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NEWSLETTER: August 2017

In this issue:

PlayGarden Updates

Scientific Art Studio reinstalled the kinetic dragonfly and bird sculptures in the PlayGarden, as well as recoated the blue waves in the entry tunnel. We hope you enjoy the refreshed look!

We'd also like to thank Dave Sandretto (Rotary Member) and the City of San Jose for envisioning and implementing the newest addition to the PlayGarden. By pushing the red button near the airplane seats, visitors are now able to hear pilot-to-tower communications!

We rely on community support to staff and maintain the park in pristine condition.

Click here to make a donation.

Pumpkins in the Park

Save the date! Pumpkins in the Park returns to Discovery Meadow Saturday, October 14th from 10 am to 4 pm. Free admission!

Giant Pumpkin Patch
Costume Parade
Carnival Games
Great Food
Fresh Apple Cider
Guadalupe River Education
Lots of Free Kids' Activities
Children's Concert
and more!

Interested in participating as a vendor, sponsor, contributor? We need volunteers Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, too!

Click here for more information.

Staff Updates

We are pleased to introduce Jennifer Aquino, who joins our team as program coordinator. Jennifer is already off and running planning October 14th's Pumpkins in the Park; she will also coordinate our membership and adopt-a-rose programs. Please join us in getting to know Jennifer!

Volunteer Corner

Several groups from Google joined us to spruce up the Heritage Rose Garden, Courtyard Garden, and Historic Orchard.

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

California San Jose LDS Missionaries
Evergreen Valley High School
Friends of Children with Special Needs
Greater Opportunities
Hope Services
Mission Bay
Morgan Autism Center
National Charity League
South Bay Heritage Rose Group

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 2,181 volunteer hours in June.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

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

  • Historic Orchard Workday
    Sat. Aug. 5th, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.
  • Coastal Cleanup Day
    Sat. Sept. 15th, 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Sign up.
  • PlayGarden Landscaping Support
    Ongoing, e-mail Ricky for more information.
  • Front Office Receptionist - Ongoing
    Shifts available Wednesday afternoons, Thursday mornings or afternoons, and Friday mornings. E-mail Ricky for more information.


Meet Volunteer: Jaime Larios
Jaime is one of our office and garden volunteers; he comes to us as he is recovering from a work injury. When he is not working us you will find him riding his motorcycle or tending his bonsai trees. Jaime has been a great help with maintenance projects around the park and office. We hope he's able to return to work soon, but will miss him when the time comes. Everyone at GRPC would like to give a big round of applause and thank you to Jaime for all that he's doing for us.

So many ways to give:
Adopt A Rose, General Donations,
Rotary PlayGarden,
The Donor Walkway, Memberships,
Endowment, Critter Donations

Upcoming Events

Homeschool Programs

Our Outdoor Environmental Science Program for homeschool students resumes in September.

Click here to learn more.

Wildlife Tracking - Family Workshop

Sunday, August 20th
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
$30/members, $35/non-members
Children ages 12+ welcome with adult chaperone

Dive into the world of awareness and tracking with expert Ryan Taylor! We'll be learning simple, yet powerful, tools and techniques for tracking wildlife through any terrain type. Awareness and tracking are the foundation of all nature skills, identification, and exploring. Come learn to read the ground like a storybook!

Click here to register.

Cool Season Vegetable Gardening - Family Workshop

Saturday, September 23rd
10:00 to 11:30 am
$15/members, $18/non-members
Children ages 12+ welcome with adult chaperone

Vegetables in the winter? You bet! Here in Santa Clara County we can grow vegetables year round. Join UC Master Gardener Karen Schaffer to learn about the wide variety of vegetables that thrive in our cool season: broccoli, kale, peas, lettuce, and many more. Take home some seeds and seedlings to start your delicious fall/winter garden.

Click here to register.

Internship Opportunities

Our education team is looking for interns!

Early Childhood Education:

This paid internship supports our early childhood educational programming in the Rotary PlayGarden. Early Childhood Education Interns are integral for providing high-quality, hands-on science programming to the park's youngest visitors. In short, this intern will be responsible for developing an original lesson plan, delivering the material, and evaluating the results.

Interested, or know someone who is? E-mail your resume and cover letter to

Animal Care:

We're looking for enthusiastic, passionate individuals that are interested in doing animal care for our educational animal ambassadors! This is a long-term (at least one year) commitment. Candidates must be able to commit to 2 - 5 days during the week.

E-mail Mel for more information.

Critter Corner

It is GRPC's pleasure to introduce our Western Toad, Rocky. If you have dropped by our Visitor & Education Center, you may have wondered if we had a toad at all -- he can be really tricky to find. During summer, this little guy loves to bury himself into the moist soil during the day, and venture out at night for a tasty cricket meal.

Western Toads are a native amphibious species that are excellent examples of a variety of adaptations -- this is why they are great teaching ambassadors! If you listen closely, you might be able to hear him chirping; that's how we know he's male -- female Western Toads do not vocalize. We hope you hop by our center and meet our well-camouflaged toad soon!

Legacy Giving

Retirement accounts, which are subject to income tax, are good vehicles for charitable gifts. Charities aren't subject to income tax so your gift goes farther.

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