Guadalupe River Park Conservancy

Rating: 4.88 stars   16 reviews

Issues: Environment, Sports

Location: 438 Coleman Ave San Jose CA 95110 USA

Mission: Guadalupe River Park Conservancy provide community leadership for the development and active use of San Jose’s Central Park through education, advocacy and stewardship.
Results: Highlights from 2008: • Led over 3,000 K-5 students, mostly from nature deficient, low-income areas, on environmental education field trips. • Coordinated over 10,000 volunteer hours in the Visitor & Education Center, Heritage Rose Garden, Historic Orchard, and Courtyard Garden. • Received certification as a Green Business. • Opened the first community garden in California to use recycled water. • Coordinated Pumpkins in the Park, which drew over 10,000 people.
Target demographics: children of all ages, urban open space enthusiasts, gardeners, trail users (walkers, runners, bicyclists, skaters), downtown San Jose residents, birders and other nature lovers
Direct beneficiaries per year: 25,000
Geographic areas served: South Bay
Programs: Park Development: The Friends are currently managing a contract ($75,000) for the City of San Jose to develop Design Guidelines and an Implementation Strategy for further development in Guadalupe Gardens. This process includes engaging a landscape architecture firm, conducting community meetings to gather input, and developing a report that will become an amendment to the approved master plan. A second capitol project is the design and construction of a one-acre community garden, the first in California to be irrigated with recycled water. This garden will be open to all residents of San Jose who wish to rent a plot to grow vegetables, but will probably be used chiefly by residents of downtown highrises and other neighbors of the park. Education & Outreach: Friends of GRPG offers educational programs for adults and children in Santa Clara County, including interpretive tours of the River Park & Gardens and classes on composting, gardening, river ecology and related topics. Field trips, with curriculum linked to the California State Educational Standards, are available for school groups Pre-K through 12th grade. A full calendar of after-school programs for children address many subject areas and are available at nominal cost. New programs include outdoor exercise and yoga classes taught by professional instructors and using the park as a "gym". The newest project, funded by a grant from Intel, is development of a Geocaching program funded by a grant from Intel. Geocaching can best be described as a high-tech treasure hunt. Participants use hand-held GPS units to find hidden caches in the park. Caches can be designed to educate and inform. Geocaching has the added benefit of getting participants out into the park for exercise and discovery. Volunteer Management: The Guadalupe River Park, and the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, Historic Orchard, and Recycled Water Demonstration Garden in Guadalupe Gardens, are all maintained, in part, by volunteers coordinated by Friends of GRPG. Corporate and community work days are encouraged.The Friends recorded almost 10,000 volunteer hours donated to the park in the past year.
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EIN 77-0166797
408-298-7657
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My first experience at Guadalupe River Park was walking the trails through the park with some friends. I was delighted by the huge rose garden and being a rose lover, decided to volunteer. I've done this for a few years now and I find the volunteers and staff are so friendly and welcoming - a great group of folks. I've also biked the trails which keep improving. A true gem in the middle of a large city!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered at the Heritage Rose Garden, many GRPC events and served on the board of this wonderful organization. Run on a shoestring with amazing employees and volunteers, the Conservancy works hard to promote the park and its features to children, bike riders, walkers, gardeners, exercisers, students, and many others who enjoy this ribbon of green through the middle of San Jose. The Conservancy also works hard to promote completion of the park's master plan with the city, donors and volunteers.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

For such a small organization, the Friends really put on a big show - the classes and summer camps offer great lessons to children about nature, the adult lectures are useful and inspiring, and Spring in Guadalupe Gardens and Pumpkins in the Park events get the public into the park and involved in fun activities. I've been involved with the Park for over ten years and step by step, GRPG is evolving into a great city center park for everyone.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the professionalism of the classes offered to both children and adults; the steps in completion of the master plans for the park; and the involvement of San Jose's most public minded citizens toward these ends.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be banging on every funding source I could to bring in the monies to complete and promote the park in its rightful place as San Jose's Great Central Park.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the park develop over time and the joy of the staff in making that happen.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, professional, and so committed to making the event and park a great place to be.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create an endowment that would help fund more staff who could then go after grants and funding sources to complete construction of the gardens and expand the educational programs.

Ways to make it better...

more people got involved in using and promoting the park.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

connecting to those residents of the Santa Clara Valley who can afford to donate larger sums than the committed core donors.

One thing I'd also say is that...

There are only four people who are paid small salaries and who fill big shoes in providing the programs and leadership that is keeping the Friends of GRPG moving forward. These four people deserve more.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

As a resident and as a volunteer, I find this to be an excellent non profit. They are well organized. As a volunteer, I found the employees to be very welcoming and they made sure that my experience as a volunteer was incredibly rewarding, from beginning to end. As a resident, I feel very grateful to have such a unique non profit available to provide a valuable link between the community and nature, education and inspiration.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of projects they have been able to complete, phenomenal!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know, give everyone raises!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

hard to say, the people are fabulous, and I ended up enjoying them as much as the beautiful park/river natural environment!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

representative of the diverse populations that make up San Jose, all different ages, ethnicities... I felt very comfortable there.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

complete all their projects, and hire more staff to develop even more programs for children, adults, pets, families... it would be amazing! Get people out of their homes and out in nature!

Ways to make it better...

I had been able to commit more time.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

current economic situation.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This organization is one of the "crown jewels" in downtown San Jose... It is part of what makes downtown San Jose so cool!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-10-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

The tenth largest city in the United States now has the best park. The Guadalupe River Park provides recreation, exercise and event venues for the citizens of this fine city. It really makes our downtown area complete.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Promoting the use of the Park and assuring that the City bureauacracy continues to support it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Already been there, done that

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Committed San Jose folks

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Working to create a better San Jose

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Install more restrooms Install more water fountains [drinking water] Improve existing parking lots Finish Gardens' area Better promote the Park

Ways to make it better...

Construction crews would have been more sensitive

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Fund-raising in this economy

One thing I'd also say is that...

Excellant Board in place now

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I've had a lot of interaction with this nonprofit at various levels of volunteering and can say that the management and employees are top notch. All are committed, well educated and bring their energy and expertise to every activity. Perhap due to the staff quality, friends who volunteer also tend to be informed and engaging. The variety of volunteer activities is excellent, making FoGRPG a fine organization for your community involvement needs.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the variety of volunteer activities

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Applied Materials

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-4-01

 
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