Friends of Santa Teresa Park Zoom Meeting, 10/7/21


    • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Kitty Monahan, Youngmee Kim, Greg Koopman, Joan Murphy, Woody Collins, Steve Crockett, Ron Horii. 
    • This was an online Zoom videoconference meeting. Mike sent out a meeting link for this Zoom meeting.  Here's the agenda for today's meeting.
    • On 11/6/21, there will be a Bay Area Ridge Trail service day in Santa Teresa Park. They will be working on the Stile Ranch Trail. It's the day after our First Friday Work Day. We need to decide whether to join them as a group and whether to do this instead of our work day.
    • The new trail should be opening in October, unless it gets delayed. There may be an issue about whether they might be disturbing archaeological sites. The Parks Department's naming committee for trails is unable to meet due to the pandemic and reassignments, so the trail may not get named until next year.
    • There will be no Pioneer Day at Almaden Quicksilver this year, due to the lack of staff and time to plan it. Many of the interpretive staff, including the department's manager, have been called back to disaster service work or have not returned from it.
    • Julie Lee, manager of the volunteer program, has been recalled to disaster service work.
    • Rob McDonnell, Interpreter at the Bernal Ranch, has been temporarily reassigned to be the Coordinator for Region 3. He is subbing in for Michelle Armijo, who has been called away to pandemic duty. That means Rob won't be able to work with us on our First Friday work days.
    • We need to ask Dave Zitlow, lead volunteer at Martial Cottle Park, to come to a future meeting so we could ask him for advice about the gardens at the Bernal Ranch.
    • We opened the metal utility box at the Bernal Ranch where we had our tools stored from years ago. There's a new lock on it, but the combination they gave us didn't work, so we have to get the correct one. The tools need cleaning, and the inside of the box needs painting.
    • Greg said there is a white wooden utility shed by the garden that has hoses and tools.
    • Ron showed a slideshow: pictures of the Boundary Trail, showing how steep the trail is (see next), our work days (9/10 and 10/1) at the Bernal Ranch, new serpentine signs on the Stile Ranch and Rocky Ridge Trails, Rob McDonnell's kingsnake program at the Bernal Ranch, progress on the new trail, views from Coyote Peak, break-in at the Bernal Ranch (see below), and blackberry vines that need to be removed around the ranch and the spring.
    • There was a fatal accident on the Boundary Trail. A bicyclist fell down and was impaled by his handlebars. The Boundary Trail is very steep. It is especially dangerous going downhill. Even hikers frequently slip and fall. The park map used to have it labeled as steep (along with the south end of the Joice Trail). The more recent maps don't show that. It is one of the steepest trails in the County Parks. It may need warning signs.It's an old service road that parallels the park boundary. There's an even steeper service road on IBM's property on the other side of the fence.
    • While we were at the Bernal Ranch on 10/1 for our work day, Jan Shriner, who was subbing in for Rob McDonnell, discovered that there was a break-in. One of the windows of the ranch house was cracked, but it's coated with a film, which held the pieces together. The house hadn't been broken into. The locks of the barns were cut. It didn't look like anyone entered the east barn. The west barn had horse yokes and harnasses removed from the walls, and the cabinet was open. It didn't appear that anything was missing. There was a duffel bag and a cart with sleeping bag on the trail by the barns. Ranger Ruben Suarez and the sheriffs investigated.
    • Treasurer's report: (Greg is calling in remotely. He'll be back by 10/19.) We have $1772.17 in our account. There's been no change.
    • We submitted a change request for our Beautify San Jose Cycle 3 grant to move funds around to different categories. (See the attachment in the agenda.) The grant was originally supposed to last 12 months and cover our events, as well as our operating expenses. Because of the pandemic, the grant funds have to be stretched to cover 27 months. We have to pay for 2 years of UNSCC membership instead of 1. We have to pay for 27 months of our website fees instead of 12, and the cost per month increased. We also had to pay for Zoom. We could not hold National Night Out, but we did go to La Fuente. We are planning to hold an event for the opening of the new trail.
    • We need to apply for the Beautify San Jose Cycle 4 grant by 10/29. We'll start with the same allocation as the Cycle 3 grant, but adjust for higher website fees and add Zoom costs. We don't know whether we'll be allowed to hold National Night Out or other events, but we need to be prepared and have the funds available to cover an event. We may consider other projects, like painting utility boxes, a mural, and bird and owl boxes. We could ask for more funding. Our current grant is for $2480. The maximum amount is $5000.
    • Blair Pagano of the Volunteer Office said we need to complete our annual volunteer work plan. It's due in December. We need to decide on projects.
    • Mike is giving a private ghost tour on November 7 at the Bernal Ranch for a Meetup group.
    • We had First Friday work days on September 10 (moved to the second Friday because of Labor Day) and October 1. We worked at the Bernal Ranch removing weeds, cutting brush, and sweeping up leaves. Mike, Ron, Joan, and Youngmee were there both days. Marilyn and Woody were there on 9/10.
    • We will be having our next First Friday work day on 11/5 at 9:00 at the Bernal Ranch. Jeremy Celaya, Senior Maintenance for the Bernal Ranch, requested that we cut the blackberries below the spring. There are also lots of blackberries growing on the ceanothus bushes on the walkway by the barns and in scattered locations around the barns and the spring.
    • We should put up a sign when we're having our work day, inviting people to come to future work days. Ron has easels for sign holders.
    • We talked about doing work on trails in other parts of the park. Woody adopted the Ohlone Trail. FOSTP adopted the Norred Trail. Ron patrols it, usually at least once a month. The trails are very dry now. It's hard to work on them. Maybe we can do work in the spring.
    • We talked about recording volunteer hours. Hours spent for park friends groups, like our meetings, do not count. However, volunteer hours for projects done by friends groups, like Adopt-a-Trail or our First Friday cleanups, do count. When entering hours in Samaritan, you can say you are doing the project for our group. For Adopt-a-Trail, a whole group can report its hours.
    • Greg has been working with Jason Gormon, Senior Maintenance for Santa Teresa, on removing the unused power poles that used to lead to the microwave relay station on the Coyote Peak Trail. Jason is trying to find out who owns the poles. They can be pulled up from the ground with  ATV-mounted equipment.
    • Eddie Von Runnen wants to put a memorial bench in the park. He's working with rangers on the location. 
    • We want to have a celebration event after the new trail opens. Marilyn and Joan are working on it. If it's near the Day of the Dead (Nov. 7), we can give away Mexican candy, like candy skulls or lollipops. We can hand out our newsletters and other literature, as well as signature items, like keychains or bookmarks. 
    • We need to put out a new newsletter to hand out at the trail event. Ron will be editing it. The headline article should be about the new trail, its background history, our work to get it built, benefits of it, points of interest along the way, the Bear Tree monument, and the time capsule. We can also talk about our cleanup days, our speaker series talks, the power poles, parking fees, and park staff changes.
    • Ron showed that there's water in the cattle troughs and in the creek by the Fortini Trail. Other parts of the park are very dry. Joan was worried about the wildlife and asked whether the parks department can do something to help them, like truck in water. This may be a bigger problem than they can handle. Creeks and ponds all over the valley are dry or partially dry. Lakes are very low. 
    • Mike got permission to use the banquet room at the golf course again. However, it's convenient for many people to meet on Zoom. Next month, we'll meet on Zoom, but in December, we may have a potluck dinner at Mike's house.
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       Created 10/11/21 by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park
    Funding provided by a Beautify San Jose Grant