Friends of Santa Teresa Park Meeting, 6/4/09

  • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Ronald Horii, Kitty Monahan, Ed Jackson, Jenel Vincze, Sam Drake, Mario Blaum, Shirin Darbani. Visiting parks staff: Robin Schaut, Jan Shriner. New: Ben & Myan
  • The Boy Scout who came last month looking for an Eagle Scout project completed it at the Coyote Grange.
  • Treasurer's report (Mario Blaum): We have $360 in our account. We owe $301. $200 is for the UNSCC, which is due July 1. We can pay this with the 2009-2010 CAP Grant.
  • Shirin Darbani (representative for San Jose District 2 Councilmember Ash Kalra): the city is still working on the budget. Public safety is a top priority, including park rangers. There is a Community Resource Fair this Sunday 6/7 at History Park at 11 am to 4 pm. Next Saturday 6/13 is the District 2 Health Fair at Kaiser Hospital from 10 am to 2 pm. Saturday 6/20 is Festival in the Park. Ash Kalra will be there. On Saturday 6/27 at 2 pm, there will be a grand opening ceremony for the Hitachi site parks at RAMAC Park at Great Oaks Blvd. and Charlotte Drive. There will be food and activities. The latest District 2 newsletter is out. We are featured in it. The deadline for submitting event announcements for the next newsletter is June 20th.
  • Neighbors around the Metcalf Park area have been experiencing wild pigs digging through their garbage. (See our page on Santa Teresa Pig Problems.) Some of the city parks have been experiencing pig damage to their lawns (Metcalf Park, Basking Ridge). The parks department has been using a non-toxic chemical on the lawns to kill grubs. The chemical must be applied by a licensed contractor. It does not kill the lawn or harm endangered species. They have repaired the damage to the parks. Neighbors are advised not to put out their garbage overnight. The best defense to protect a lawn is a fence around it. They have started trapping in the neighborhoods.
  • Ron showed pictures of the fish and turtles in Santa Teresa Spring, the new signs by the entrances about no dogs allowed in the historic areas, the cutting of the grass by the spring, the Norred Trail near the MRU, the sign at the MRU announcing there will be an "open barn" on 6/27-28, and the progress of the Albertson Parkway. He also showed pictures from the Volunteer Recognition Dinner, his photo class, Sam's geocaching class, Mike's Healthy Trails hike, and Cait Hutnik's Healthy Trails hike.
  • Robin Schaut, interpretive manager for the County Parks: Former volunteer coordinator Heidi McFarland is becoming in interpreter, starting Monday. Since the Casa Grande at Almaden Quicksilver is closed, the interpretive staff is using the Caretaker's House at Santa Teresa's Bernal Ranch. Heidi is joining them and will move to the Casa Grande when it is reopened. Most of the time, the staff is at Santa Teresa from 8-4:30. Chris Bullock works at Chitactac Adams on Sundays. John Slenter does out-reach programs at schools and leads van tours at Almaden Quicksilver. The interpretive staff does not have enforcement authority. If they see problems, they radio or phone the rangers or deputies.
  • The Parks dept. is paying the salaries for 13 sheriff's deputies, who are assigned to the parks dept. for the summer. Matt Anderson assigns their hours. They work primarily when the parks are open and a little after. Night-time duties are handled by regular deputies.
  • Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) bought Rancho San Vicente, which is between Calero and Almaden Quicksilver. Before the purchase, POST asked park interpreter Mary Berger to help gather information about the plants, animals, and history of the site, including the Berryessa Family. She could not talk about it until the sale was made public. Now she can share her research. The long-range plan is for the County Parks to buy the property, but they cannot do any planning for Rancho San Vicente until they own it.
  • Ash Kalra is interested in taking a tour of Santa Teresa Park. A van tour through the park needs a senior ranger or Gloria Gill to approve it to make sure there are no conflicts with other scheduled park events. The city can schedule this directly with park staff. John Slenter can drive a park vehicle if he's available.
