Archive for November, 2017

Saving our feathered friends is local man’s goal

This is an article from the August 11th Almaden Times.

“Citizen Scientist” Lee Pauser has been building, installing, and monitoring nest boxes (the proper term for bird-houses) for 16 years.  He caters to 18 different species, ranging from Chickadees and Tree Swallows to Western Bluebirds, American Kestrels, Barn Owls and Wood Ducks.  He also works with Silicon Valley Wildlife Center to release rehabilitated birds back into the wild.

You can check out the rest of the article at: https://timesmedia.pageflip.site/editions/AT12649#page/1

 

Take a walk around Almaden Lake Park

For more information:
Call (408) 535-4910 or Email michele.dexter@sanjoseca.gov

Dozens of trees going to be planted in TJ Martin & Jeffrey Fontana parks

Our City Forest demonstrates how it’s done

The following is a San Jose Mercury News article by | jbaum@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group on

“The trees will replace those removed earlier this year under Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s gas pipeline safety program.”

“Workers from Our City Forest and the Martin-Fontana Parks Association will provide the new trees during two planting parties at the parks, one on Dec. 16 and the other on Jan. 6. Another couple dozen trees will be planted in the Shadow Brook neighborhood by the local neighborhood association with help from Our City Forest on Dec. 2, according to Councilman Johnny Khamis.”

To read the rest of the story go to Tree Planting.

According to Martin-Fontana Parks Association Director, Richard Zahner, the City’s Parks, Recreation, & Neighborhood Services has committed to provide the water needed to establish the 55 trees. Our City Forest has committed to watering the trees and providing care such as trimming and shaping to assure their survival through the first three years. At that time the trees should be established and should require no more than the routine care provided by PRNS.   In practice the first year will the most demanding, requiring 15 gallons per week.

‘Tree Gator’, a type of plastic water bag

A ‘Tree Gator’, a type of plastic water bag, may be used to control and concentrate the water where it is most beneficial. Watering will be incrementally reduced over the second and third years to promote healthy roots and sustainable growth.

Richard also serves as the Park Planning and Improvement Chairperson for MFPA.

 

Tree Planting Volunteers Needed to Help OCF in December and January

Volunteer Opportunity – A once in a decade opportunity to replant the Parks

 Your Martin-Fontana Park Association is partnering with Our City Forest (OCF) to plant 55 trees in our TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana parks. These trees will grow for decades and brighten our neighborhood with greenery and color.

Our City Forest helps out with planting instructions

You can be part of a beautiful future by planting trees

OCF provides the trees, tools, workers and supervision. You can provide the labor, on this one day, to help dig holes, mix in the mulch, plant, stake and water the tree. A team of three to four will plant the trees so you will be working with the OCF staff.

No prior experience needed – Bring the children * – Your enthusiasm is most important and appreciated.

There will be two Planting Parties:

  • Saturday December 16th from 9AM to noon
  • Saturday January 6th from 9AM to noon

We will meet in Jeffrey Fontana Park at the MFPA kiosk in front of the Dog Park (Near the corner of Ostenberg and Oak Glen Way).

To Register with OCF for this event email or call Ariel at:

plantingvolunteers@ourcityforest.org

408-998-7337 Ext 108

*Children under 12 must be with parent or guardian, minors between 13-17 must have a waiver form (provided upon registration).

 

Five Island Project update

 

Volunteer Dave Poeschel and PRNS employee Mark Conklin

Early on the morning of Nov 13th. a new Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services employee, Mark Conklin, met with Martin-Fontana Parks Association President, Rod Carpenter, members Dave Poeschel, Sunny Wagstaff, Rich Grialou and Project Coordinator, Patrick Pizzo. Mark was there to show us how to install the water manifolds that will be used to irrigate the five islands.  These five islands are located in the West end of Jeffrey Fontana Park.  Mark was there to show us on how to install the water manifolds for each of the five islands.  These will provide the connections for the drip lines.

Note: For more info on the project see Five Island Project Becomes a Reality in Jeffrey Fontana Park.

Each of the five islands now have irrigation systems.  The next step is to have our ‘sponsors’ commit to a planting date.  For that day, we will ask for volunteers to come help our sponsors plant their plants and lay-out the drip-line, emitter-tubing.  We’ll have to spend a little time too, spreading the wood bark on the islands after planting… to keep weeds down, lower surface temperature and to hold moisture in the soil.

Thanks to Project Coordinator, Patrick Pizzo, for putting all these pipes together in his garage at home and those volunteers who spent about five hours getting the job done.  A BIG thank you to Mark for helping us.  Great work, guys!

