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NEWSLETTER: March 2019

In this issue:

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Partners,

It is with a mixture of pride and sadness that after 11+ years, I'll be leaving the Conservancy at the end of April. I'll be forever grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with amazing staff members, supporters, volunteers, partners, and board members on this legacy project.

I was fortunate to have my predecessor Kathy Muller's solid foundation to build on. Our education programs now reach over 5,700 students annually, and, thanks to foundation partners such as Packard, Shortino, Adobe, Western Digital, et al., over 60% of our programs are delivered to Title One schools free of charge. Our stewardship program coordinates over 20,000 volunteer hours in service of the park each year due to dedicated individuals and corporate support from Arm, Cisco, Intel, Google, et al. We added the Shirley Lewis Rotary Sculpture Walk thanks to Rotary and San Jose Water Company. Other highlights include ribbon cuttings - trail expansion, community garden, and, of course, the Rotary PlayGarden, which recently welcomed its 600,000th visitor!

While I am proud to have played a role in these achievements, it has truly been a team effort with a highly qualified and professional staff, a passionate and engaged Board of Directors, and a community of supporters, volunteers, and partners who believe in the vision of an iconic central park for our community.

Read more below...

A Super Finish

Many thanks to San Jose Water Company for sponsoring our annual 10K/5K/Kids' run/walk, Board Member Francois Rodigari for his organizing skills, Board President Jodi Starbird for her promotional efforts, the wonderful volunteers who were critical to our success, and City Sports Club, Farm Fresh to You, San Jose Earthquakes, and Red Power Divas who livened up the expo area.

Results are available here.

New Signage

As part of the 2018 class project in the park, Leadership San Jose raised funds to design and install a new interpretive panel and wayfinding signage in the gardens, as well as add artwork and refresh the landscaped gabions along the route to our classroom on the bank of the Guadalupe River. We hope you enjoy the new look! Our sincere thanks to the class members and sponsors who contributed to this lasting investment in the park, our programs, and our community:

The Health Trust
Max & Laura Duganne
Samaritan Medical Center
San Jose Water Company
University of Phoenix
William H. Cilker Family Foundation

Volunteer Corner

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

Hope Services
Irvington Change Project
Lynbrook High School
Milpitas Christian School
Mission Bay
Morgan Autism Center
National Charity League, Willow Rose Chapter
Pioneer High School
Presentation High School
South Bay Heritage Rose Group
UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County

And that is only the groups! We also appreciate the scores of individuals who come out weekly to make a difference. We logged 514 volunteer hours in January.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

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

  • Historic Orchard Workday
    Sat. March 30th, 8:30-11:30 am. Sign up.
  • National River Cleanup Day
    Sat. May 18th, 9:00 am to Noon. Sign up.


Featured Project: Historic Orchard Squirrel Barrier
With the help from volunteers from Presentation High School's faculty and staff (pictured above) and Arm, we have installed what we are referring to as our "squirrel barrier". Within the Historic Orchard, we have a rampant pest problem with ground squirrels that are creating treacherous conditions with their burrows and damaging trees and irrigation. Studies have shown that these critters do not like to be in areas where they cannot see their predators (line of sight), and we are optimistic that the barrier will prevent new orchard "residents" in the future.

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

Upcoming Events

Window on the River Park

A Tribute to the Carousel

Thursday, May 30th
5:00 to 7:00 pm

Window on the River Park, our annual fundraising party to support Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, will be held on Thursday, May 30th and is generously hosted and underwritten by Adobe. Join us for food, drinks, raffles, and a speaker program including Mayor Sam Liccardo.

We greatly appreciate the individuals, corporations, and foundations who provide operating support for our education, advocacy and stewardship efforts.

Click here for sponsorship information and tickets.

Homeschool Programs

Time for Trees

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

Don't Leaf Me
March 11

The Nature of Trees
March 18

It Takes Two to Mango
March 25

Click here to register.

A Message from the Executive Director

Continued from above.

Rest assured that over the next two months, I will work closely with the Board of Directors and Conservancy staff to help ensure a smooth and successful transition to new leadership. And know that I will remain forever a friend, supporter, and champion of the Conservancy and its mission. In fact, I'm staffing our Energizer Station on Bike to Work Day on May 9th.

The Conservancy has some exciting projects in the works, including moving the Arena Green Carousel to the Rotary PlayGarden plus expanding the footprint of and adding a large shade structure to the PlayGarden. With your continued support, I am confident that the future of the Conservancy remains bright and full of promise. Whatever my next career step turns out to be, if it is even half as rewarding and fulfilling as my time here, I will be indeed fortunate.

Soil Amendment Available

We have too much of a good thing and it is becoming habitat for pesky ground squirrels! If interested, please contact us for more information.

Kitten Corner

We are fostering three teen moms and two playful kittens (pictured above). If interested in providing a furever home, please e-mail

Legacy Giving

Please consider a bequest to GRPC as part of your estate plan. There's no minimum amount required. In fact, you can specify any dollar amount, leave a percentage of your estate, or designate what remains after your estate has been settled. Here's some sample language:

I give to Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, a California non-profit corporation (Tax ID 77-0166797), $_______ or _____% of my estate or ____% of the residue of my estate.

I intend this gift to be used for an endowment that will support Guadalupe River Park Conservancy in perpetuity OR I intend this gift to be used at the Board of Directors' discretion.


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