Archive for the ‘CA Native Plants’ Category

PRNS Deputy Director reveals new plan for our Parks at MFPA General Meeting

President Rod Carpenter called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm last Wednesday, Feb. 13, addressing an overflow audience of members and guests.

Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services Deputy Director, Justin Long, summarized some of the changes that are being made to improve the efficiency of park maintenance.  A new “Activate San Jose” plan will be the new parks’ guiding document and should be in available to the public in June for community review.  MFPA will alert our members when it is presented.

Mr. Long and Dan Greeley, our Maintenance District Supervisor, spoke about the rodent problem affecting many San Jose parks, including ours.  They outlined the action that PRNS will be taking to alleviate the problem, and then answered questions from the floor.

Outgoing President, Rod Carpenter highlighted the achievements of MFPA during his two-year tenure:

  • Completion of the native plant Five Islands Project
  • Construction of the “Surf Shack” tool shed
  • Repair of the Meridian fence at TJ Martin Park
  • The Planting of over fifty new trees in both parks
  • Completion of the “Beautility” Water Vault Painting project
  • Partnership with PRNS Adopt-a-Park Program and Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, (SCCAOR), to maintain existing projects like the Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Rose Garden

Perhaps the most significant achievement of Rod’s term was the completion of the “Right of Entry” agreement with PRNS allowing MFPA to hire qualified contractors to work in the parks on MFPA projects!

Outgoing Secretary, Rich Grialou was honored with the “President’s Award” and received a plaque in appreciation of his contributions to MFPA.

President Rod Carpenter was presented with a plaque honoring his dedication and determination to oversee the accomplishments of the last two years.

The new Board of Directors goals for the next year include:

  • Ongoing maintenance projects with PRNS Adopt-a-Park and SCCAOR
  • The annual Heart of the Park Celebration on May 18, 2019
  • Continued collaboration with PRNS and the City to improve our parks

A updated video of the Five Island Project by Patrick Pizzo

These Islands were created by the Martin-Fontana Parks Association (MFPA) to provide alternative landscape features using California Native plants. The five berms, or islands, are situated between Heritage Coast Live Oaks and were finalized in January of 2018.  They are in Jeffrey Fontana Park just across the street from 1278 Oakglen Way in San Jose.

Have you been to the Islands yet?

Well you don’t have to go far.  Just drop by Jeffrey Fontana Park at the corner of Meridian Avenue and Oakglen Way and you will see our beautiful 5 Islands display of native plants.  Stroll around the Islands, find a plant you like, check the name on the plant ID signs, head to your nursery, and add one to your yard.  Mother Nature will thank you.

Almaden Valley Nursery has a wonderful island displaying some of the plants they have available for sale.

Check out East Bay Wilds‘ Island:

Then there’s DGDG‘s Island:

And don’t forget PG&E‘s Island:

And last but not least, is the Presidents’ Island, so named for the past MFPA Presidents who we want to thank for their generous donations to make this island possible:

In fact we want to thank all these generous organizations for their contributions of either Plants or Monetary donations.  We couldn’t do it without you.

 

Come on out.  The Islands await you.

 

Our 2018 Membership Team is off and running

Thanks to the efforts of our hard-working team, six new members have been signed up to date; bringing our total membership count to 165. In addition, sponsorships are up as more people are becoming sponsors for the first time or our current sponsors are increasing their gifts. Thanks so much, members & sponsors. Without your generous donations where would we be? Just take a look around our parks to see where your money has been going. Lots of projects such as:

Remember, you too can become a member or sponsor by just selected the “memberships/sponsorships” menu selection at the top of our page and follow the directions provided.  We are a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code so your donations are tax-deductible.

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE 2018 – We need you

The Board of Directors are once again holding their Annual Membership Drive. Our goal is to add at least 30 memberships to our Association. If you know of someone who would like to join our organization, please pass along their name. Also, there are a lot of renewals due this time of year; if you have already renewed, a big THANK YOU, and if you haven’t renewed as yet, please do so, we really need your support.

To become a Member, renew a Membership, or become a Sponsor, just click on the “membership/sponsorship forms” heading at the top of the page.  It’s only $20 per person or $35 per family for a one year membership.  Your contributions go toward making our two parks the best they can be.

 

Our first of five Native Plant Islands is completed

It may not look like much for now but just wait till Spring arrives and these plants get going.  Thanks to our Martin-Fontana Parks Association members Larry Sasscer, Lee Pauser, Rod Carpenter, Vince Piazzisi, Sunny Wagstaff, Richard Grialou, Pat Pizzo, PRNS District 1 Manager, Dan Greeley and our Fontana West Park maintenance person, Mark Conklin, for all their hard work and expertise.

And, of course, a BIG Thank You to the sponsor of the island, Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds for providing over 40 plants.  He didn’t just donate plants. He spent almost a day sorting, loading and driving them down here with a paid member of his staff, placing them and instructing the volunteer crew in rock and plant placement. What makes this distant nursery special is that Pete has a broad selection of CA native plants.  Plants that cannot be found in other South Bay nurseries.  Additionally, Pete has extensive experience with native plants.  His use of native plants in containers is unique.  We encourage anyone interested in CA native plants to visit Pete’s nursery, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, and the  UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley some weekend!

We still have four more islands to go and we have sponsors lined up for two of them.  Look for more planting to come now that all the water lines have been completed.  Sponsorships for two of these islands are still available for service clubs or community groups.

 For more info please contact Martin-Fontana Parks Association President, Rod Carpenter for details at 408-997-2174.

 

 

Please don’t pick the flowers. Oops! I meant to say FLAGS….

 

 

You may have seen green/blue and red irrigation flags in one area of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park between two of the main walking trails.  These flags represent a project being done in cooperation with District 10.  They mark a 30 foot-wide swath from trail to trail, and all the one-year old, baby Valley and Blue Oak shoots that are growing within.  These shoots are to be ‘caged’ in chicken wire cages to protect them, watered and encouraged to live as they are to be the replacement trees for the Blue and Valley Oak trees we are losing to the extended drought and other issues.  The flags are there because after the deciduous native oak trees drop their leaves they will be ‘invisible’ but for the subsequent caging.  Blue and Valley Oaks will not regenerate due to the high-weed and grass load in the park and the out-competing Coast Live Oaks which are overtaking the open Savannah.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

 

Pat Pizzo