Friends of Santa Teresa Park Zoom Meeting, 10/5/23


    • This was an online Zoom videoconference meeting. Mike sent out a meeting link for this Zoom meeting.
    • Attendees: Mike Boulland, Joan Murphy, Greg Koopman, Ron Horii, Carolyn Schimandle.
    • We will have a work day on 10/6/23. We will clean up around Santa Teresa Spring. 8 volunteers have signed up. The next work day after that is on 11/3/23.
    • We have $2748.82 in the bank. Expenses: $20 for state tax SI-100, $50 for federal tax CT-TR-1. We spent $300.72 on the newsletter, $205.56 for event expenses. We got an extra $100 for tools. Joan donated a weeding tool.
    • Park and Recreation Commission (PRC) Meeting: Mike attended the meeting. Ron watched online. It was the first meeting that was live and online. Certificates of appreciation of employee excellence were awarded to several staff members, including Park Interpreter Luke Bailey, Ranger Ruben Suarez, and maintenance worker Felipe Velasquez. Mike talked about the FOSTP newsletter and First Friday cleanups. He talked about the Rocky Ridge trail concerns and the need for better communication to trail users before the trail work is underway, so they won't be surprised by it. He also spoke for Tere Johnson about NAQCPA and concerns in Almaden Quicksilver. He talked about the reopening of the Casa Grande, calcine remediation work on Alamitos Creek, the archaeological importance of the remains of the Vichy Springs well, and the renaming of the Yellow Kid Trail to the Kitty Monahan Trail.
    • Rocky Ridge Trail: mountain bikers were complaining about the trailwork on the Rocky Ridge Trail. The lower part is flat and goes through clay soil. It tends to get very muddy in the winter, necessitating seasonal closures. The upper part goes through serpentine rock, is very rocky, and does not get muddy. Mountain bikers like the rocky part for the technical challenge and are very sensitive to any changes to the trail that make it smoother and less challenging. Trail crews have been working to fix damage to the trails after this year's heavy rains. Several trails were closed due to erosion, including the Rocky Ridge. The trail crews smoothed out a potion of the Rocky Ridge, which caused mountain bikers to protest. They were worried that the whole trail would be smoothed out.Ron went to check it out. See below.
    • Eagle Scout project: Mike said that a Boy Scout wants to do an Eagle Scout project at the Bernal Ranch. He wants to label the farm equipment around the barns. Where will the signs go? Digging holes for posts has restrictions because of archaeological concerns. They could be mounted on the barn and the fence. The grist stone could be a separate project. 
    • Park staff report by Carolyn Schimandle:
      • Ruben Suarez is the senior ranger at Hellyer/Santa Teresa. Roberto Romero is the new senior ranger at Vasona.
      • Rob has school programs at the Bernal Ranch on Fridays, starting at 9:30. The first school tour will be this Friday. They will come to the spring.
      • The Juntos program, who came to La Fuente, thanked Rob. Juntos is a joint program with the county's health department. Families, mostly Hispanic, are prescribed by their doctors to go to sponsored outings in the County Parks for exercise and health. La Fuente was prescribed, and free transport was arranged.
      • Greg Smestad, a Bernal Family descendant, said he liked La Fuente.
      • Caitlyn, who is a new intern, was helping at La Fuente. She will help at the Bernal Ranch on weekends. She's a history and classical studies major at Santa Clara U. She is working on updating the docent's guide to match the current program. 
      • Tamara Clark, Public Information Officer, retired. An interim replacement for her is in the works.
    • La Fuente was well-attended. Our booth was very popular. Dorene, Mike, Joan, and Kim staffed the booth and the games. Ron and Joan's sister Carole helped set up the booth. The booth was along the middle fence. We used a shade cloth and a tarp to keep the sun off our backs. Our banners were tied to the fence. The small First Friday banners were behind the booth and hard to see. Next time, we should put them where people can get closer to them and see them better. Ron brought 2 posters with pictures of the park and FOSTP activities. We had a corn hole game and a sponge toss game. The sponge toss game was against the east barn. We gave away prizes. We could have used more candy to give away. Next time, we should give away little animals and dinosaurs. We did the pumpkin raffle near the end of the event after many people had left. We should do it earlier next time. 
    • There was an interpretive walk at La Fuente led by Ranger Roberto Romero and was in Spanish. He started from the west barn, went to Santa Teresa Spring, and ended up at the Bear Tree. About 80 people went on the walk.
    • FOSTP newsletter: Mike, Joan, Greg, and Ron wrote articles for it. Ron edited it. We passed out color and B&W copies at La Fuente. Park Commission members got a copy. Mike sent a copy to UNSCC. The rest will go to libraries.
    • Ron showed pictures.
      • La Fuente: pictures of FOSTP's booth, staff and volunteers, the event itself.
      • Rocky Ridge Trail Work: Ron took pictures of the lower portion of the Rocky Ridge on 9/29/23, where trailwork was being done and hiked up to the rock wall, then came back on 10/2/23 and measured distances using an odometer app. He met Eric McFarland on the way, who told him that they would only be doing trailwork up to the start of the serpentine area.  The entire trail is 1.8 miles long. The distance from the start of the trail at the Mine Trail junction to the start of the serpentine area is 0.63 miles. That would be the maximum extent of the trailwork. There is one section from where the trail starts to go uphill to the first switchback that is narrow and rocky. The distance from the start of the rocky area to the start of the switchback is about 0.08 miles, or 140 yards. Above the switchback is a flat section, about 0.14 miles long, that is the muddiest part of the trail. Extensive manual work has been done on it over the years to improve the drainage, but this year's rains were too much for it, and it became very muddy. The trail crews brought up bulldozers to widen the trail, improve the drainage, and spread rocks and gravel on the surface. In the process, they probably had to widen and smooth out the section below the switchback so they could get their equipment up to it. That's probably what got the mountain bikers upset. The rest of the trail, starting from the serpentine area, is untouched and will likely remain that way.
      • Fortini Road Property: Ron showed slides from Tim Heffington's presentation to the PRC about park acquisition and trail plans. It showed the Fortini Road property, connecting Santa Teresa to Calero. There's a possible trail route shown. It's basically a straight line and crosses McKean Road west of the entrance to Rancho San Vicente. We need to get involved with the trail planning.
    • Joan would like to see native wildflowers in the garden boxes. Steve Cassidy should have seeds. 
    • The garden boxes need painting, but there are rules about the paint that can be used in the boxes. That may make it hard for Boy Scouts to work on it.
    • We need to plan the end-of-year recognition dinner. We could do it in November, instead of December. We ould combine it with NAQCPA. We could have a potluck lunch in the park or dinner indoors in the Community Club. We could go for a hike first, like visiting the Hacienda Cemetery. 
    • Pioneer Day is at the Casa Grande on 10/14/23, starting at 11 am.
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       Created 10/12/23 by Ronald Horii, secretary of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park
    Funding provided by a Beautify San Jose Grant