Pat Pizzo with his pipes

The sponsors have been contacted and we have asked them for pending dates,

suitable to their schedules.

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park “Cluster-Buster” project completed

This morning, Patrick Pizzo and Lee Pauser implemented a “Cluster-Buster” plan, cleared with the City of San Jose- PRNS (Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services), in the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.  This work was done near the J. Fontana West entry to the GOGP near the dog park.  The ‘cluster’ was a group of Quercus agrifolia saplings, encircling a ‘mother’ tree at the intersection of two of the main park trails in the GOGP.  One can identify the area by the tree-trimmings just adjacent the trail.  The trimmings should be gone by mid-week.   The before and after photos  of the work-area are illustrated below.

Why was this done?  The mature trees that define the oak woodland at this entry point, and throughout much of the flat-plain of our park, are Quercus douglasii (Blue Oak) and Quercus lobata (Valley Oak).  They are deciduous native oaks.  The trees in our park are at least 200 years old, especially the Blue Oak (very slow growing).  The Q. Agrifolia is an evergreen tree, and it is a recent entry to our park.  It is concentrated near the main entry to GOGP and in the area at the S-W corner, near the Villas of Almaden.   It is prolific in the urban area surrounding the GOGP, it is fast growing, and it is rapidly becoming a dominant tree. It’s acorns thrive on the valley floor.  Q. agrifolia out competes the Blue and Valley oaks.  Leaving nature take its course would convert the park from an open oak woodland to a closed oak woodland.  Note too that Q. agrifolia is subject to sudden-oak-death (S.O.D.) whereas the Blue and Valley Oaks are not.  So in addition to becoming a closed oak woodland, the GOGP would be more susceptible to S.O.D. issues.

The cluster in our subject-title is one of the young Coast Live Oaks (CLO) saplings that surround the edge of the canopy of the established CLO’s.  They were out competing young Blue and Valley oak saplings in that area.  Proof of this became evident when these saplings were removed; among the saplings were Blue and Valley seedlings which are now open to direct sunlight, the conditions required to establish these trees.  We found about 30 Blue and Valley Oak seedlings among the CLO saplings!   If we are vigilant in removing subsequent CLO seedlings and if we remove the circle of European grasses and weeds that will surround each of them, (they too out-compete the Blue and Valley Oak starts, by grabbing moisture and nutrients), come Spring, we can get the Blue and Valley Oak seedlings to survive 3 years to four years out, it should allow them sufficient time to get established.  In this way, we will be preserving the GOGP.

If you want proof of the spreading of Q. agrifolia evergreen trees in the park, go to Google Earth and look at the historical aerial views.  One can see the expansion of the CLO footprint throughout the park.

Clean Up in Jeffrey Fontana Park a Success!

Pascal on the left with friends

On Veteran’s Day, November 11th, the Parks Recreation & Neighborhood Services Adopt-a-Park folks, along with the Martin-Fontana Parks Association, coordinated a clean-up of the area we refer to as the Cotoneaster patch near Tree #13 in Jeffrey Fontana Park.  Thanks to Adopt-a-Park’s Mollie Tobias and Sue Bowling, we had about 20 or more students from many local and not so local schools:  Lynbrook High School, Pioneer High School, San Jose High School, Holy Spirit School, a young man from Cal-Davis (he was here on the weekend to visit his folks), Leland High School, Valley Christian High School and others.  What a terrific Group!  Combine this with a representation of local residents, MFPA members, and community leaders such as Scott Raley, Jane, Kelly, Sunny Wagstaff, Rich Grailou , Linda Wilson, Patrick Pizzo, and our MFPA photographer Susan Mosher, who took some great photos,  and we had one efficient work crew!   We did weeding, removed numerous Oak starts and saplings, planted a replacement plant and, in general,

made one HUGE of debris.     Take a look and see if you don’t agree that the Cotoneaster patch is looking Sharp (no pun intended)!

Thanks to Pat Pizzo, the Project Director shown on the left. 

 

Mollie Tobias, City of San Jose PRNS Program Manager, had this to say:

“As involved and ‘willing-to-sweat-and-get dirty’ neighbors and volunteers, you take ownership and pride in your local park! Thank you for sharing your time and energy! Your sense of pride is a great asset in improving the park and in turn, the entire community! Because of your help, the park is cleaner, safer and more welcoming to all! We appreciate all you do for Jeffrey Fontana and TJ Martin parks!”