parks

Mayors Determine Greatness of City Parks

The City Parks Alliance website has two very interesting video from two very different mayors: Betsy Price, a Republican from Ft. Worth, Texas, and Michael B. Hancock, a Democrat from Denver. These two mayors co-chair the newly formed group Mayors for Parks. This is a significant development, because the mayor of a city can make a huge difference in the success of developing, constructing and maintaining great parks and trails systems.

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San Jose’s Park within a Park

In 1959, Mildred Overfelt, daughter of these San Jose farmers, wanted to preserve the farm in one piece as a garden park in memory of her parents. She made a donation of this property to the city of San Jose with the proviso that it be a public park. In 1971, a neighborhood couple created a six-acre garden within Overfelt Gardens Park. The result is one of the most beautiful and peaceful settings in all of San Jose.

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KaBOOM! Helps Bring Play to San Jose

I first heard of KaBOOM! a few years ago, when I began the San Jose Parks Foundation. The nonprofit works to ensure kids get the play they need to become healthy and successful adults. KaBOOM! elevates the conversation about the importance of play in children’s lives, while also creating great spaces. And with the nonprofit’s help, a new project should be coming to San Jose.

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Urban Parks and the Walkable City

Statistics show that the number of people under 25 who have drivers licenses has decreased steadily over the last 20 years. This may seem like random trivia on its face. But a closer look reveals a social trend that has significance to San Jose and other metropolitan areas across the country.

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Team San Jose Doubles Revenue Goals

Team San Jose, the city’s tourism and facilities management agency, vastly exceeded gross revenue goals last year. In 2012-13, the decade-old nonprofit generated $23.8 million—more than twice the projected target, according to an annual audit up for review at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Also on the agenda are plans to bring a music stage to St. James Park, a citywide financial audit and a discussion about changing building height requirements around the San Jose airport.

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Local San Jose Parks Honor Veterans

What was once known as “Armistice Day” has become a day to honor American veterans of all wars. I suggest we honor veterans by spending a few moments at one or both of the veterans’ memorials in San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park.

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St. James Park: Visions for the Future

While it may not seem this way now, St. James Park has a truly bright future. There are several reasons for my optimism, but it starts with the people who are coming together for a common purpose. After that, the park’s history and design will be key components in reshaping what was once a key landmark in San Jose.

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Los Gatos Creek: Environmental Volunteers at Work

Steve Holmes represents the kind of citizen leader that we need in the years ahead, as the new paradigm of limited government requires more involvement from private sector volunteers, donors and visionaries. Mr. Holmes is all three and the group he launched, Friends of Los Gatos Creek, has already had a significant and positive impact on one of San Jose’s key environmental challenges.

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Honoring San Jose’s Unsung Heroes

In a sight to behold, Obed Rivera stood in front of a crowd of 300 volunteers, city of San Jose staff, elected officials, family and neighbors, as he accepted the Anti-Litter Program Volunteer of the Year Award. The award was one of several presented at the annual volunteer appreciation event hosted earlier this month by Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services (PRNS).

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Council to Discuss Top Priorities, Audit of Consultants and Contracts

Regulating alcohol sales, electric car plug-ins and cannabis clubs are among the city’s top priorities this coming year, according to a memo up for discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Other items on the meeting agenda include a development deal that could land the city a new park and an audit that finds the monitoring of consultants needs to be much improved.

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Parks Predictions for the Coming Months

We tend to live our lives according to the seasons, as defined by popular opinion and advertising. Though it is technically still summer, autumn is nearly upon us. As such, it is appropriate to look through the lens of our future periscope. I see a handful of issues and challenges that lie ahead for San Jose.

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Parks and Trails Stewardship in the 21st Century: Part II

We previously talked about the need for an active, empowered role for citizens in the stewardship of San Jose’s parks and trails. The significant cutbacks in budget and personnel have left city staff to do more work with less people and less money. The solution is to create multi-partnerships with citizens, neighborhood associations, businesses and community groups to provide a collective stewardship for the future.

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