Return to the Friends of Santa Teresa Park
Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan, Kim Garland,
Steve Crockett, Woody Collins, Youngmee Kim (new), Ron
was an online Zoom videoconference meeting. Mike sent out a meeting link for this Zoom meeting. Here's the agenda for today's meeting.
- Greg Koopman is in Delaware. He is coming back next week. Roxanne is busy and could not attend.
lives by the golf course. She came to the area 4 years ago and started
hiking 1 1/2 years ago. She has been looking at volunteer
opportunities. Since the pandemic shutdown, she has only been hiking at
Santa Teresa Park, 2-3 times per week.
- Ron showed pictures:
Mike, Ron, Greg, and Woody went on a scouting trip on 3/5/21 to see
what work needs to be done around the Bernal Ranch and Santa Teresa
Spring. They also explored the route of the proposed trail from Santa
Teresa Spring into the Bear Tree Lot, Pyzak Ranch, and Bonetti Ranch.
Mike showed where his students buried a time capsule next to the Bear
Tree monument, which will be moved closer to the Bear Tree. Ron showed
the new bench on the Joice Trail, snow on the mountains, the new trail
closure signs, views from Coyote Peak, crowds on the trails and parking
lots, wildflowers. He showed the conditions and work needs around the
Bernal Ranch and Santa Teresa Spring. There is a new memorial bench
below the spring. It's dedicated to park maintenance worker Jeremy
Celaya's daughter, who died in infancy. There was grass cut in the
field of the Bonettti Ranch that looks like the route of the new trail.
are flip-down trail closure signs that are opened after measurable
rain, announcing that the trails (the unpaved ones) are closed to
bicycles and equestrians. Despite the signs, many bicyclists have been
riding on the trails when they are closed, which causes erosion and
trail damage. One problem may have been that the signs were wordy, with
a lot of small print. They may not have been eye-catching enough to
deliver their message. They were replaced by much simpler signs that
say only "ALL TRAILS CLOSED. No Bicycles. No Horses. Hiking Allowed.
Trail Information: (408) 355-2200." It remains to be seen how effective
they are, but Ron counted 5 bicyclists on the trails to Coyote Peak
when the trail signs were flipped open, the day after it rained.
- Budget: We have $1902.70 in the bank so far.
the last Parks Commission meeting, Director Don Rocha talked about the
proposed plan to build trails in the Santa Teresa Historic Site. The
Board of Supervisors approved the plan. It is going out to bid.
will be presenting at the next Parks Commission meeting on April 7. He
will talk about the new trail in the historic area and the
reinstatement of the parking fees.
reported that Carolyn Schimandle, who is in charge of interpretive
events at the Bernal Ranch, said that the barns might open again in
- Mike will be submitting a change request for our
Beautify SJ Grant. It was supposed to last for 1 year, but because of
the pandemic, it has to cover 2 years. We need to re-evaluate our
budget and make sure we have enough in the grant to cover expenses for
both years. (See agenda for details.) Mike talked about events that we
could participate in, such as a dedication ceremony for the new trail.
If we do our own event, we will need to get event insurance, which we
had in the grant for National Night Out.
Pagano, the new park volunteer coordinator, got approvals for
our work days. Long-term
volunteers need to have Livescan fingerprinting for a background check,
sign a volunteer waiver, fill in an Outside
Employment/Incompatible Activities form, and complete a one hour online
Sexual Harassment Prevention training course. Short-term volunteers
only need to sign a waiver for each event.
will have a work day tomorrow, 4/2 at the Bernal Ranch at 9:00 am. Ron,
Mike, Kim, Kitty, and Woody plan to be there. We will be doing cleanup
around the ranch house. Mike got approval from Jeremy Celaya in
Maintenance. We will bring our own hand tools. Youngmee will come
visit. She hasn't been to the Bernal Ranch before.
- Teri Rogoway, educational coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley Open
Space Authority, will talk about the OSA at our next meeting
(re-scheduling from this meeting).
- Mike invited park planner Jeremy Farr to talk about the new trail at a future meeting.
- The Open Space Authority is having open access days to Coyote Ridge and Diablo Foothills (Doan Ranch).
fees in all the County Parks were suspended during the pandemic. They
will resume on April 5. Roxanne was concerned that resuming fees at the
Pueblo Area of Santa Teresa Park will chase people away. This is an
issue we addressed in 2000, when the parking machines were installed in
Santa Teresa Park, under orders from the County Executive. We observed
that the parking fees greatly decreased the usage of the park. Santa
Teresa has much fewer developed facilities compared to other parks that
charge parking fees, like Vasona or Hellyer, so it's not perceived as a
good value. Ron made a webpage about it.
Back then, we spoke at Park Commission meetings and talked to the Park
Directors, but were not successful in having the
parking fees removed. During the pandemic, park use has increased
dramatically. Some of the Pueblo parking lots fill up, even mid-week.
Most people are there to go hiking or biking, not to use the
facilities. They may not return if the fees are reimposed. Compared to
2000, there are more places to go hiking/biking nearby that are free,
such as Rancho San Vicente and Coyote Valley Preserve. Our plan is to
observe and record park usage before and after the parking fees are
reimposed. We want to gather evidence to make a case for dropping the
fees. We may bring this to the attention of park staff and the Parks
Commission. Note that this concern applies to Santa Teresa Park's
Pueblo Area only and not
- Youngmee was asking about volunteer opportunities.
Most volunteer activities are on hold because of the pandemic. The Open
Space Authority is accepting and training volunteers for trail patrols.
So are the County Parks. Trail patrollers patrol the trails on their
own and report conditions. County Parks trail patrollers have more
training, like first aid/CPR, and more responsibilities.
banquet facility at the Santa Teresa Golf Club, where we usually have
our meetings, has been closed due to the pandemic. It may be open again
with COVID19 restrictions. We don't need to move our meetings back
there yet. We'll continue with our Zoom meetings for now.