  • Park Interpreter Jan Shriner talked about Family Fandango. It will be held on August 1 from 5 to 8 pm at the Bernal Ranch. It will cover the same time period as last year: 1770-1870, which includes the Ohlone, Spanish-Mexican, and early American settlement periods. Exhibitors need to be setup by 4:30 and start cleaning up at 8:00. They need to stay for the whole time of the event. Jan is working on getting a new food vendor. The one we had before can't do it. Volunteers are needed to help help distribute flyers, setup on July 31st, greeting people at the welcome table and in the ranch house, assisting with crafts and bingo, supervising activities such as roping and branding, helping to unload vehicles, directing parking traffic, and cleaning up. Ron will take pictures again.
  • We will have a FOSTP activity at Fandango: making adobe bricks. Kids will be making miniature bricks. We'll bring 2 wading pools with adobe clay in them. Kids will wear boots and jump on the clay to mix it up. We will need 4 volunteers to man the tables. The activity will be back in the corral area behind the barn. We can get GATE kids to help out. Mike will contact them. We can put our banner on the fence. We can pass out an instructional flyer about the brick-making and our newsletter at the activity table. If we want, we can pass out FOSTP information at the information table, which will be in front of the barn. Our CAP Grant will help pay for the materials and literature. We'll acknowledge that on our flyer.
  • Fandango is the most expensive park interpretive event. The professionals get paid, and the exhibitors get a stipend. (Mike said we would pass on getting a stipend.) Jan said that in the future, it would be good to get sponsors to help fund more activities and entertainment. It would take a volunteer group to fund-raise. The department can't do fund-raising.
  • The Mounted Ranger Unit is closing. They will have an "open barn" on Saturday and Sunday June 26-27 from 11 am to 3:00 pm. People can drop in during those times.
  • Mike said he got the approval to have a community gathering to honor the Mounted Ranger Unit. It will start at 6:00 pm and end at 8:00 pm on Monday June 29 at the Mounted Ranger Unit on Brockenhurst Drive. This will be a community event that we sponsor. Mike applied for event insurance to cover it. Mike needs help around 4:00 to set up for it. Ranger Julie Cooper will help setup the tables and chairs. Ed said he can provide tables and chairs if we need them. About 20 staff will come. We need help with advertising. We want this to be a community event. To be eligible for CAP reimbursement, it needs to involve the community. We can invite the neighbors along Manila Drive, Curie, and Heaton Moor. Matt Anderson will supply meat and a BBQ. We can bring finger foods. Gifts for the rangers are being planned by Julie Cooper. We can give certificates and gifts for the horses.
  • Ron wants to have a new edition of the newsletter to pass out at the Mounted Ranger event, and possibly at Festival in the Park if possible. Mike will write some articles. We can have articles and pictures on the trails, trail maintenance, park events,
  • Ed Jackson said he spent 2 hours re-painting graffiti on the canal. There was graffiti on the fence by the old barn. and sidewalks by the ranch house. The rails by the springs have been re-ground to remove graffiti.
  • Sam Drake said he will be leading a geocaching class at Mt. Madonna on July 11.
  • Kitty said they are working on the Adopt-a-Trail program. They will work on it Tuesday and come up with a process and guidelines.
  • The Open Space Authority invited us to a tour of Palassou Ridge, which is on Gilroy Hot Springs Road near Henry Coe State Park's Hunting Hollow area. We'll meet at the OSA's office this Saturday (6980 Santa Teresa Blvd. Suite 100) at 8:30 and will car poll to the site. It will last until 12:00. We'll have lunch at the deck of the house there.
  • 4H report Jenel Vincze: 4H is having a fund-raiser, called the Black Light Ball at the Santa Clara County's auditorium on Berger Drive off Oakland Road. Coyote Crest is having a BBQ dinner and awards on June 11 at the Coyote Grange. Rabbits are coming back to the Bernal Ranch Barn.
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Created 6/5/09 by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park