Archive for the ‘MFPA’ Category

Celebrating Beautility

Councilmember Johnny Khamis

has announced in his Nov. 2018 newsletter the following :

 

“Join us on Saturday, December 8th, at 8:30 AM, for an early morning celebration of the completion of the Beautility water vault painting project – a project to beautify local utility infrastructure in TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks.

There are twelve concrete block structures, called water vaults, throughout both parks, stretching from Almaden Expressway to Coleman Road. The Martin-Fontana Parks Association (MFPA) was interested in having murals painted on them to make them a more beautiful part of the park, instead of the boring concrete ‘blocks’ that they are. My team and I looked carefully through the District 10 Parks budget and found that there was funding available in the line item for Park Art. We proposed the idea to Michael Ogilvie, Director of Public Art for the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs, who was immediately excited about the project. He worked closely with our partners at the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), the owners of the vaults, to get all the permissions and permitting required, and posted a Request for Proposal, seeking artists to paint the murals. A Review Panel was convened, which included community members, and six artists were selected, each given two vaults to paint. A grant was provided by the Water District to cover the cost of permitting, and the project moved forward.

Working out all the details and moving parts took many months, and we are excited to finally be able to celebrate the completion of this beautification effort. We are grateful to Michael for all the work he did to make this possible and those he partnered with here at the City, the Water District, and the MFPA to bring this special project to fruition. He found some amazing artists who have all done a fantastic job!

For the celebration on December 8th, we will be meeting near the dog park on Golden Oak Way at 8:30 AM. Several of the vaults are visible nearby, and a map will be provided to show the locations of all the vaults, along with the names of the artists. Guests are encouraged to walk through the park to view these lovely works of art.

This event will happen rain or shine. Canopies will be available should we be blessed with rain. Coffee and donuts will also be available.”

Another Art Box completed in Jeffrey Fontana Park

Thanks to Artist, Megan Stevens (http://www.meganstevens.com/), we have another beautiful addition to our park.

From this ugly block in front of Tree 13 to this beauty.

Our thanks to Michael Ogilvie, the City of San José Director of Public Art, Santa Clara County Water District & Councilmember, Johnny Khamis for making this project possible.

More beautiful additions to Jeffrey Fontana Park

This beautiful painting & the one below were done by Artist Morgan Bricca (morganmurals.com).  It’s located just East of McAbee Rd. in Jeffrey Fontana Park before crossing the pedestrian bridge in the Butterfly Garden area.  Thanks to Dave Poeschel for the photo.

This beauty is located just east of the intersection of McAbee Rd & Golden Oak Way

Painting started on two more water vaults

Two more water vaults are in the process of being painted by artist Daniel Aguilera Jimenez:

In TJ Martin Park at the corner of Meridian Avenue & Golden Oak Way.

Artist Daniel Aguilera Jimenez puts the finishing touches on his art work.

Near the corner of Burchell Avenue & Oak Glen Way in TJ Martin Park.

No more ugly drab concrete bunkers in our two parks.

5 Islands pathway completed thanks to your donations & membership

Photo by Richard Grialou

 

The BrightView professional landscaping company has completed construction of a pathway in the 5 Islands project.  Five inches of earth were removed before putting in a rock base and decomposed granite.  The 5 Islands project is located east of the corner of Meridian and Golden Oak Way in Jeffrey Fontana Park.

The pathway is not primarily utilitarian. The combination and array of the islands, boulders, native plants, split-rail fence, and Ironwood tree, combined with the paths as illustrated below, form an integrated landscape feature. The purpose is to draw the eye of the park user to the array, see it as an ‘isolated’ destination, one to visit and contemplate. Although the walking paths do not encircle the islands, they will give you that impression.

For more info on the Islands:  https://martinfontanaparksassociation.blog/2018/06/19/have-you-been-to-the-islands-yet/

We are eight years old!

Here’s Valli Sharpe-Geisler with a letter from the California Secretary of State office indicating that we were  officially approved as a Non-Profit Corporation as of 10 August 2010!

