Newsletter: October 2011

Sponsors: Air Systems Foundation, Bright Green San Jose, Cisco, City of San Jose, Cortese Brothers Farms, Garden City Sanitation, Gizdich Ranch, Greenwaste Recovery, the Health Trust, Kaiser Permanente, Martinelli's, San Jose Mercury News, San Jose Downtown Association, NBC11, Radio Disney, San Jose Water Company, The VMC Foundation, and Watershed Watch.

Supporters: Gizdich Ranch, Cortese Brothers Farms, Santa Clara Valley Water District

Trail Update

Award – Last month, the Federal Highway Administration gave the City of San Jose and its trail partners an award for encouraging nonmotorized transportation. The plaque reads, "In recognition of an outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship for developing an early partnership to expand the trail network in San Jose, California." GRPC President Jodi Starbird accepted on our behalf.

Detour – the railroad trestle replacement project is on pace to wrap up by next month, which will eliminate the need for the detour between Coleman Ave. and Julian St. The trail will revert to the eastern alignment in that section.

Trail Count 2011 - Despite an unanticipated second year of detour due to the trestle project, trail use is up 5.7% over last year based on the tally conducted by our volunteers on September 14th.

Sediment Removal
– In preparation for the rainy season, crews are removing sediment from the river bed. The trail remains open during this work.

Three Creeks Trail – The San Jose City Council approved the purchase of the former Willow Glen Spur right of way between Lonus and Minnesota from UP Railroad. While this represents a huge milestone, the land from Hwy 87 to Senter Rd still needs to be acquired. When completed, the trail will link Los Gatos Creek, Guadalupe River, and Coyote Creek trails.

River Clean Up

What a difference a day makes! On September 16th, 50 people working on the east side of the river south of San Carlos St. removed invasive ivy, painted two bridges, applied anti-graffiti coating to both bridges, and removed 100 yards of material, of which 90% was green waste that was subsequently recycled.

Boston Property's Kelly Hattley put out the call for help, and the following responded by sending staff, underwriting costs, or donating money for meals: Able Building Maintenance, ABM, AMPCO, Boston Properties, Burdick Painting, City of San Jose, San Jose Downtown Association, GCI, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, Jeff Christensen, Jensen, OPI Commercial Builders, Park West, Pro-Sweep, RMR, South Bay Construction, Thermal Mechanical Companies, and ValleyCrest Landscape Companies.

Over $20,000 in goods and services were contributed. Kelly and the Boston Properties team - thanks for being such great neighbors!

The following day, 70 volunteers participated in our annual Coastal Clean Up Day effort at Coleman Ave. and collected approximately 2,000 pounds of trash. Channel 2 featured our site in their coverage of the clean up effort.

Farewell Kate & Welcome Natalie

Silicon Valley HealthCorps Member Kate Schaffner (left) wrapped up her year of service last month. Among Kate's many accomplishments are the creation of an orchard management plan, recruitment of dedicated orchard volunteers, coordination of fruit donations to Loaves & Fishes, and plans for a teaching platform to be constructed by an Eagle Scout. Kate, thanks for a fruitful year!

While sad to see Kate go, we're happy to introduce our newest HealthCorps Member Natalie Stameroff (right). Natalie is a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, where she studied agriculture and social justice. She spent six months as an intern at Pie Ranch so brings the experience needed to make an immediate impact.

Silicon Valley HealthCorps is an AmeriCorps project that is coordinated by The Health Trust.


Many thanks to the corporate groups that came out for service days last month: Adobe, Boston Properties, Cisco, Comerica Bank, Ernst and Young, Hands On Bay Area, Intel, Oracle, and VMware.

Kudos are also due to some of the restaurants in San Jose MarketCenter. Blue Mango, Chevy's, Chili's, and The Pasta Market all answered Volunteer Coordinator Emily Creegan's request for food donations in support of a volunteer appreciation party last month.

Many thanks too to Trader Joe's for their ongoing support of our education and volunteer programs!

Meet volunteer MaryAnn Kubo
MaryAnn grew up in Santa Rosa and now lives in the South Bay. After previously earning a bachelor's degree in graphic design, she enrolled at De Anza College and graduated this past spring with an AA in industrial design. While at De Anza she employed her design skills by making blueprints, drawings, graphics, and structural designs for the Engineering and Technology Club. MaryAnn is passionate about web design and working in web publishing and development. Her hobbies include painting, drawing, and cross-stitching. Fortunately for us, she recently added a new hobby: volunteering in the Heritage Rose Garden. Welcome and thank you, MaryAnn!

Upcoming Events


Agroecology and Food
Homeschool Class Series
OESP Themes and Skills: Agroecology, Botany, Soil Science, Nutrition, Food System Science, Gardening

Fruit Forest

October 12th
In our second garden exploration, the Guadalupe Guides will introduce you to their very own fruit forest: the Guadalupe Historic Orchard. After a tour of the entire 3.3-acre orchard, get up close and personal with three of our fourteen varieties of fruit trees and discover the seasons, insects and science that make growing fruit possible. Learn the difference between “stone” and “pome” fruit, which seasons bring our favorite fruit, and what every fruit tree needs to produce a healthy crop.

To the Market!
October 19th
How does food get from the farm to our plates? Our favorite foods may come from our own gardens, from a local farm, or from another part of the world! Trace these food journeys with fun simulations of a food distribution chain, a tour of Trader Joe’s, and your very own TJ’s fruit and veggie goodie bag. Finally, explore the impacts foodways can have on the environment, on our food choices, and our health.

Fresh Feast
October 26th
What’s the best part about fresh fruits and vegetables? Eating them, of course! Take a tasty peek into plant anatomy, with a special focus on which plant parts you can eat. Find out exactly how many servings of fruits and veggies you need each day to stay healthy. Finish with a fresh feast of seasonal produce representing all the parts of the plant, from root to shoot to fruit.

Greywater Basics: Reusing Household Water in your Landscape
Saturday, November 5th
9:00am to 12:00pm
Ages 18 and Up
$10/members, $15/non-members

Join Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and certified greywater installer Alan Hackler to explore the basics of how to safely and easily reuse your laundry, sink or shower water in your home garden. In this three-hour workshop, we will cover local codes and regulations, greywater safe soaps, and the simple plumbing modifications needed to redirect your household water into your backyard garden. The second half of the workshop will be hands-on, and participants will have the chance to work with the parts and tools necessary to install a simple greywater system. In addition to being a certified greywater installer, Alan Hackler is a talented landscape designer and the owner of Bay Maples landscaping.

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.

Legacy Gifts

As a supporter of Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, you care about our mission. But what happens to your support when you pass on? If you remember Guadalupe River Park Conservancy in your will or revocable trust, you will help us continue the work that you value, far into the future.

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 (FEIN 77-0166797)."
  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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