Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

It’s A Beautiful Day!!

October 17-18 is Beautiful Day 2020! Since its inception in 2004, Beautiful Day has sought to invest in communities with simple, direct, and unyielding kindness. Each work project is an act of no-strings-attached service for those who are otherwise unable to help themselves. I have been honored to have Beautiful Day operating in District 10 and to have participated in many of their projects over the years. You can participate in this year’s projects as a volunteer! 

This year, they have 21 projects spread throughout Santa Clara County. Two of them are in District 10, in the Almaden area. The first is a wall painting project at Coleman and Almaden Expressway, that will also involve putting down weed barrier. The second is updating and improving the Learning Center at the City of San Jose Corporation Yard at Almaden Expressway and McAbee/Winfield. 

To sign up for the Almaden/Coleman project, please click here. This project can utilize volunteers ages 14 and up. 

To view all their projects, including the Learning Center near Almaden Lake, visit and click on 2020 Projects. 

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park has a new kiosk

Come check it out

Thanks go to Kevin and Scout Troop 212 for this Eagle Scout project.

Spring-like weather is upon us! Time to enjoy the flowers.

Yes, there is more rain in the forecast (that’s okay); but Spring is coming. As most park-users know, Martin Fontana Parks Association, (MFPA), has introduced many California native plants in our parks, both TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana. Now, and for the next two weeks, many of the most colorful native plants will be in bloom.

*Video produced by MFPA member Sunny Wagstaff


The flowering period of the Manzanita was earlier; but now it is the Ceanothus turn and other native plants. Walk the garden at the west end of TJ Martin Park where Fleet Street ends. Member Larry Sasscer has introduced many flowering native plants in the gardens. On Oakglen Way, take time to stop and look at the many plants in bloom at Glowing Court. In Jeffrey Fontana Park west, the Five Island Project is worth a visit; as well as the other two islands just east of there. There is one Concha Ceanothus in the largest island which is in full bloom, and its bright blue inflorescence are something to see. Further east, near the intersection of Golden Oak Way and Castello Dr by Tree 13 there are Ceanothus Ray Hartmanns, tall shrub-like Ceanothus, and they too are in full bloom. The flower color of the Ray Hartmann is a softer blue than Concha. These Ceanothus are loaded with inflorescence making it hard to see the leaves! Look just south of Tree #13, at the five Ray Hartmann Ceanothus along the peripheral fence.

Don’t forget the colorful show along the northern periphery of Fontana near McAbee Road and across the street.  There you will see more Ceanothus and soon, a Cistus display.  If you continue to Almaden Expressway, more flowering native plants will await your glance.

By the way, there were butterflies all over our parks! I believe they are the Painted Lady Butterflies,

but I am no expert. They may be drifting through the parks on their way to other places; but they seem awfully happy to stop and visit our native plants and flowers.  You will see them flutter across your field of view if you are only patient and take the time to stop and focus in one area of the park.

Patrick P. PIzzo

Thank You 2019 Sponsors

2019 begins another year of advocating for our TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks.  Your Memberships and your Sponsorships make it possible for us to complete projects, beautify our parks, and advocate at the City level for increased maintenance and attention!  We want to take this opportunity to Thank and Salute all our Members and outstanding Sponsors.


COAST LIVE OAK                             

($1000 – $ $4,999)

Almaden Valley Nursery

Del Grande Dealership Group

East Bay Wilds Nursery

Office of Councilman Johnny Khamis, San Jose District 10 – SAP Grant


Santa Clara County Association of Realtors


($500 – $999)

Larry and Betty Hinman

Steve and Nicole Ricossa


  ($250 – $499)

Rod and Ellie Carpenter

John and Dolores Carr

Rich Grialou and Pat Burrow

Steve and Maureen Harrington

Maureen Ryan and Frank Leonardi

Don Phillips and Janet Morris

James and Sally Petersen

Ram and Anita Praturu

Pat and Sunny Wagstaff

Theresa and Ryan Wellman

Linda and Ron Wilson


($100 – $249)

Dennis and Linda Abad

Applied Materials Foundation

Thomas and S.D. Bailey

Vance and Jacki Bishop

Malcolm and Janie Bramwell

Robert and Annie Braunstein

Ralph Brooks

David and Honey Chai

Eldon and Nancy Cherniss

Richard Clark and Stacy Whiteman

James and Judith Eldridge

Linda and Gary Exberger

Vance and Grace Garland

Ernie Hirt

Stan and Gloria Hoo

Walt and Joyce Johnson

Michelle and Dan Judd

Mike and Nancy Kalashian

Howard and Carol King

Chris LaPlante

Michael and Cynthia Lauth

Pier and Gail Maggiani

Wayne and Linda Opp

Pat and Diane Pizzo

DeAnna and Sridhar Pursai

Ronak Shah

Kelly Shepherd and Dave Gonzales

Joanne Shimoguchi

Bill and Gayle Snyder

Shirley South

Dick and Joy Stevens

Joan Takemoto

Maureen and Paul Tarkington

Danielle Vigil

Robert and Carol Von Raesfeld

Gaya Vukkadala

Richard and Vicki Wendell

Fontana Memorial Rose Garden Volunteer Event

Thank You Leland Teen Volunteers!

Several teens from Leland High School spent their Saturday morning in the Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Garden pruning intimidating, thorny, rose bushes.