If you were wondering what were some of the things we were doing back in 2010, here’s a tree rally we held for TJ Martin & Jeffrey Fontana Parks.  Here’s the video .

 

We were also out protesting in front of PG&E Headquarters in San Jose and during PG&E’s removal of 13 trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gophers in TJ Martin & Jeffrey Fontana Parks

Below is MFPA Board Member Linda Wilson’s response to a concerned neighbor regarding the infestation of gophers in our parks.

I recently received your membership renewal and your note about the gophers.  This is a rather long and complicated problem.  Up to 2008 PRNS had full funding and ran an ongoing rodent removal program in all parks that were affected by gophers and squirrels, including TJ Martin and Fontana.  In 2008 the parks budget was slashed by 50% in maintenance due to the recession, and the rodent control program was cut accordingly.  They still hired an outside contractor to kill gophers in both parks using a poison that was inserted deep into the tunnels.  In 2010 the Federal government outlawed nearly all the poisons that had previously been effective in rodent control on public lands such as parks.  The contractor then had to change to trapping the gophers, taking them away alive from the parks and then he would freeze them to be used for owl food for the county’s barn owl population.

At this point, the gopher population in TJ Martin park exploded, first going into all the TJ Martin neighboring streets.  Now in TJ, homeowners from the park clear to Redmond Ave. have nearly all been impacted by gophers and have resorted to all kinds of remedies, but the park population continues to expand.  In Fontana, most of the rodent damage since 2008 had only been from the ground squirrels; the gophers did not appear in great numbers until they tunneled under Meridian into Fontana and spread eastward through the park.  Gophers are solitary tunnelers.  A gopher will only use another gopher’s tunnel if it has been long abandoned, so all gophers are always digging their own tunnels for their own use.  Once they have mated, they separate, and when the young are old enough they leave the mother to build their own tunnels and nests.

Last fall PRNS got permission from the state and feds to use carbon monoxide produced by small gas engines piped into the tunnels to kill the gophers by removing the oxygen in the tunnels. The machines cost about $2000, so MFPA got permission to train six volunteers and purchased one to use in conjunction with park staff.  Most of our volunteer work was done in TJ Martin soccer fields and in Fontana from Meridian as far as our first native plant island.  After the five island projects was begun in November, the Fontana volunteers worked only in the area directly in front of the five islands and around the five islands.  Eventually, volunteers dropped interest and only one person still tries to keep gophers out of the five islands.

I have asked all the volunteers about where they were working, and so far as we know, only PRNS ever worked from in front of the dog parks all the way down to Almaden Expressway.  We found, as did park staff, that the gophers and squirrels had been allowed to breed uncontrolled and overrun the parks beginning in 2008, so for ten years they have been multiplying and spreading throughout the parks and the surrounding neighborhoods for up to a mile and a half from the parks.  One of our members who lives two houses down from the Fontana on Ostenberg told us that last fall he had to completely remove his lawns, lay down gopher grid wire, then bring in top soil and replant.

Unfortunately, until the City receives enough complaints made to the City Council and the mayor, this problem will go on unabated.  Parks are last on the list to receive city funding by priority.  MFPA has attended city meetings, spoken to city representatives and pushed for funding for rodent control for the last six years with no meaningful results.  Since this March, we have only tried to keep the gophers out of the five island project using the Gopher X, the carbon monoxide method.  We live near TJ Martin and have battled gophers, and most of the Villas is overrun with gophers and squirrel damage.

I sympathize with you and what you have experienced, but with the burgeoning rodent population and no effective method to control it in a widespread manner, we have no answers.  I know this doesn’t make your situation any better, but I hope it helps you understand the magnitude of the rodent problem with which we are faced as park neighbors.  Until someone at City Hall finally gets the message, I don’t know how it will ever be addressed.

Sincerely,

Linda Wilson

Past President and Membership Chair, MFPA