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NEWSLETTER: December 2019

In this issue:

  • Thank You from the Executive Director
  • New Rotary PlayGarden Shade Structure
  • Wreath Workshop Recap
  • Historic Orchard Revitalization
  • Thanks to our Sponsors
  • Volunteer Corner

Thank You from the Executive Director

As we conclude 2019, I wish to formally thank you for the opportunity to be the new leader of this wonderful organization. The word "opportunity" is one I hear the most, especially when I connect with members about the Guadalupe River Park. It is also how I would describe our community here in San Jose. Since I moved here in 2011, I've always considered San Jose to be the City of Opportunity, a place where one can learn, connect, serve, and create positive civic impact with like-minded friends.

As you consider your year-end giving, I invite you to support OUR opportunity with a gift. Together we can transform the Guadalupe River Park into all that we've envisioned it to be.

New Rotary PlayGarden Shade Structure

We are excited to unveil the new shade structure in the Rotary PlayGarden, which was completed over the western lawn in November. We know this was at the top of park patrons' wish list, and appreciate the support of community members in advocating with us, and partners at the City of San Jose Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services and Public Works for allocating funding and providing project management.

Wreath Workshop Recap

We are grateful for the 40 community members who joined us for our annual wreath-making workshop on December 7th, coordinated in partnership with the UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County and design extraordinaire Milli Wright. We loved seeing all the creative and festive designs! Here's what one of our attendees, Chris, shared: "I brought a friend to the workshop - it was the first time for both of us and we had a wonderful time. The instructor and volunteers were very helpful and the variety of materials we had to choose from for our wreaths was fantastic! Everyone's wreaths were unique and every one of them was beautiful. We will definitely be back next year!"

Historic Orchard Revitalization

As Guadalupe Gardens' Historic Orchard enters its 26th year, we've initiated a revitalization project that will result in the planting of new trees and installation of a new irrigation system. Thanks to funding from Farrington Historical Foundation, Arm, and Northrop Grumman, we are working with our partners at UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose to set the orchard up to continue to serve as a teaching garden and beloved park feature for years to come!

Learn more about the project.

Volunteer Corner

Ernst & Young helped us apply an environmentally-friendly preventative barrier to suppress weeds around the Heritage Rose Garden perimeter. We're looking to complete this project with additional funding next year.

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

Andrew Hill High School
Archbishop Mitty High School
Branham High School
Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School
Cupertino High School
Habitat For Humanity
HandsOn Bay Area
Hope Services
Independence High School Interact & Key Clubs
Mission Bay
Monte Vista High School
Morgan Autism Center
National Charity League: Almaden, Heritage Oaks, & Willow Rose Chapters
Notre Dame High School
Piedmont Hills High School
Pioneer High School
San Jose State University
Silver Creek High School Interact Club
South Bay Heritage Rose Group
UC Master Gardners of Santa Clara County
Westmont High School, CSF
Yerba Buena High School, JRX

And that is only the groups! We also appreciate the scores of individuals who come out weekly to make a difference. You helped us log 1,837 volunteer hours in October.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

  • Heritage Rose Garden Workdays
    Weds. and Sats. 8:30-11:30 am. Workdays will not be held from Dec. 18th through Jan. 1st in observance of the holidays. More info.
  • Animal Care Internship
    We're seeking volunteers with availability on Tuesdays to help care for our education animals. Contact us if interested.


Meet Board Member: Brandon Racine
Brandon is a Vice President in Wells Fargo Bank's Commercial Banking Group based in San Jose and is focused on serving commercial real estate investors in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Brandon grew up in a small town on Cape Cod in Massachusetts living adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary, which deepened his respect for nature and protected spaces at an early age. He holds a B.A. in Economics-Accounting and History from Claremont McKenna College, where he lettered for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Men's Soccer Team. Thanks, Brandon, for your service!


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

Upcoming Events

Homeschool Programs


Our weekly Community Homeschool Investigators of the River Park (CHIRP) program classes are available for ages 5-12.

Objects in Motion
January 6th & 9th

Kinetic vs. Potential
January 13th & 16th

Wave Behavior

January 27th & 30th

Register here.

Pruning Lessons in the Heritage Rose Garden

Beginning Saturday, 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.

More information here.

Beginning Environmental Explorers

Weekly on Wednesdays (in English) & Fridays (in Spanish)
11:00 am to 12:00 noon
Rotary PlayGarden

Our Beginning Environmental Explorers (BEE) program is an enriching introduction into environmental science taught by Guadalupe River Park Conservancy's environmental educators and designed for children ages 2-6. Programs are offered for free on Wednesdays (in English) and Fridays (in Spanish) and drop-ins are welcome.

More information here.

Thanks to our Sponsors

As 2019 comes to a close, we are especially grateful for the generous donors and funders who support our environmental education, park advocacy and stewardship work.

Carousel Circle

Mike & Christy Akatiff
First 5 Santa Clara County
City of San Jose
San Jose Water
Western Digital

Program Grants

Adobe Foundation
Farrington Historical Foundation
FIRST 5 Santa Clara County
The Health Trust
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Northrop Grumman
Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Rotary Club of San Jose
County of Santa Clara
Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation
Valley Water
Western Digital Foundation

Salmon Run

Blach Construction

Eagle Convocation

William H. Cilker Family Foundation
KT Urban
Platform 16
Sharks Sports & Entertainment
John Michael Sobrato
Vulcan Construction
West Valley Construction

Coyote Pack

Acosta Sheet Metal Manufacturing
Terry & Carol Austen
Boston Properties
Erica Carr
Mike & Mary Ellen Fox
Garden City Construction
Heritage Bank of Commerce
Lewis and Tibbitts
One Pearl Place
Republic Urban Properties
Francois & Beth Rodigari
Silicon Valley Law Group
A Slice of New York
Valley Water
Verde Design

Rabbit Colony

Able Services
Air Systems
Jim Alves
Dan Caputo, Jr. Family
Dr. Gloria C. Duffy & Hon. Rod Diridon, Sr.
Garden City Sanitation
Leslee Hamilton
Dave & Noelle Henderson
Heritage Roses Group, SF Bay Area
H.T. Harvey & Associates
Kieve Foundation
Richard & Sheryl Peterson
Hopkins & Carley
Yohann Jacob & Kacey Armstrong
Charles McCarroll
Rotten Robbie
Salas O'Brien
Samaritan Medical Center
SiliconSage Builders
San Jose Earthquakes
The Schoennauer Company
Jodi & Drew Starbird

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