Archive for November 17th, 2014

Gathering Input on the Use and Future of

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Guadalupe Oak Grove Park is in Almaden Valley between the Villas of Almaden, the Jeffrey Fontana Park, and the Campton Chase. It is about 64 acres of undeveloped hillsides, oak savanna, and oak woodland laced with hiking/walking trails. When the park first opened it was classified as a regional park, and, due to budget cutbacks, was changed to neighborhood park status and transferred to Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS).

When opened in 1987, the park, being an open savannah, was characteristically open–one could see through the park. The openness of the park encouraged the growth of grasses, flowers, and new oak seedlings. As time marches on, the openness of the park is being lost–the park is evolving into an oak woodland. One cannot now see through the park which raises safety issues. Wildflowers that were abundant in the park are now scarce.

Soon, a partnership between the City and the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority will jointly serve the needs of the park. The purpose of this survey is to solicit your opinion as to the future direction for the GOGP with the main issue, to preserve the park as an open Valley and Oak Savannah or to let it naturally evolve and integrate with plants and trees within the surrounding urban landscape.

It is important to understand the issue of the park’s future. To help you understand the issue, several walk-throughs with a docent are scheduled.

* Sunday November 23, 2014 beginning at 10 AM and 2 PM
* Saturday December 6, 2014 beginning at 10 AM and 2 PM

These walk-throughs will commence near the park’s restroom, and are expected to take about an hour or more depending upon the depth of questions and discussions. It is recommended that you participate in one of the walk-throughs and/or read the document accessible by clicking on the link titled ‘An overview of the park’ below. There are also several other documents available that provide additional background information for the interested person.

* An overview of the park
* The park’s 1987 Master Plan Report
* A condensed version of the park’s 1987 Master Plan Report
* A list of bird species that have been seen in the park
* UTD Vascular Plant List

The management of the Guadalupe Oak Grove Neighborhood Park is currently under the stewardship of PRNS, as are the two parks, T.J.Martin and J. Fontana. The City recently partnered with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (SCCOSA) to jointly maintain/manage the Alum Rock Park on the east-side of San Jose. Because the GOGP is a remnant of the county untouched by development, discussions will soon take place to consider joint stewardship of GOGP by the City and SCCOSA.

Users of the GOGP know the park to be a unique island of old Oaks and chaparral, a natural oak island surrounded by urban development. Because of this, there are two options regarding park management. One option is to preserve the Park as it is, a Valley and Blue Oak savannah in a sea of grassland. The second option is to let the park naturally transition to an oak woodland, as influenced by the surrounding urban landscape. There is no right or wrong answer; however, the decision will guide the maintenance and stewardship plan to be implemented by the City and the SCCOSA. The walking trails and the current uses of the park will be retained as is.

After gaining an understanding of the issue in play, please participate in the *SURVEY*. The cut-off date for the survey is midnight on December 31st, 2014. Your participation is very much appreciated.

Note: This activity is being conducted by park volunteers with the backing of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association. The results of the survey will be presented to Council District 10 prior to the opening of discussion between the SCCOSA and the City of San Jose. Organizers of this effort include Organizers of this effort include Patrick P. Pizzo (SCV-CNPS affiliation, MFPA), Dave Poeschel (Sierra Club affiliation, MFPA), and Lee Pauser (Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society affiliation, Friends of the Almaden Meadows Park).