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NEWSLETTER: December 2018

In this issue:

Gardens Update - Good News!

Due to community action, Airport Director John Aitken recently issued a memo temporarily suspending the plan to remove land from the gardens pending community outreach and a meeting with the FAA. Thank you to all who contacted Mayor Liccardo or councilmembers! We are still working to get the proposal withdrawn due to the unprecedented conversion of public land to commercial use and the violation of planning principals in the 2040 General Plan.

We have a vision for the gardens and look forward to advancing it once the land use issues are resolved.

Click here for the information memorandum.

Click here for our vision plan.

Super Guadalupe River Run

Join us on Groundhog Day - Saturday Feb. 2 - for our annual 5K walk/run, 10K run, and Kids' Fun Run to see if you can outrun your shadow!

Register today! Early-bird rates expire December 31st.

You can also give run registration as a gift--perfect for that runner in your life who has everything! Proceeds benefit our education, advocacy and stewardship efforts.

Click here to register.

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.

Ways you can help include corporate matching. Double your contribution if you work for one of the many generous companies in Silicon Valley that offer a matching gift program!

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.

Donor-Advised Gifts
Contributing directly from your donor-advised fund to GRPC is easy. Click here to give through DAF Direct.

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

Stop by our office or click here to pull a tag from our holiday tree (critter care, education and stewardship program supplies). You can also explore our critter care wish list on Amazon.

Volunteer Corner

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

Ann Sobrato High School Key Club
Evergreen Valley High School Interact Club
Hope Services
Independence High School Key Club
Leadership San Jose
Mission Bay
Morgan Autism Center
National Charity League
Oak Grove High School Interact Club
Piedmont Hills High School
Pioneer High School
San Jose State University
South Bay Heritage Rose Group
Texas Instruments
UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County
Yerba Buena High School

And that is only the groups! We also appreciate the scores of individuals who come out weekly to make a difference. We logged 1,965 volunteer hours in October.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

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

  • Historic Orchard Workday
    Sat. Jan. 5th, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.
  • Rotary PlayGarden Maintenance Support
    Ongoing on Mondays. E-mail for more information.
  • Education Program Support
    Love kids and being outdoors? We're looking for enthusiastic education interns to help with our variety of programs; both morning and afternoon opportunities are available. These volunteer positions are ideal for someone looking for experience with children and outdoor environmental programming. Interested and/or have questions? Please contact


Meet Volunteer: Cindy
Cindy found us through her high school's Key Club when they had sign-ups for Pumpkins in the Park. Cindy was intrigued and looked on our website to see what other volunteer opportunities we offer. Being very interested in gardening, she has chosen to attend our Historic Orchard workdays! She usually finds herself gardening alone at home, which she finds boring. Cindy enjoys working with others and embraces the opportunity to make friends and build community. Thanks for all your hard work Cindy!

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

Upcoming Events

Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 16th
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. Knowledge of bird species is desirable.

Click here to sign up.

Homeschool Programs

Geology Rocks!

Our Community Homeschool Investigators of the River Park (CHIRP) program classes are held on Mondays (ages 5-8).

The Elements of Rock
December 10

Shifty Business
December 17

Click here to register.

Pruning Lessons in the Heritage Rose Garden

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 5th
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 5th. 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.

New Trail Amenity

We coordinated with the City of San Jose to have a combination drinking fountain and bottle filler installed on the east side of the Visitor Center. We hope you enjoy this new amenity!

Kitten Corner

We are fostering three teen moms with a new litter of kittens on the way. If interested in providing a furever home, please e-mail

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.

Aerial photo of Irene St homes in 1953

From the Archives

A portion of the Coleman Loop neighborhood (present day Guadalupe Gardens) as seen from the air in 1953, facing northeast toward the Guadalupe River. Irene St. crosses horizontally with Columbus Park at the bottom right, bordered on the left by Asbury St. and Village Ct. at center.

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