A big MFPA Thank You to the Leland teen volunteers who turned out to prune the roses and prepare the garden for spring.

Thanks also to the PRNS Adopt-a-Park leader, Mollie Tobias and the Adopt-a-Park crew who were on hand to supply tools and people power.

Also helping were PRNS parks employee, Edmund, and MFPA members Scott Raley, Teresa Wellman, Linda Wilson, and Rich Grialou. MFPA member Patrick Pizzo led the effort and instructed everyone in the pruning techniques.

volunteer day 1-19



Guadalupe Oak Grove Park Meeting Notice

It’s All About The Oaks! The Future of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park

Do you like to take walks in the park? Interested in helping to advance the future of the park? Good stewardship includes community participation! Please come learn about the new “Friends of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park”! Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 Time: 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Place: Almaden Community Center (6445 Camden Avenue, San Jose, 95120) Purpose: To bring together volunteers who are interested in the future of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park. If you enjoy goats grazing in the park, the beauty of the blue oaks, and the availability of nature and wildlife right in our city, please join us for this introductory meeting. Questions? Or if you’d like to join our email list, please call/text (408) 595-3483 or email Volunteers Create The Future! Please Join Us!

A BIG Thank You

Realtor 11-18

MFPA sends a big THANK YOU to the group of realtors who came out Saturday, Nov. 17 to spruce up the Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Garden.  Five years ago, the Santa Clara County Realtors Foundation adopted Jeffrey’s rose garden and have worked in the garden twice a year to keep it maintained.  Although the day was smoky, and the air quality was poor, they pulled weeds, lightly pruned plants, and spread mulch to control future weeds.  This group has donated over $3000 to Martin-Fontana Parks Association that has been used to purchase replacement plants, mulch, and garden materials since they first adopted the area in 2013.  Their funding and volunteers have been a crucial part of keeping the garden a fitting memorial to Officer Fontana.

Linda Wilson
Past President and Membership Chair, MFPA


A big THANK YOU!!! to the 35 volunteers who worked together to make this event the biggest and best Heart of the Park celebration. The morning set up crew of Rich Zahner, Robert Braunstein, Brandon Koehne, Larry Sasscer, Theresa Wellman, Wayne and Linda Opp, Gary Wilson, Dan Judd, Mike Winters, Rosy and Gordon Bowring had tables, chairs and canopies set up and ready to go by noon! Annie Braunstein stepped in and handled the cash boxes, and Mike Kalashian was there to make sure the PayPal widgets worked.  Susan Mosher was our busy photographer recording the four- hour event.  Be sure to check out her great pics on this website.

Hop Banner

Lisa Myers led the bird watching tour with a large group of enthusiastic birders.

Bird Watchers

Rod Carpenter brought together sponsors, PRNS staff, and the creator of the islands, Pat Pizzo, for the long-awaited ribbon cutting and dedication. Ellie Carpenter arranged the big red bow between the fences, and the robot bringing in the giant scissors was a big hit. Sunny Wagstaff’s photo presentation of building the islands from beginning to end showed the tremendous teamwork and effort it took to bring the project to completion.

Island Dedication

Back in the main corral, Linda Opp and Jean LaMarca signed up eight new members and one renewal, while handing out membership applications to several interested attendees. Thanks to Linda Abad and Sophia Snyder who tried in vain to keep the ice cream and water cold, while manning the refreshment booth, while Kari Snyder ran the 50/50 raffle.


50 50 Raffle

Rod Carpenter and his Dog Parade Team entertained the pet lovers with a well-run dog parade. Judges Courtney Granner, Johnny Khamis, and Stacey Winters presided over the large group of large and small dogs, both in costume and not, as owners proudly led their charges for the Strut Your Mutt event. Joy Stevens ran a smooth operation as the Master of Ceremonies, while Dick Stevens, Bunny Granner, Ellie Carpenter, Rosy Bowring, and David Chai registered the participants, helped give out prizes, and kept the whole event running smoothly. Rod did a wonderful job of rounding up all the volunteers for this event and making sure it ran smoothly.

Rich Grialou and Pat Burrow coordinated the booth for the Meet the Artists display, making sure all who were interested learned about the forthcoming mural painting project for the twelve concrete water vaults throughout Fontana and TJ Martin Parks. Thanks to Michele Dexter who brought the sound system from the D-10 council office for our use, Sunny Wagstaff for our backup MFPA sound system, all the displays, banners, stage, and so much more. Lee Pauser was there for the sixth year with his display of nesting boxes, bird species and their eggs, and a raft of information on barn owls in our parks. Finally, thanks to the organizations who sponsored the informational tables contributing so much to our event.


The$2/$5 raffle was a big hit with raffle items brought in by the MFPA Board of Directors, and Pat Pizzo who went after the Boulder Ridge golf certificate with a vengeance, finally wearing them down. Nancy Kalashian, Christine Noordam, Annie Braunstein and Michelle Judd did the amazing task of arranging the items, finding extra tables when they ran out of space and making sure each item had the correct ticket bag for the raffle draws. Mike Kalashian fulfilled his role as the “ticket hawker”, bringing raffle sales to a new height.

Raffle TicketsRaffle
I close with thanks to my family for their long-suffering support of this event, as well as our neighbor, Ron Guevara who is always there to lend my husband and the rest of our volunteers a hand getting everything cleaned up and out of the park at the end of the day.

Linda Wilson