Archive for February, 2011

A year ago on Feb. 11th, 2010

Over a year ago PG&E informed the community that 140 trees would be removed from TJ Martin & Jeffrey Fontana Parks.  We were told it was because of possible power outages due to wire clearances from the trees.  At that meeting many of the residents were outraged by such short notice and by the unnecessary destruction of these healthy trees.  A total of 62 trees were scheduled to be removed from March 22nd to the 25th.

Go back and watch the video from ABC News, Residents fight PG&E to save trees near power lines.

Thanks to community involvement, park walk throughs, and the many meetings MFPA has had with PG&E, a total of only 13 trees have been removed since that first meeting on 11 Feb. 2010.  In addition, our “Heart of the Park”, Tree 13, was saved from the axe.

A Message from MFPA’s President, Linda Wilson

New officers for the Association were elected at the Jan. 22 General Membership meeting. With the new Board of Directors in place, we are ready to continue our work of protecting the trees in our parks through negotiations with PG&E. The negotiating process has been underway since December 2010, and continued, with the Negotiation Team meeting with PG&E on February 1st.  For 2011, approximately twenty trees are under review and discussion. Throughout this process, we remain committed to our guiding principle of “Trim, don’t Cut”.

In our discussions with PG&E we are striving to reach agreement on a long-term plan for the trees in the parks covering a three to five-year span, and establish criteria for tree removal that reflects the park’s unique “Community Use” status versus the open space zero tolerance stand developed by PG&E.

Other goals of this Board of Directors for 2011 include:

  • Efforts to protect the trees are our first priority.
  • Continuing to build membership. Our strength lies in our numbers as we talk with PG&E and the City of San Jose.
  • Producing a quarterly Newsletter beginning with a February edition.
  • Pursuing grant opportunities to fund enhancement and restoration efforts.
  • Continuing our efforts to protect Tree #13. We reached a one year agreement with PG&E to save the tree until August, 2011. We will work to make this a permanent agreement.
  • Developing a master plan for enhancing and beautifying our parks
  • Working with Councilmember Pyle’s District 10 office and City Park’s Department to further enhance our parks.