Archive for the ‘CA Native Plants’ Category

It’s Spring Cleanup at Jeffrey Fontana Park

A big THANKS to Michele LaPlante, our Martin-Fontana Parks Association (MFPA) Volunteer Coordinator, and Michele Dexter, the Community Relations representative from the District 10 City Council office for their coordination on a successful “Spring Cleaning” Saturday May 7th at the Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Rose Garden and the California native plant garden on McAbee Road.

Volunteers from the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS met for their annual spring clean up of the rose garden, as well as some weeding and pruning on the east side of McAbee at the CA native garden.  They were joined by a large group of volunteers from the Church of the Latter Day Saints.  The volunteers filled a large Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS) dump truck twice, with green waste from weeding, pruning, and trimming the trees and plants in the gardens. 

Thanks also, to the PRNS Volunteer Unit, who came out Saturday morning with all the tools and wheelbarrows needed for the cleanup effort. 

PRNS Volunteer Coordinator, Sue Bowling, helped with the sign in and MFPA member Chris Reed was there to give guidance in the native garden work area.   Together, all the helping hands put in a morning of great effort to create two garden spaces that all the park community can enjoy.

*Thanks to our new MFPA photographer, Jack Wollenweber, a Bellarmine College Preparatory school student for all the nice photos.

APRIL 2022

Just click here for a .pdf of our latest newsletter.

Five Islands Ready for Winter

A big THANK YOU to the volunteers who came out Nov. 14th and worked for several hours pruning, clearing brush, cleaning the pathway and the Antje Hirt memorial bench. The crew consisted of Christine Noordam, Michele La Plante, Kelly Shepherd, Linda Wilson, Dave Poeschel, Dan and Ian Judd, Rich Grialou, and Christopher Reed.  Now the native plants in all five islands and the pathway are ready for a winter nap.

Special thanks to Ernie Hirt who came out to enjoy the bench under the oak tree that commemorates his late wife.  Ernie and his wife were among the 46 neighbors who originally formed MFPA to save our park trees from the PG&E chain saws back in 2010.

Once again, thank you all so much!

Linda Wilson,

President of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association

*For those who don’t know where the Five Islands are, they are located at the west end of Jeffrey Fontana Park. They consist of 5 individual native plant islands.

See what you missed at our Heart of the Park Celebration

*Thanks to our MFPA photographer, Wayne Opp for all these great photos!

Celebrating Our Parks

Who will be at our Heart of the Park event?

Almaden Valley Public Safety Net

Birds of Our Parks

California Native Plant Tour/Society

District 10 City Council Office

Friends of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park

Handmade Almaden Market

Master Gardeners of Santa Clara Valley

MFPA membership, raffle, & refreshment tables

Party by Alina Face Painting

San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services

Volunteer Unit SJPD Crime Prevention Ice Cream Truck

Pat Pizzo’s Bench

Pat helped design the native plant garden at the visitor center in Hellyer County Park. He began the installation in Jan 2020. The garden is evolving and growing. The maintenance staff installed Pat’s bench near the flag pole and under a valley oak at the center.


If you get a chance, please check it out and send energy out to Pat’s spirit thanking him for his vision with this garden. The park is located at 985 Hellyer Ave in San Jose.

*Thanks to Jason Gorman for the photos and to Deb Kramer, Executive Director of Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful, for providing the information.

Volunteers Spruce up Native Plant Islands

Island A

On June 6th, 2021, a hard working group of 18 volunteers signed up with the San Jose Parks  Recreation & Neighborhood Services Dept. to help the Martin-Fontana Parks Association prepare the Jeffrey Fontana Park’s two largest native plant islands ready for the long hot summer.

Wearing face masks and after passing COVID temperature checks, the volunteers went to work on the two islands to pull out dead native plants, prune back the spreading plants. To help conserve water over the summer, they hauled several buckets of mulch to cover the bare ground around the plants. The unused mulch from the ten cubic feet delivered by South Bay Materials will be added later in the summer. MFPA member donations funded the mulch purchase and will fund needed replacement plants in the late fall.

It’s that time of the year to enjoy the Native Plants at Five Islands

Take a walk with the video provided by our MFPA photographer, Wayne Opp below:

Here are some plant close ups:

Thanks to our MFPA Photographer, Wayne Opp for these great photos. We hope to be on this year’s Going Native Garden Tour.

Not to worry

This weekend, some good folks from Our City Forest will come out to visit some of the beautiful California native plant landscaping projects that Pat Pizzo designed and led volunteers to build including along Capitancillos Dr. in the Oak Canyon neighborhood and the 5 Islands Project in Jeffrey Fontana Park. Don’t be alarmed if you see them snipping away at the plants. They will be collecting cuttings to root and grow in their 501(c)3 non-profit nursery for the benefit of all!

5 Islands Project in Jeffrey Fontana Park