Archive for May 4th, 2023

Park Concerns

My name is Linda Wilson, former president of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association and current project manager of park enhancements provided by our nonprofit park adoption group.

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks comprise roughly 33 acres of city park land running east/west under PG&E high tension power lines in Almaden Valley. 

The parks neighborhoods have two main concerns:  the construction of the pilot turf projects in Jeffrey Fontana Park near the dog parks, and the turf/weed conditions in both TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks. We formed in 2010 to stop PG&E’s removal of nearly 140 mature trees in our parks and were successful. Since then we have spent thousands of dollars planting native plants and trees, placing benches, and enhancing the bare skin areas of the parks that used to be weed filled eyesores. We have witnessed the severe deterioration of both parks over the last few months, and do not believe it can be blamed on our Parks Facilities Supervisor or his assistant.

In Jeffrey Fontana Park we donated $15,000 to a project begun in early 2022 using gopher wire as a base for two turf areas to see if they will remain gopher free. The areas were fenced off in November of 2021, and work was begun, removing existing turf, placing gopher wire, and bringing in good soil as a base for the turf.  It is still fenced in, squirrels have invaded one space, and weeds are growing prolifically.  Our park facilities manager and assistant manager are out of the information loop on the project and neighbors want to know when it will finally be completed.  This is not the fault of either Brian Schultz, or Melody Goodwin, who are not informed of the status of the work in this area.  

Neighbors want to know:  When will this project be completed, and who is the person in PRNS responsible for seeing the project is carried out to completion?

Both TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park suffer from lack of water, and prolific weed growth.  TJ Martin Park from Meridian Avenue east to Vilmar and Sentinal Streets is about 80% weed growth and 20% sod.  Two days after a letter or complaint was sent to the District 10 Councilperson from concerned park neighbors, the worst area from Meridian to Burchell Ave. was mowed.  I have visited other parks in Almaden Valley and these two parks are far and away in worse condition than other District 10 parks.  Mowers are always broken and weeds have taken over.  We know the parks department is never funded enough, and there is a shortage of park maintenance staff.  However, TJ Martin park is in deplorable shape.  District 10 parks have always been underfunded due to the funding formula set up by the city.

Neighbors want to know:  Will TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana parks remain infested with thistles and weeds choking out grasses until they are not more than vacant lots unusable by children and adults for play and exercise?

Will there ever be a completion of the turf project in Fontana?  If so, when?

Will there ever be an attempt to bring grass back and kill the weeds that have taken over TJ Martin park?  If so, when?


Linda Wilson