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NEWSLETTER: December 2016

In this issue:

Feeling generous? We have lots of ways for you to contribute!

End-of-year gifts help us to:

Maintain Rotary PlayGarden as an inclusive, clean, and safe place to play.

Produce excellent events -- Pumpkins in the Park and Super Guadalupe River Run -- that get people into the park and enhance the quality of life in San Jose.

Engage volunteers and advocate for the expansion and upkeep of the downtown trail - the backbone of the city's trail network.

Other ways you can help include corporate matching. You might be able to double your contribution if you work for one of the many generous companies in Silicon Valley that offer a matching gift program!

Stop by our office or click here to pull a tag from our holiday tree (critter care, dip nets, waterproof boots, office supplies).

The Donor Walkway

Looking for a way to pay tribute to someone? Consider a granite paver or park bench in Arena Green. Click here for more information.

Rotary PlayGarden Bench Dedications

For a tax-deductible donation of $5,000 (small bench) or $10,000 (large), the donor’s name or dedication stays on a bench at Rotary PlayGarden for five years. Click here for more information.

Stock Gifts
Did you know that you can donate appreciated stock (held for at least one year) and take a tax deduction for the fair market value of your gift? You avoid paying capital gains taxes, and we don't owe taxes when we sell the donated stocks so 100% of your gift goes to support our education, advocacy and stewardship efforts.

Please let us know if you are interested in making a stock donation. Your broker will need the following information to make the transfer:

Morgan Stanley
DTC# 0015
For credit to Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
Acct # 574-584393
GRPC FEIN 77-0166797

Super Guadalupe River Run

Kick off Super Bowl Sunday with the annual Super Guadalupe River Run at 9 AM on Sunday, February 5th.

Don’t fumble the opportunity to burn some calories. Whether you go long for 6.2 miles or tackle the 3.1 mile quarterback sneak, you’ll earn your game-time guacamole on the Guadalupe. Huddle with family, friends, training partners, neighbors, co-workers to run a 10K or 5K -- cross the goal line to score guilt-free indulgence during the game.

You won’t want to miss the first in our series of collectors’ shirts (graphic above)! Proceeds benefit our education and stewardship efforts.

Click here to register. Early-bird rates expire December 31st!

Rotary Children's Sculpture Walk

Many thanks to San Jose Water Company for sponsoring additional installations to the Rotary Children's Sculpture Walk. The above figures at the Confluence area (along Santa Clara St.) and the ones at the Coleman Ave. overlook were unveiled on November 18th and will be joined by four more next year!

Staff Updates

We are pleased to introduce Mel Sarmento, who joins GRPC as education program associate. A Bay Area native, Mel studied childhood education at SJSU and brings over 13 years of outdoor education experience to our team. She became a certified California Naturalist in 2015 and continues to foster her passion for native California species, including sages, oaks (especially Quercus lobata), owls, and mountain lions. One of her life goals is to connect communities to the natural world, regardless of age or demographic. Please join us in getting to know Mel!

Volunteer Corner

Thanks to community volunteers who joined us in October and November for two of our biggest river cleanups of the year.

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

Boys Team Charity

Brocade Communications

California San Jose Mission

Cisco Systems - Community Relations

Friends of Children with Special Needs

HandsOn Bay Area

Harker Academy

Hope Services

Intel Corporation


Mission Bay

Morgan Autism Center

National Charity League - Almaden

Santa Clara County Office of Education


SJSU Financial Management Association

And that is only the groups! We also appreciate the scores of individuals who come out weekly to make a difference.

We logged over 2,475 volunteer hours in October, and with one month to go in 2016, we'll end the year with a record-breaking 18,000+ hours donated to the park.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunties

  • Heritage Rose Garden Workdays
    Weds. and Sats. 8:30-11:30 am. No workdays on Dec. 24th and 31st. More info.

  • Historic Orchard Volunteer Workday
    Sat. January 7th, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.
  • Monthly River Cleanup
    Sat. December 17th, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.
  • Christmas Bird Count
    Sun. December 18th, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. Sign up.

Meet Volunteer Marie Burrmann
Marie is volunteering with us while recovering from a work injury. She is a key volunteer at the Rotary PlayGarden and in the office. When she is not volunteering with us, you will find Marie playing with her dog or watching her favorite sports team, the San Francisco Giants, a passion she shares with our executive director. Everyone at GRPC would like to give a big thank you and round of applause to Marie for all the wonderful work she does.

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

Upcoming Events

Homeschool Classes

Keystone Species

Guardians of the Forests
December 5/8/9

Fluttering Food Saviors
December 12/15/16

Ecosystem Engineers
December 19/29/30

Click here for more information on our homeschool program.

Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 18th
8:00 am to noon

The is a 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, which 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 & Gardens from Coleman Ave. to Hedding St. No experience is necessary.

Click here to sign up.

Pruning Lessons in the Heritage Rose Garden

Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 4th
Wednesdays and Saturdays
8:30 to 11:30 am

Hands-on rose pruning lessons will be offered at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden every Wednesday and Saturday beginning January 4th. Lessons begin promptly at 8:30 am.

Come to learn, engage with community members, and have fun! Please bring leather gloves and bypass shears, if you have them; loaners are available if needed. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a full water bottle. Meet in the center of the garden.

Click here for more information.

Still Life Painting

Saturday, February 11th
10:30 am to 12:30 pm
$30/members, $40/non-members

Inspired by the Guadalupe Gardens Historic Orchard, Art Specialist Heather Engle will teach participants how to paint by controlling water and pigment levels to explore variations in color and light. Learn the basics & how to translate a photo into your own art. Also paint a still life of local & in season items. Other topics covered include primary colors, secondary colors, and watercolor mixing techniques.

Click here to sign up.

Wildlife Corner

Herons and Egrets are expert hunters, and they spend most of their time searching for fish, rodents, reptiles, or amphibians. These birds typically search for food in and near streams, but will also hunt in open grassy fields. The Guadalupe River provides miles of protected habitat for this fascinating family of birds. Park visitors frequently see at least one of the six species of Herons and Egrets (above: Great Blue Heron) that can be found along the length of the river.

Trail Update

The City expects work on the Autumn Parkway extension to wrap up in the next month, with the west bank trail between Coleman and Julian set to reopen just after the first of the year.

Legacy Giving

If you are over 70 1/2 years old and have an IRA account, you can make a tax-free charitable donation of up to $100,000 until December 31.

The advantage is that the transferred amount does not count as taxable income but does count toward your required minimum distribution.

Please note, to qualify as an IRA Charitable Rollover, the distribution must go directly from your IRA custodian to the charity.

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.

Best wishes for a happy & healthy 2017!

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