Friends of Santa Teresa Park Zoom Meeting, 2/3/22


    • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Kim Gardner, Greg Koopman, Joan Murphy, Steve Crockett, Ron Horii. Visting: Dave Zittlow.
    • 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.
    • Dave Zittlow was our invited guest. We wanted him to talk about the volunteer programs at Martial Cottle Park, where he's the volunteer park lead. 
      • Dave supervises the land stweard team, which had 12 members and is now down to 9. He reports to Jeremy Celaya of Park Maintenance. They meet once a week and go over what needs to be done. The volunteers work Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8-12. They maintain the 144 rose bushes, the pepper trees, and the orchard trees. They record their hours on Samaritan. They don't have meetings. Their expenses are covered by the Parks Department.
      • They also rehab. the antique farm equipment and display them at the spring and fall festivals. The senior maintenance manager supervises. Their goal is to rehab. 1 piece of equipment per year.
      • Park Maintenance takes cares of the turf, the restrooms, and the picnic areas.
      • Volunteers are not allowed on the 190 acres of agricultural fields, which are farmed by Jacobs Farms. Those fields are organically farmed, which means there are restrictions on who can go on them.
      • The volunteer land stewards don't do fund-raising or special projects. That's what the Friends of Martial Cottle Park (FOMCP) do. They are a 501c3 non-profit, which started 4 years ago. Dave is a member, but it's a separate group. They give paid tours of the Life Estate with a catered lunch as a fund-raiser and also ask for donations. Their first project was the hedgerow. It's a 900-foot native plant garden along Chynoweth, between the trail and the farm fields. They bought the wood chip mulch and the plants, which they got from Our City Forest. Parks did the tilling, installed the irrigation system, and spread the chips. Volunteers, recruited by FOMCP, planted the plants. 
      • The Martial Cottle Park Foundation was started by Walter Cottle Lester and is managed by trustees. Their goal is to help the County with the family's collections and repair and restore the historic structures on the Life Estate. They paid to repair the barn, replace windows in the historic house, and repair the house's roof. 
      • The Rusty Areias Community Garden was built by the City of San Jose, which manages it. It has 40 plots, with ADA-accessible raised beds. The garden opened last year. Gardeners pay a fee to use it. It's currently in Phase 1. It will be expanded in later phases.
      • Dave is trained as a docent, so he also gives interpretive tours. They used to have school programs, but now they are being done virtually.
      • The volunteers have a newsletter. It started out as an email newsletter. One of the volunteers had computer skills. It was prepared by the Park's program coordinator. It went to lots of people. It was only online and not printed. It was stopped during the lockdown and hasn't resumed.
      • The bird and bat boxes in the park were built by Americorps, funded by a grant. They built 6 barn and 6 kestrel boxes and mounted 2 bat boxes.
      • Casual volunteers show up and sign a waiver. Long-term volunteers get Lifescan screened. They wear green volunteer T-shirts, which they have to wear so they can be identified as volunteers as they work on the park. They are trained to work with trimmers, blowers, and mowers. They can't use chainsaws.
      • FOMCP was required to be a 501c3 before they could be a friends group. They submit proposed projects for the following year. They had donors. It was started by Chuck Rose, who was the president until he moved out of the area. Michele van Zuiden was the vice president and is now the president. Joyce and Bob Chesnos are officers. Stephen Kinsey is the secretary. Adina Pierce is the webmaster. They have an annual meeting and regular board meetings.
    • Dave will be coming to our First Friday work day tomorrow at the Bernal Ranch to see what it looks like and give us some advice. He came to the Bernal Ranch several years ago to help with one of the cleanups. Kelsi was there at the time. 
    • Joan wants us to tour Little Uvas Creek Preserve, which is near Uvas Reservoir. She suggests the first Friday in April. It's an Open Space Authority preserve. Ron will check with the OSA. April is usually busy because of Coyote Ridge events. The CNPS is also planning a tour of Little Uvas on April 16.
    • We should tour Martial Cottle Park. We can go on a Tuesday or Thursday in the afternoons. Dave will be there. We can also tour the Master Gardeners' parcel. They are open every 3rd Saturday of the month from 9 to noon.
    • We will have our workday tomorrow from 9-12. Meet at the Bernal Ranch by the Ranch House.
    • Ron showed a slideshow: The garden boxes, our work day cleaning them up in January, our tool cabinet, Maintenance repairing the cracked window on the ranch house, the moon viewing event at the ranch and spring, the empty chicken coop after one of the chickens died and the other was moved out, a new memorial bench on top of the Vista Loop near the grinding rocks, the new trail and concerns about bike access (see next), the historic Bean Sprayer and places in the East Barn where it could go to protect it, new tree planting tubes along the Mine Trail, and Ed's new memorial bench in the Pueblo Area.
    • The east entrance to the new trail by Bernal School needs a ramp inline with the trail entrance so bikes can get to it without making a sharp turn. The west spur of the trail to Curie Drive ends at the sidewalk and the wrong side of the road for bikes going westbound. There needs to be safe way for bikes to get to the right side of the road. This is the city's jurisdiction.
    • Treasurers' report: We haven't submitted our 501c3 application. We paid the final bills with checks. We have $571.10 in the bank. 
    • We submitted the final report for the Beautify San Jose Grant Cycle 3. We were awarded $1500 for Cycle 4. We will be getting that eventually. We need someone to be the lead for the grant.
    • We can do National Night Out. We need to fill out the NNO application. We need someone to be a lead for NNO.
    • We need to submit a group activity work plan to the volunteer office. Mike is working on it.
    • Next month we'll have board elections. We'll have nominations for the board.
    • Joan asked if we could put native plants in the garden boxes.
    • Greg said there are useless downed phone wires and a pole going through the Bear Tree Lot to the Bonetti House. He thinks they should be removed.
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       Created 2/17/22 by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park
    Funding provided by a Beautify San Jose Grant