Archive for April, 2012

Helping Hands were Busy Hands!

Even the little hands were helping

Over 400 volunteers from 18 congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints descended on Jeffrey Fontana and TJ Martin Parks last Saturday for a successful morning of hard work.  The volunteers paired with area delegates from Martin-Fontana Parks Association and completed – literally- a TON of work.

Several hundred yards of mulch was spread throughout Fontana Park from Almaden Expressway to Thorntree Drive, west of McAbee.  Several wheel barrow loads of weeds were pulled and overgrown shrubbery was trimmed in both Fontana Park and the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.

In TJ Martin Park near Glowing Court, hard working volunteers from the Los Alamitos Ward of the Church removed twenty-five invasive fortnight lily plants, and two diseased trees.  They replaced them with two flowering crape myrtle trees and several new CA native flowing shrubs.  Mulch was spread for the finishing touch.

Martin-Fontana Parks Association thanks San Jose City Adopt-a-Park coordinator, Mollie Tobias for all of her hard work in matching the Mormon volunteers to our park projects and providing guidance and tools to get the job done!  We also thank the hundreds of Mormon volunteers for their dedication and commitment to families and taking part in community service in their localities.  Special thanks go to Geeta Naidu, who headed up the coordination and assignments of all the Wards to the work stations located throughout the parks.

“It takes a caring community and involvement from different groups to organize, implement and maintain worthwhile parks programs,” said Linda Wilson, president of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association. “A park is more than a place to go for a walk. It’s a vital resource for families and the community.”

The Mormon Helping Hands program brings together members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their neighbors to provide community service.

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Heritage Grove Dedication

On Arbor Day, April 27th, an enthusiastic audience participated in the dedication of a large grove of magnificent oak trees in Jeffrey Fontana Park.  Cub Scout Pack 282, Boy Scout Troop 262, and Daisy Troop #61229 from Los Alamitos, began the program with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Tom Morse, President of TJ Martin Neighborhood Association and Linda Wilson, MFPA President, introduced the first speaker, Councilmember Nancy Pyle.  Both thanked her for her unwavering support.   In reply, she in turn thanked the TJ Martin Neighborhood Association, who addressed neighborhood issues of soccer, traffic, and crime in the area and MFPA for their work in saving the trees in the parks and enhanced unsightly areas.  At the same time Councilmember Pyle also announced a grant for $2000 from her office for the non-profit MFPA.

City Arborist Ralph Mize described why these trees qualified for a designation as Heritage Trees and explained that Heritage Trees enjoy a protected status in the City of San Jose.

James Reber from the San Jose Parks Foundation described the unique relationship Martin-Fontana Parks Association has with them.  Working with the San Jose Parks Foundation has made it possible for MFPA to receive restricted grants from donors.  The foundation works with a wide range of park related nonprofits and associations throughout San Jose.

MFPA especially thanks Association members Vince Piazzisi and Joy Stevens who worked relentlessly for over a year to achieve the Heritage designation from the City.  We also thank all of our park partner organizations and our volunteers who work so hard to plant and water the trees and shrubs in MFPA projects, and tirelessly spread endless mountains of mulch to reduce the need for defoliant sprays for weed control.

Be sure to take the time to pause under the shade of those magnificent Oaks and read the writing on the plaque.

Earth Day planting of 18 trees and 7 Ceanothus Shrubs

This family is really getting into it!

I am sure many of you have already seen the results of the huge tree-planting effort by Martin-Fontana Parks Association and Our City Forest in Jeffrey Fontana Park.   Neighbors from all over the South Bay and OCF’s Tree Amigos, came to volunteer their time to plant 18 new trees and 7 shrubs.  This, combined with last month’s (March 31) planting of 16 trees in T.J. Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park, will almost complete this Spring’s tree planting efforts.  One more effort, next week, on April 28th. The target this time is the garden area across from Glowing Court in T.J. Martin Park.   We will be planting some shrubs and 2 more trees.   We will meet at 9:00 AM at the Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Statue.  MFPA and San Jose Adopt-a-Park will welcome the largest work party ever seen in our parks to plant, spread mulch, clean out weedy areas, and make our parks sparkle!

Thirty six new trees in our two parks…. outstanding, yes?

When an organization does some outstanding work to improve the community, they need to be acknowledged.  The best way to acknowledge your support is to continue your membership and/or make a direct contribution to MFPA to continue these beneficial efforts.  You already know of the target $1,300 to put in a bench, in the shade, by Tree #13.  We are about half-way there.   Additionally, we plan to install an educational CA Native Plant garden in the western end of Jeffrey Fontana Park.  That will require funding.  So come on…. you may not have been able to swing a pick or to wheelbarrow mulch…. but you certainly can write that check!    It is effortless,  why not go to our donation link at the top right of our home page or you can mail it to us using this form and help support MFPA, because you certainly can see and enjoy the benefits it brings to the community!

Patrick P. Pizzo

More photos from Sat’s Earth Day planting

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Well everybody had a great time and we made $87 towards our goal of $1300 to pay for the for the Dedication Bench under Tree 13.

Tree 13 with proposed Dedication Bench

Thanks to the Sonoma Chicken Coop for helping us to take another step forward in reaching this goal.

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