Friends of Santa Teresa Park Meeting, 5/7/15


  • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan, Ed Jackson, Sam Drake, Ellen Finch, Greg & Roxanne Koopman, and Ron Horii.
  • Treasurer's report (Roxanne for Greg Koopman): no outstanding bills. Balance: $725.75.
  • March's minutes were approved (no meeting in April).
  • Mike made a presentation on Mammy Pleasant to a women's group and received a $25 compensation, which he donated to FOSTP.
  • Several of us went to the Park Commission meeting on Wednesday April 1. We met there instead of holding our regular meeting in April. Mike and Ron talked about the delay in construction at the Pyzak/Bonetti Ranch. In response, a meeting was setup at park HQ by Metka Valh with Construction Services Manager Mark Frederick and acting Deputy Director Michael Ferry. They said $600K is in the capital improvement budget for next year. It will pay for widening Curie next to the ranch and adding a sidewalk. It is scheduled for 2017. They may add more if it costs more, which it might if it needs storm drain improvements. They will dedicate the road improvements to the City of San Jose, who will maintain it. The total cost to fully implement the historic area development plan is estimated to be $7.2 million. It has 9 phases, It could be built in phases. There is no funding for the whole project yet.
  • The Pyzak/Jacoba Bernal House has severe termite damage. They may not be able to save it. They may have to knock it down and start over. Ron said that since a new visitor center is part of the plan, they could use the money to rebuild the Pyzak House instead and use it as a visitor center. Kitty said that the Pyzak House was near the top of the priority list of historic structures in the parks.
  • Neighbors around Santa Teresa Spring complained when Park Maintenance cut down the mustard in the field in front of Santa Teresa spring. They wanted the mustard to stay up longer because they liked the yellow flowers. Natural Resources Manager Don Rocha said that next year, they would put in a different time to cut the mustard. Sam warned that after May 1, they are not allowed to use power tools in the parks because of fire danger.
  • We need to come up with another newsletter before our next big opportunity to distribute it, which would be Festival in the Park. That event will be held earlier this year (June 6, Carrie Grisenti is running it). Get articles to Ron by mid-May, the earlier the better. Greg wrote an article about biking in the park. Kitty can write about the Parks for Life Challenge. Ed can write about the mustard field or events that have happened by Santa Teresa Spring. Ron or Mike can write about the Coyote Peak dedication event. Sam can also write an article. Ron can fill in as needed. Any articles are welcome. It's probably too late this year, but next year, we can solicit sponsors and even put copies of their business cards on a page.
  • There was a Parks for Life Challenge picnic for winners Sunday March at the Casa Grande from 12-3. Lunch was provided. Prizes were awarded. Roxanne and her daughter took 4th place. There's a new challenge now.
  • Ron showed pictures from March through April: The Norred Trail had wildflowers, and the muddy spots were being smoothed out in dry weather. Wildflower season came early this year. There were lots of flowers on the Stile-Mine-Fortini Trail look in mid-March. Bernal Hill had less wildflowers than usual, but it had lots of endangered Santa Clara Valley dudleya and dwarf plantain, which is what the Bay checkerspot butterfly needs. For the first time ever, he photographed a Bay checkerspot in Santa Teresa Park. It was on the Joice Trail. He showed pictures of the wildflowers on the way up to Coyote Peak on April 25. The hills were drying up, but there were still lots of wildflowers along the way, including monolopia, elegant clarkia, an unusual California bluebell, and an elegant brodiaea. The pond along the Hidden Springs Trail had water in it, but it is getting low. Ron showed pictures of the Pyzak Ranch and what will be affected when they widen Curie.
  • John Dorrance had a Boy Scout crew clearing away dirt and vines from the font and shrine at Santa Teresa Spring. They cleared enough to reveal the whole font, but there's still dirt along the sides. John is looking for help to further clear away dirt from around the spring, but there's a lot of it. He's also looking for help to clear away the weeds around the ranch. The Boy Scouts also worked on rain gutters for the East Barn.
  • Ellen Finch showed a colorful panorama she took by the Mine Trail.
  • For this year's project, we can do a scavenger hunt, along a trail, like the Norred Trail.
  • Ed said there has been a lot of activity at Santa Teresa Spring. There is some graffiti by the canal near the pipe crossing. There was a late party on Tuesday night. They left beer bottles, a basket, and a grille. There's also been activity at the Pyzak Ranch.
  • Roxanne met with Eric Goodrich at Martial Cottle about holding the Oak Grove School District's SLUG run at Martial Cottle Park. It was held on May 2 and was the first event at Martial Cottle. The 5 km race started and ended at Del Roble School, which is just south of Martial Cottle. The race used the park's trails, but not its facilities. 8 elementary schools were involved There were over 400 runners. 112 were from Bernal School. Sam had an Umunhum Conservancy booth there.
  • In exchange for getting permission to hold the race at Martial Cottle, the schools will put in 12 hours of volunteer time by helping to count trail users on May 16 from 7 am to 7 pm. They will have 2 teams working shifts, stationed at the Wellington Park and Branham/Snell entrances. There will be adults with kids with canopies and chairs.
  • The core of Martial Cottle Park will be opening on May 15, but the lawns aren't ready. Water for the park is provided by onsite wells.
  • Ron is teaching a photography class and leading a hike at Coyote Lake on May 9 at 10:00 and leading a hike at Calero on May 23 at 9:00.
  • The new Play Here Guide is out: The cover picture is the Stile Ranch Trail, taken by Ron on 3/14/15, when the wildflowers were at their peak. Not listed this year are the campouts at Santa Teresa Park's Pueblo Area. Last year, they were organized by Kristy Barton, but this year, she's at Martial Cottle. Fandango isn't listed either, but last year, it was held in October, which isn't covered in this Play Here issue. Julie Lee organized it last year in place of Jan Shriner. Fandango is important because it meets the Parks' commitment to ethnic programs.
  • We used to participate in the Santa Teresa Community Fest at George Page Park. It recent years, it wasn't held because the organizing group, the Santa Teresa Community Action Group hasn't been active. Last year, there was a small festival at the new Village Oaks Shopping Center. This year, there will be a bigger community festival called the Village Fest there on September 19 from 11 am to 3 pm. We can probably have a booth there. We need to talk to Ash Kalra's office. Unfortunately, it's on Coastal Cleanup Day, so there may be some schedule conflicts.
  • There will be a 4th of July celebration at Almaden Lake. Sam will have a booth for the Umunhum Conservancy. If we want to have a booth, we may need to tell Johnny Khamis now, as they already solicited booth applications last week. Sam can hand out FOSTP newsletters at his booth. The event runs from 4 pm to 10 pm, but the booths need to be setup by 10 am for fire marshall inspection.
  • There is also a 4th of July event at the New Almaden Community Center.
  • Sam is having a geocaching class at Almaden Quicksilver on the Wood Road Trail on June 13.
  • Kitty talked about the Adopt-a-Trail program, which has been taken over by the Volunteer Program. (VCC has been less active recently.) 10 trails have been adopted. We adopted the Norred Trail. We need to patrol it and report any problems that need to be taken care of. The trail got muddy in places after it rained. It needs gravel. Greg Bringelson is in charge of the trail program.
  • The new system for recording volunteer hours is not ready. Keep using the old system.
  • Ellen Finch is applying to be a trail watcher at Santa Teresa and Martial Cottle.
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    Created 5/8/15  by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park