Archive for May, 2014

You Can Help

P1070122 - Copy

Our City Forest is looking for volunteers to help water young trees at TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park. Volunteers will be rewarded with the opportunity to learn more about the crucial, yet often overlooked, care needed to ensure the health and success of these young trees. Volunteers should be of, at least, high school age (with a consent form) or older, and anyone with a truck is highly encouraged to help out! These events usually take place each Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. until noon. Those interested should contact the Tree Care Volunteer Coordinator, Olivia Goguen: (408) 998-7337         ext. 105

Beware of Killer Kites!

kite flying












Here’s a kite that was tangled in the 230,000 volt powerlines overhead in Jeffrey Fontana Park.  This is a very dangerous thing to do and you were lucky you weren’t electrocuted!

photo 2
Please don’t let your children do this.


See the results of Operation Facelift at Almaden Meadows Park

Almaden Meadows sign

Putting the finishing touches on the sign. (Photo by SJ Council member, Johnny Khamis)

Wow! What a beautiful day and what an effort! Everyone is to be commended for all of the hard work and the good time!  Thanks to hard work and dedication, all pretty much got done.

I want to give a special thank you to the members of the South Hills Community Church who persisted in doing what had to be done, late into the afternoon, and even after the volunteer feast! We, the Friends of the Almaden Meadows Park are most grateful for the dedication!  A special thanks go to the Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS) crew directed by Peggy Rudd.  They also donated extra effort, working well into Saturday afternoon.  What can we say about the food and BBQ crew! Excellent!


In the way of overview, the following work was concluded: Both ‘corner’ signs were cleaned (concrete plus wood) and painted. Dirt was removed from the sign-locations so as to make room for the chocolate-wood-chips which look awesome, by the way. The concrete bench and backing strip along the west-periphery of the tot-lot was scraped and painted. Vegetation along Camden was cleaned of ‘volunteer’ plants and weeds…. and the water-utility-piping at Skyfarm Court too was painted.

Spreading the mulch

Spreading the mulch. (Photo by SJ Council member, Johnny Khamis)

Wood Chips… oh my! The piles that were strategically placed in the dirt area at the upper BBQ Benches were spread through much effort. Below, between these tables and Meridian, a second layer of wood was spread to make a uniform 6-inch layer to keep back the weeds and to give a good-look to the park. Thanks to all those ladies (mostly) that weeded along the concrete trimming strip that defines these areas. They went after the weeds, taking them out by the root! What a task! Thanks!  And then there were the playground chips. Yes… “the chips are down” and we are confident the tots and their parents will greatly appreciate the effort!

Tot Lot makeover

Boy…. did we draw the political folks! Johnny Khamis, District 10 Councilman and his wife were there and working. I also saw mayoral candidate Pierluigi Oliverio out there too. Hope I am not forgetting anyone. Mollie Tobias representing PRNS of course (thanks for all the tools and support, Mollie); and Michele Dexter (City of San Jose). Michele was also a painter at one of the other South Hills Community Church projects, either at a local school or painting the sound wall near Trinidad off of the Almaden Expressway. Let us not forget that Almaden Meadows Park was only one of three areas made beautiful by the South Hills Community Church folks!

And of course I have to acknowledge the Friends of Almaden Meadows Park who were out in force. Met one young gentleman from Leigh High School who really knew how to work! A few folks from MFPA (Martin-Fontana Parks Association) rounded out the volunteer force. Thanks to all of you too. And what about the Almaden Valley Kiwanis Club! They contributed too!

A critical role was played by Jose and Louie from PRNS! They really more-or-less saved the day! They brought in equipment which greatly helped us to meet the ‘labor’ requirement to get the whole of the job done!! Thanks guys!  You know your involvement is greatly appreciated.

A capstone of the project was held at the South Hills Community Church at 6601 Camden Avenue in San Jose on Sunday at 10:00am where anyone that wanted to celebrate the event could come to their regular service.

Pastor Larry Brundage  larry-brundage….that’s it in one word: Community! Through our joint efforts this Saturday and the communal BBQ, we expressed and demonstrated our sense of community. Others shared this experience, even if only indirectly. What we did, what they witnessed, is bound to motivate them to do something positive, something to benefit their own neighborhood. We were not just wheelbarrowing woodchips; we were mining goodwill!

Patrick P. Pizzo

Patrick is one of the Park Management Chairpersons for the Martin-Fontana Parks Association.


Weep for our Willow Tree

Around the 15th of May our large Willow tree decided to shed more branches.  This is the Willow tree in the northeast corner of Jeffrey Fontana Park not far from Alamden Expressway.  Back in 2010 it used to look like this:

East side of Willow  6-27-13

In Dec of 2012 she shed her first branch.
In Dec of 2012 the Willow shed the first branch.
Then this month two more limbs were shed.
photo 1
It looks like one of the limbs broke off from the top & it then smashed into a bottom limb, breaking it off too.

The Parks Department has been notified.  We hope to see about arranging to have this tree fully trimmed of all it’s dead branches.