Archive for November, 2012

Winter Storms take down two trees & damage another

Mother Nature was kind of nasty to us last month.  Two Plum trees were toppled and the big Willow tree at the east end of Jeffrey Fontana Park was severely damaged.

A huge branch was broken off.

A huge branch was broken off.

Citrix Community Service Day

Citrix, a provider of mobile technologies and cloud services, lent a pair of helping hands to MFPA on Friday, Nov. 16th. Citrix employee, Rus Richter, provided a service for his company and his community by helping plant four dozen California native shrubs and rushes with MFPA project leader, Dave Poeschel.

Thanks, Dave, Rus and Citrix.  Your community appreciates your hard work.

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Hey, all park users

When you go out on your Sunday or weekday walk, you will notice that things are pretty spruced-up!   We had another successful Volunteer Work Day and a lot of weeding, pruning and wood-chip moving occurred!  I know you will see the changes!  So, remember MFPA when you get back home to your house, and get on the computer and help us to maintain, restore and improve our two parks!   Please consider a donation to MFPA.

Go to the Donations link on the top right side of the home page, where Sunny Wagstaff has made it easy for park users to support the effort.  Use PayPal or whatever is convenient for you and donate funds to MFPA.  These will be used to plant trees, add to the landscaping, and take other actions to better our parks.  We appreciate your consideration!

Thanks for your support!

P. P. Pizzo, Chairman
Park Restoration and Improvement Committee

Native Plant Island C (NPI-C) has been planted!

Native Plant Island C

On November 10th, volunteer residents and members of the MFPA (Martin-Fontana Parks Association) planted CA native plants and shrubs just west of NPI-A  in Jeffrey Fontana Park west. About 40 plants were planted on the island to add a focal point of interest for park users. Patrick Pizzo of MFPA designed the mound; and PRNS (Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services) staff, working under the direction of Michael (Mick) Brown, created same. Remember the cluster of volunteer oaks at that location? In summer, these trees (which lay directly under the 230KV PG&E transmission lines) were removed and the boulders under those trees were incorporated on the mound.

The old island minus the trees

Ceanothus, Manzanita, Buckwheat, Penstemon, Desert Olive and Desert Willow are featured. Many of these are one-gallon plants. The density of plants may look anemic, however, the next couple of months are ‘spring’ for CA native plants and they will shoot forth and begin to fill the island. Wildflowers and other flowering species will be added come spring to round out the planting. Our plan is to place plant labels such as we have on NPI-A so that park users can identify the plants and learn more about them on the Internet. These drought resistant plants will be hand watered until the island is established. This may take a full three years, maybe a little less, depending on seasonal rainfall.

If you are curious, NPI-B was in our original master plan for Fontana West; but this island will no longer be required as we have been able to plant small, stature trees in, and around, where it would have been located. Will there be more CA Native plant Islands? Possibly! MFPA is considering a tactile garden and butterfly attractor just a little to the northwest of NPI-C in an open, unplanted area between our Heritage Oaks.

California Native Plant demonstration garden location

It will be a garden where local school children can visit and become more familiar with California’s native plants. Who knows? Someday, our parks may warrant a visit by Huell Howser as another example of California’s Gold!

Island Creationists at Work

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Andrew Oberhelman’s Eagle Scout Project completed

The finished project

Working with the Martin-Fontana Parks Association, Life Scout, Andrew Oberhelman, completed his Eagle Scout Project in Jeffrey Fontana Park.  It is located across from the Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Garden on the east side of McAbee Road.  and on planting day, Andrew was guided by David Poeschel, also of MFPA, who mentored the Scouts in planting CA Native plants and shrubs

Andrew selected native plants for his restoration project to provide a demonstration of their importance in water conservation in our environment. He raised nearly $300 in fundraisers and MFPA provided any other necessary funding. Louie, of the City Parks Dept., worked to renovate an existing non-operative irrigation system and had it working for the Nov. 10 planting date besides helping out with the planting.

A big thanks to the members of his scouting troop and parents, the city’s Parks Dept, Our City Forest, as well as MFPA mentors and volunteers who helped him complete his project.  Andrew also worked with the chair of MFPA’s Restoration and Improvement Committee, Pat Pizzo, who helped guide him with his plant selection.  On planting day, Andrew was guided by David Poeschel, also of MFPA, who mentored the Scouts in planting CA Native plants and shrubs.

Check out the nice story in the Almaden Times Weekly:  An Eagle Scout spreads his wings.

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Fifty-Six Meals Provided by your Donations – Happy Thanksgiving

We are very pleased to announce that during our Nov. 10th Fall Planting, Martin-Fontana Parks Association collected 73 pounds of food to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  That’s enough to provide 56 nutritious meals for those who need it most!

73 lbs. of food donated!

Please remember that the struggle of hunger continues all year round.  Visit to continue your support of the Food Bank, the 326 partner agencies they work with, and most importantly, the nearly quarter of a million people served each month in our community.

Together we have taken a stand against hunger—that’s something to take pride in!  We thank you for your generosity.

Martin-Fontana Parks Association
Working for Our Community