Supporting San Jose Parks, Trails, and Recreation Programs
San Jose Parks Foundation's first ever Summer Soiree was a big hit with those who attended. A modest crod of loyal supporters and city leaders joined members of the Board of Trustees in honoring three community heroes
Mayor Sam Liccardo, along with Councilmembers Johnny Khamis and Don Rocha, all strong supporters of San Jose Parks Foundation, helped to give the evening a very distinguished air, presenting Official Proclamations to the honorees in addition to the SJPF Awards. Supervisor Dave Cortese's senior staffer, Mike Donohoe, also presented County Commendations tot he trio.
Also attending were a number of members of the Department of Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services, whose partnership has helped make the foundation a valuable community asset.
Linda Wilson, a citizen who who helped form and then led the Martin Fontana Parks Association in a struggle to preserve hundreds of native oak trees for future generations.
Steve Holmes who has led the cleanup of Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River, organizing hundreds of volunteers several times each year to bring back these waterways.
Larry Ames, who has mounted a great fight to preserve the hostoric Willow Glen Trestle was given a special award, named for one of the City's legendary residents, Velma Million, an advocate for parks for decades. The award is named The Velma Million Award to recognize dedication in the face of great odds.
Big praise by all was accorded Board Member Melonie Drotts for organizing the event. Thank you very much!
The newly-renovated Tea House in the Japanese Friendship Garden at Kelley Park
was the site of the Summer Soiree and it was definitely a wonderful palce to have an event.
The intimate teahouse was built in 1972 and is modeled after the world-renowned teahouse in Okayama, Japan, which is San Jose's sister city. In 2012 the San Jose Parks Department began an effort to renovate and update the teahouse. Now the building features new granite counters, a new kitchen, and tables and chairs.
The Japanese Friendship Garden at Kelley Park is a beautiful living symbol of the "Sister City" relationship between Okayama, Japan and San Jose. It was dedicated in 1965, and was patterned after Okayama's world famous Korakuen Park. The face of the traditional Japanese garden was molded by three major forces -- religion, a love for nature, and a heavy use of symbolism.
These three forces blended together to create a beautiful, culturally enlightening area. Included in the park are exotic koi fish. Two feeding stations are available and vistors may purchase food for them at a small fee.