Archive for the ‘Park Maintenance’ Category

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park Maintenance

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks are part of Maintenance District One, divided into three areas, or routes.  Our parks are two of twelve facilities including the Almaden library and community center and four other parks.  The staff caring for all 12 facilities consists of one Gardener and two Grounds workers.  We currently have an unfilled position of Maintenance Assistant that needs to be filled.  Two mowers are assigned to mow the 82.2 acres of turf in the district, so we are assigned every other Friday for our mowing days. On June 13 the soccer field renovation was mowed for the first time.

Irrigation, weeds, and rodents continue to be our worst nightmares.  Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services  are discussing the possibility of creating an irrigation strike team for the city to help with our never ending problems with our ancient irrigation system.

Remember, if you see an irrigation break, or something in the park that needs to be taken care of, send an email, with picture, if possible, to rzahner1@mac.com.

MFPA Vice President, Richard Zahner

 

Tell the San Jose City Council to improve the maintenance of our Parks

 

The San Jose City Council approved some token additions to the 2017/2018 budget for parks maintenance.  We are not likely to see any improvements, as the additions will go to parks that are rated much lower than ours.   There are still NO plans to fund the rehabilitation of neighborhood parks.  If the city council would take a realistic approach to maintaining our parks, we would definitely see some improvements.  Otherwise it will be business as usual in our parks and they will continue to deteriorate.

So how do we get the council to take action that will benefit Jeffrey Fontana and T. J. Martin parks?  The answer lies in LETTING THE COUNCIL MEMBERS KNOW THAT WE WANT TO SEE CHANGE AND THAT WE VOTE.  Here is an example of something that happened during the council’s last budget planning session.  There were a token number of attendees from MFPA and other San Jose park advocates.  However, one group that wanted a budget addition of $183,000 for their cause showed up in force.  They had Tee Shirts that identified them and they took the opportunity to make their two-minute pitches to the council.   The end result was that they got their $183,000 addition.  And by the way, their addition came out of the Park’s budget.

That action was effective but it’s only one way to get the council member’s attention.  Here are some suggestions that all of us could take to make our concerns known:

  • Send hard copy letters to our council member and to the other city council members expressing your concerns.  The letters are even more effective if they are signed by multiple residents.  If there is a pending discussion of parks or park budgets send the letters to the City Clerk as well.
  • Hard copy letters are the most effective but e-mails will also work.
  • Attend the neighborhood budget planning sessions.
  • Attend the pertinent council sessions and be vocal.  All attendees are allowed two minutes to make their points to the council.  You can include PowerPoint presentations if you like.  The atmosphere is not overwhelming and the Mayor and Council members will listen to what you have to say.  The more attendees who speak on the same subject the more effective the message will be.
  • Continue to support MFPA as membership numbers count.
  • Pay attention to MFPA requests for support when they are posted on the web site and/or sent via e-mail.   We will alert you to the important issues.
  • And please consider joining San Jose Park Advocates.  There is no membership fee but you will get timely and insightful information about overall San Jose park issues.  The website is: www.sjparksadvocates.org   Click on “Contact” to add your information.

Remember there is strength in numbers!

Richard Grialou, MFPA Political/Agency Liaison Chair

Notes from Martin-Fontana Parks Association President, Rod Carpenter

These last few months have been a very busy time for your Parks Board of Directors.  We have been holding meetings with the City Park’s personnel seeking a letter of understanding as to what our relationship is in keeping our parks the way we would all like to see them.  It is our hope we can share a positive outcome with all of you by the time our next newsletter comes out.

The Board of Directors has purchased a Gopher X machine to help eliminate the infestation of gophers within our parks.  This will supplement the efforts of the Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services Dept. in the months to come. It is our goal to eliminate the many holes that riddle our grassy areas and make it impossible to walk on.  Training will be given by the City’s PRNS Department and if you would like to be trained and want to volunteer your time in this effort, please let us know.

 

Robert Braunstein, a member of our Board of Directors, has produced a 30 second video spot which features the efforts of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association.  If you haven’t already seen it, just click on the video below and let us know what you think of it.

 

Thank you to our member negotiating team dealing with PG&E, led by Dick Stevens and Richard Zahner, in bringing to a conclusion another successful outcome in saving and preserving the life of the trees in our parks.  Also a thank you to PG&E for hearing our concerns and eliminating only those trees that were of necessity.

I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors will be honoring its many volunteers on Saturday, September 16th.  Invitations will be mailed in August.  Volunteers are the life-blood of our organization and we look forward to saying “thank you” to these very special people.

Rod Carpenter

 

One dying Oak tree removed & others trimmed

Here are photos of the dying Blue Oak near the dog park being removed and others being trimmed (see previous posting)

The Blue Oak was likely impacted by the drought and had succumbed to a bark beetle infestation.

Vegetation Management Plan for Guadalupe Oak Grove Park?

 

Patrick Pizzo, one of Martin-Fontana Parks Association’s project managers, proposes timed grazing for GOGP:

A method suggested in the Vegetation Management Plan for Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.  Grazing may be done via goats, sheep, or cattle; and the timing part deals with the ideal time to remove European introduced grasses and weeds, promoting the return of CA native grasses and wildflowers, which once were common in our park.  This improves the wildlife habitat for the birds, animals and insects.  Since the park is enclosed by fencing, all that would be required to exercise this option is to bring in the domestic animals and provide them with water (a plastic tot-swimming pool or bathtub).  These three photos taken in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, illustrate the benefit of timed grazing. You are looking out at Vernal pools in the Spring, about mid-March.  An area has been cyclone-fenced to provide a ‘control’.  In this area, the Cattle cannot graze.  What you see is the effectiveness of grazing in removing the European grasses and weeds which fill the fenced-in area and providing room for the native plant seed base to do its thing.  The yellow flowering plants outside the cage are native wildflowers common to Vernal Pools, as are the other ground-plants you see in the photos.  You can imagine the difference in fire-load and, considering the events of last week (a fire in the northern portion of the GOGP), one can see the benefit from timed grazing.

A Budget Letter from San Jose Park Advocates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a letter that Jean Dresden of San Jose Park Advocates is sending to the San Jose City Council regarding the 2017/2018 City Budget.  San Jose Parks Advocates offers these comments on the proposed operating and capital budgets for FY 2017G18:  City Council Budget letter

 

 

Jeffrey Fontana Rose Garden gets a clean up

Jeffrey Fontana Memorial Rose Garden clean up Crew

Thanks to the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (SCCAOR), who came out in force last Saturday on May 20th, the Memorial Garden looks better than ever.  They were assisted by five members of the Pioneer High School Key Club, who are mentored by the Kiwanis, and members of the Martin-Fontana Parks Association.

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It’s been five years since the SCCAOR Foundation adopted the Memorial Garden and pledged more than $4000 toward its upkeep, besides volunteering their time and hard work each spring and fall to maintain the beautiful red and white theme.  Chairman of the group is Frank Cancilla

The Martin-Fontana Parks Association greatly appreciates SCCAOR’s funding and volunteerism for the last five years. We salute their members who contribute so much to the lasting beauty of the garden that was planted to memorialize Officer Jeffrey Fontana.  Officer Fontana was killed in the line of duty while patrolling our neighborhoods.

*Photos provided by Nancy Kalashian.  Thanks, Nancy.

 

 

San Jose City Council’s Report on Sustainable Park Maintenance

For those who couldn’t attend, here’s a video link to the report on Sustainable Park Maintenance presented on the 22nd of March at the San Jose City Council meeting.