Archive for the ‘PRNS’ Category

District 10 sets aside $250,000 for Guadalupe Oak Grove Park woodland management

On December 4, 2017, Mollie Tobias of the City’s Adopt-a-Park program and her crew, including our Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services maintenance team, supported the Swath Project in the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.  You may recall that the Swath is a section of our park, between the east and central trails, 30 foot wide and about 420 foot long, in which 1-year Blue and Valley Oak seedlings were flagged.

These small ‘starts’ have been out competed by Coast Live Oak saplings for years.  They are encroaching from two main areas: the dog-park entry area, near the Villas of Almaden and the main GOGP entry off of Thorntree.  As a result, our open Blue and Valley oak woodland on the Valley floor has been transitioning to a closed Oak woodland.  It was initially thought that the Blue and Valley oaks were not regenerating.  However, Lee Pauser, Dave Poeschel and I found that these starts were there and were just being out-competed by Coast Live Oak saplings and the unmanaged European grasses.

The idea of the Swath is to demonstrate this regeneration by removing the Coast Live Oak saplings, then caging the Blue and Valley Oak starts to protect them from wildlife, providing occasional summer water, and promoting their establishment through the removal of weeds and grasses adjacent to these starts. Preserving the unique GOGP (one of the last two remaining Valley and Oak woodlands in the Santa Clara Valley) requires woodland management and Monday’s effort is a first step!   Thanks to the commitment of District 10 and our Councilman Johnny Khamis, funding at a level of $250K has been set-aside to involve H.T. Harvey and Associates, environmental consultants, in the woodland management of this park!

We ant to thank the dozen volunteers from the Signifyd Company for their help in coordination with project leads Lee Pauser and I.  Ninety-five percent of the scheduled work was performed between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on the workday!  I’m sure there will be a lot of sore muscles and a few bruises at Signifyd come Tuesday!

Park users should see a notable difference in the condition of the park in the area of the Swath.  This is illustrated in the photo comparison below.

Thanks again to all involved.

Patrick Pizzo

 

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.

 

 

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.