Archive for August, 2017

Help save the Monarch Butterflies

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park Maintenance

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks are part of Maintenance District One, divided into three areas, or routes.  Our parks are two of twelve facilities including the Almaden library and community center and four other parks.  The staff caring for all 12 facilities consists of one Gardener and two Grounds workers.  We currently have an unfilled position of Maintenance Assistant that needs to be filled.  Two mowers are assigned to mow the 82.2 acres of turf in the district, so we are assigned every other Friday for our mowing days. On June 13 the soccer field renovation was mowed for the first time.

Irrigation, weeds, and rodents continue to be our worst nightmares.  Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services  are discussing the possibility of creating an irrigation strike team for the city to help with our never ending problems with our ancient irrigation system.

Remember, if you see an irrigation break, or something in the park that needs to be taken care of, send an email, with picture, if possible, to

MFPA Vice President, Richard Zahner


Tell the San Jose City Council to improve the maintenance of our Parks


The San Jose City Council approved some token additions to the 2017/2018 budget for parks maintenance.  We are not likely to see any improvements, as the additions will go to parks that are rated much lower than ours.   There are still NO plans to fund the rehabilitation of neighborhood parks.  If the city council would take a realistic approach to maintaining our parks, we would definitely see some improvements.  Otherwise it will be business as usual in our parks and they will continue to deteriorate.

So how do we get the council to take action that will benefit Jeffrey Fontana and T. J. Martin parks?  The answer lies in LETTING THE COUNCIL MEMBERS KNOW THAT WE WANT TO SEE CHANGE AND THAT WE VOTE.  Here is an example of something that happened during the council’s last budget planning session.  There were a token number of attendees from MFPA and other San Jose park advocates.  However, one group that wanted a budget addition of $183,000 for their cause showed up in force.  They had Tee Shirts that identified them and they took the opportunity to make their two-minute pitches to the council.   The end result was that they got their $183,000 addition.  And by the way, their addition came out of the Park’s budget.

That action was effective but it’s only one way to get the council member’s attention.  Here are some suggestions that all of us could take to make our concerns known:

  • Send hard copy letters to our council member and to the other city council members expressing your concerns.  The letters are even more effective if they are signed by multiple residents.  If there is a pending discussion of parks or park budgets send the letters to the City Clerk as well.
  • Hard copy letters are the most effective but e-mails will also work.
  • Attend the neighborhood budget planning sessions.
  • Attend the pertinent council sessions and be vocal.  All attendees are allowed two minutes to make their points to the council.  You can include PowerPoint presentations if you like.  The atmosphere is not overwhelming and the Mayor and Council members will listen to what you have to say.  The more attendees who speak on the same subject the more effective the message will be.
  • Continue to support MFPA as membership numbers count.
  • Pay attention to MFPA requests for support when they are posted on the web site and/or sent via e-mail.   We will alert you to the important issues.
  • And please consider joining San Jose Park Advocates.  There is no membership fee but you will get timely and insightful information about overall San Jose park issues.  The website is:   Click on “Contact” to add your information.

Remember there is strength in numbers!

Richard Grialou, MFPA Political/Agency Liaison Chair

You Make the Difference!

Thank you all for your park advocacy!  Our members called and emailed city council members and attended  budget meetings to bring city awareness to the desperate need for increased maintenance in our older neighborhood parks.  Your message was heard.  The new parks budget contains nine newly funded maintenance positions city-wide.  This is the first increase in maintenance personnel since 2008!

Our membership now includes 165 family and single memberships, with a total of 353 actual members.  You have allowed MFPA to play a major role in advocating a turn around of the City’s attitude toward parks.  Park maintenance finally was addressed in council meetings and budget talks. We look forward to seeing a gradual improvement in the care of our parks.


A big “Thank You to MFPA members, Chuck and Gail Haywood,


who have made a generous contribution to the Martin-Fontana Parks Association with the intent that a special fund be established to restore a section of the grass area in Fontana Park making it usable by all park goers.  New water piping, removal of gophers, and new grass seeding would all be part of a long-range plan.

The Haywoods stated in their letter that they remembered a time when kids played on the grass, dogs romped, and couples would sit under the trees or families would picnic.  Our parks can be all this again if we share that dream of how it once was and work to make it a reality.



If you would like to become a contributor to this effort, please send your contribution to  our new address: 

Martin-Fontana Parks Association,
6081 Meridian Ave., Suite 70 #246,
San Jose, CA 95120.


Five Island Project Becomes a Reality in Jeffrey Fontana Park

Here’s the plan to incrementally introduce NP-Islands in Fontana West-

Monoculture Islands


Notes from Martin-Fontana Parks Association President, Rod Carpenter

These last few months have been a very busy time for your Parks Board of Directors.  We have been holding meetings with the City Park’s personnel seeking a letter of understanding as to what our relationship is in keeping our parks the way we would all like to see them.  It is our hope we can share a positive outcome with all of you by the time our next newsletter comes out.

The Board of Directors has purchased a Gopher X machine to help eliminate the infestation of gophers within our parks.  This will supplement the efforts of the Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services Dept. in the months to come. It is our goal to eliminate the many holes that riddle our grassy areas and make it impossible to walk on.  Training will be given by the City’s PRNS Department and if you would like to be trained and want to volunteer your time in this effort, please let us know.


Robert Braunstein, a member of our Board of Directors, has produced a 30 second video spot which features the efforts of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association.  If you haven’t already seen it, just click on the video below and let us know what you think of it.


Thank you to our member negotiating team dealing with PG&E, led by Dick Stevens and Richard Zahner, in bringing to a conclusion another successful outcome in saving and preserving the life of the trees in our parks.  Also a thank you to PG&E for hearing our concerns and eliminating only those trees that were of necessity.

I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors will be honoring its many volunteers on Saturday, September 16th.  Invitations will be mailed in August.  Volunteers are the life-blood of our organization and we look forward to saying “thank you” to these very special people.

Rod Carpenter