a River Explorers field trip that can be adapted to the physical and developmental needs of students. Next spring, we will expand the program with a gardens-based field trip.

Trail Updates

Click to enlarge

The railroad trestle replacement project is finally finished. The through trail has reverted to the east alignment (in green on map) between Coleman Ave. and Julian St. Southbound trail users will still be able to reach MarketPlace stores via the west trail (blue), but the missing link (red) limits access for northbound travelers.

Water district crews recently started to remove non-native vegetation from the top of bank on the west side of the river north of Hwy 880. Their work is related to flood control and shouldn't interfere with trail use.

The long awaited paving of the trail to Alviso is anticipated to start next June.

As part of the current flood control work south of Hwy 280, the trailhead at Grant and Palm is being improved. The southbound trail continues on the west side south of Woz Way, but this east entrance gives residents of the Washington neighborhood access to downtown.

Staff Changes

We are pleased to announce that we have hired Stephanie Wilson as our new education coordinator. A recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Santa Clara University, Steph was captain of her intercollegiate cross country team and aspires to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials for the marathon. After successfully completing an internship with our education program, she was working with us as an on-call teacher before being tapped for the coordinator role. Steph looks forward to expanding our adult and special needs programming.

Former Education Coordinator Stephanie Lind decided to pursue a graduate degree so has moved on after launching our homeschool, STEP, and special needs programs. She had a tremendous impact on our organization, and we wish her continued success as she pursues a master’s degree in kinesiology.

VIP Visit

The Heritage Rose Garden had a very special guest last month, Chinese rosarian Dr. Guoliang Wang. Among other works, he has authored a study on the history of Chinese roses using ancient works and images. The highlight of Dr. Wang’s trip was seeing several roses that he had never encountered, and he helped us by pointing out some mislabeled roses. Dr. Wang seemed particularly impressed that the garden is maintained almost entirely by volunteers.

Orchard Update

Fall has arrived in the orchard and the time is ripe for maintenance tasks such as mulching, weeding, and pruning. Please contact if you are interested in helping to maintain this wonderful community resource.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Our City Forest is celebrating the grand opening of their Community Nursery & Training Center in Guadalupe Gardens on Saturday, Nov. 19th from 10 am to noon. Located on Spring St. north of Hedding, the nursery will provide San Jose with native trees, education, and enjoyment for years to come, and all residents are invited to attend their opening day festival.

Meet volunteer Rose Espinoza
Rose moved to Sunnyvale when she was a little girl and remembers when orchard trees filled our valley. She started her career in nursing and volunteered at a nearby rape crisis center, where she developed an interest in criminal justice. Rose began working as a safety dispatcher at the airport 25 years ago and, during her lunch breaks, would visit the Heritage Rose Garden. One day, she came across a rose deadheading flyer and decided to volunteer in the garden. Now retired, Rose cares for 33 roses in her own yard and helps us in the rose garden and at the Visitor and Education Center. Thank you, Rose!

Upcoming Events

Annual Holiday Wreath Workshop
Saturday, December 10th
10:00am to 12:00pm
$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.

Christmas Bird Count
Sunday, December 18th
8:00 am

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.

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.

Legacy Gifts

Why Should You Include a Charitable Gift in Your Will (Or Living Trust)?

  1. It’s simple to do. It can be as easy as including language stating, "I give $20,000 to Guadalupe River Park Conservancy."
  2. You can change your mind. We won’t receive the gift until after your death. During your lifetime, you can amend anything you choose, i.e., beneficiaries, amounts, etc.
  3. Tax-wise, it could be beneficial. Gifts to qualified charitable organizations reduce the value of your estate for estate tax purposes.
  4. It’s an easy way to support Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, and we’d be grateful for your gift. Bequests of every size build our future financial strength.

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