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.

Clean Up in Jeffrey Fontana Park a Success!

Pascal on the left with friends

On Veteran’s Day, November 11th, the Parks Recreation & Neighborhood Services Adopt-a-Park folks, along with the Martin-Fontana Parks Association, coordinated a clean-up of the area we refer to as the Cotoneaster patch near Tree #13 in Jeffrey Fontana Park.  Thanks to Adopt-a-Park’s Mollie Tobias and Sue Bowling, we had about 20 or more students from many local and not so local schools:  Lynbrook High School, Pioneer High School, San Jose High School, Holy Spirit School, a young man from Cal-Davis (he was here on the weekend to visit his folks), Leland High School, Valley Christian High School and others.  What a terrific Group!  Combine this with a representation of local residents, MFPA members, and community leaders such as Scott Raley, Jane, Kelly, Sunny Wagstaff, Rich Grailou , Linda Wilson, Patrick Pizzo, and our MFPA photographer Susan Mosher, who took some great photos,  and we had one efficient work crew!   We did weeding, removed numerous Oak starts and saplings, planted a replacement plant and, in general,

made one HUGE of debris.     Take a look and see if you don’t agree that the Cotoneaster patch is looking Sharp (no pun intended)!

Thanks to Pat Pizzo, the Project Director shown on the left. 

 

Mollie Tobias, City of San Jose PRNS Program Manager, had this to say:

“As involved and ‘willing-to-sweat-and-get dirty’ neighbors and volunteers, you take ownership and pride in your local park! Thank you for sharing your time and energy! Your sense of pride is a great asset in improving the park and in turn, the entire community! Because of your help, the park is cleaner, safer and more welcoming to all! We appreciate all you do for Jeffrey Fontana and TJ Martin parks!”

 

When is Heart of the Park this year? I haven’t heard a thing!

Last year’s Heart of the Park event

For those of you who have been wondering, the next Heart of the Park will be held in May of 2018.  Once an exact date has been determined, we will be sure to let you know.  We are hoping it will be a lot cooler in Spring and our parks should look their best at that time of the year.  We will all be looking forward to seeing you there.

Thanks to all for giving our Memorial Rose Garden a Fall clean up

Fall SCCAOR Rose Garden clean-up crew

Thanks to the Santa Clara County of Realtors (SCCAOR), District 5170 Rotary Club members, Martin-Fontana Parks Association members, and other volunteers. We had a great turn out on a beautiful day in the park.

Mulch was spread, weeding was done, along with trimming, and fertilizing. Tools were provided by MFPA and San Jose’s Parks, Recreation, & Neighborhood Services.  Refreshments were provided by the Martin-Fontana Parks Association.  Thanks to Orchard Supply Hardware for their donation of 15 bags of mulch.  They were put to good use in the garden.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*A special thanks to our MFPA Photographer, Susan Mosher and thanks also to Kris Myers for her photos.

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

Everybody had a great time at the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration

MARTIN-FONTANA PARKS ASSOCIATION’S

Held at The Villas Clubhouse, light hors d’oeuvres were served along with wine and other beverages .

 

Awards were presented along with MFPA pins to the 55 volunteers attending  

 

The MFPA Board of Directors all received Elephants from MFPA President Rod Carpenter.  In case you were wondering, Rod’s favorite saying is “You can eat an elephant if you take a bite at a time“.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*Thanks to our wonderful photographer, Susan Mosher, for such great photos!