“Growing” in the Rain
What do you get when you mix a dozen landscape architects and a light rain? Well it turns out on this particular day you get a great time out that was not only a team building opportunity, but a learning experience as well.
With most of our San Mateo and San Jose staff attending the recent California Parks and Recreation Society’s Annual Conference in San Jose last month, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to visit two of our recently constructed projects as a group. Nothing beats seeing your details come alive and to take the time and reflect on the process as well as lessons learned. Creekside Sports Park (Los Gatos) and Stojanovich Family Park (Campbell) provided our staff a stark contrast in project type and in turn an abundance of interesting topics to discuss.
First stop was Creekside, a large sports park which provides a glimpse in the latest technologies and design of sports oriented parks with synthetic turf. The park is situated in close proximity to Los Gatos Creek. The field has been striped for soccer as well as the growing sport of lacrosse and can accommodate multiple age groups. Cala staff toured the field, concession building, picnic facilities and played on the small tot climbing rock. They were able to see firsthand that the site utilizes several drainage and stormwater treatment measures, including permeable asphalt and pavers as well as bioswales and a field under drain system.
Next on our park tour was Stojanovich Family Park. Stojanovich, in turn, is a small park at one acre in size but massive in the amount of play value and historical interpretation included. Our staff enjoyed playing on all of the Play features which includes thematic fruit drying cart spring toys, a fruit can tunnel, tractor tire climbing feature, oversized plum seats and a play structure with a water tower canopy. There are many interpretive features of the site including the artistic signs, fruit drying cart replica, and the footprint of the former fruit drying shed that has been stamped into the plaza paving. To see more of Stojanovich Family Park Click Here
At the end of the day we accomplished more than just a good time out. We continued our commitment to the advancement of our team through education, team building, and evaluation of projects and processes to ensure lessons are learned.
Wreaths Across America – UPDATE
December 15, 2012 was the Wreaths Across America Ceremony with over 750 participating State, National and local cemeteries and also marks the 21st Anniversary of placing wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.
At Golden Gate Cemetery at San Bruno, over 900 wreaths were placed on the headstones. Among the over 200 volunteers were the San Andreas Lake Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Blue Star Mom of Pacifica, Gold Star Moms, the Sons of the American Revolution chapters, Civil Air Patrol and the Patriot Riders Guards.
This year we had a Scottish band start off the ceremonies followed by the Patriot Guard Rider car and motorcycles entering the stage. The Guest speaker was Kevin Graves who has a son Joseph who was killed in Iraq and buried at San Bruno. After the ceremony we placed the wreaths on the headstones.
Kristen Matthias, our billings manager, has been actively involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution and is the current Chapter President as well as District Secretary. Originally started at Arlington National Cemetery by Morrill Worcester, founder of Worcester Wreath Company, Wreaths Across America was formed because of the many requests to help fund these efforts.
Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring our Nation’s veterans and their families through the placement of wreaths on the graves of veterans. This simple act shows each veteran’s family that their memory lives on and they will never be forgotten.
In 2011, with the help of nearly 1,200 fundraising groups, Wreaths Across America placed over 325,000 wreaths on veterans’ graves. 1,300 of these wreaths were place at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno. I was a founding member of the support group for the Wreaths placed at the San Bruno Cemetery. Groups that place the wreaths on the headstones were the San Andreas Lake Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Blue Star Mom of Pacifica, Gold Star Moms, the Sons of the American Revolution chapters, and the Patriot Riders (who escorted the delivery trucks on their motorcycles!).
December 15, 2012 will be the organization’s 7th Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony with over 750 participating State, National and local cemeteries and also marks the 21st Anniversary of placing wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. We have seen directly, by our experiences at Arlington, how the scale of this event can dramatically impact people. We are happy to see communities come together to remember and honor those who serve. The desire of our nation’s citizens to help us honor our brave men and women of the armed services is inspiring. We all know a veteran or have known one in our lifetime; this is a great way to pay respect to the fallen and their families.
Kristen Matthias, our billings manager, has been actively involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution and is the current Chapter President as well as District Secretary. Originally started at Arlington National Cemetery by Morrill Worcester, founder of Worcester Wreath Company, Wreaths Across America was formed because of the many requests to help fund these efforts. If you would like to participate in the program, wreaths can be sponsored here.
A word from Brian Fletcher:
It happened for me on January 29th, 2008 at around 8 pm. That is when I got the call from my Doctor…I had cancer. The previous week I had what everyone thought to be a routine appendectomy. However, when the pathology report came back it revealed a tumor. That simple phone call changed my life forever.
Up until that point, cancer had only begun to creep into my life. I was close to a couple of survivors but was woefully unaware at the sheer volume of people that are not only battling the disease but who’s friends and loved ones are battling it right there with them. I quickly began to realize that the question is not “if” cancer will affect each and every person’s life but “when”.
My point of writing this post is not to tell you my story, but to inspire whoever reads this to get involved. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, only behind heart disease. Doctors are making amazing advances in research and proposed treatment methods that WILL one day find a cure. Until that day, what we all can do is show our support by getting involved, attending fundraising and awareness events, and if possible raising money to support further research.
Thankfully, today I am cancer free. Since then, my family and I have gotten involved in a couple of great events. The LIVESTRONG Challenge is a cycling, running and walking event that takes place across the county every year. This year I participated in the Challenge held in Davis, California on a beautiful July weekend. Although I didn’t ride in the event, volunteering helped me step back and see the hundreds of moms, dads, husbands, wives, and kids coming out to show their support . Also, we recently participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. By walking laps around a track, buying yummy baked goodies, and getting our hair painted green we helped our community raise over $40,000!
So I urge you to find some way to get involved so that one day we ALL can be cancer FREE.
When there’s a WEAVE, there’s a way…
On May 19th, 2012, I had the opportunity to go to WEAVE Volunteer Day in Downtown Sacramento to show support for the tireless efforts of WEAVE toward ending and preventing domestic violence and sexual assault in the community. This event was put on by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Volunteers from both committees welcomed participation from regional businesses as well as students from UC Davis landscape architecture program. The project was to transform the landscaping on 19th and K Street in downtown Sacramento at the WEAVE headquarters building.
With a combination of efforts from both ULI and ASLA, a set of plans consisting of a demolition, site layout, planting, and irrigation was developed to dress up the site which was in desperate need of help. The site had a few existing mature redwood trees and a sparse palette of plants to make up for the rest of the landscape. The work involved stripping the finish grade and excavating dirt for a header board, planting plants, installing a new irrigation system as well as creating a decomposed granite boarder all around the site. Volunteers brought their own hand tools while the irrigation and a majority of the plants, along with lunch, were all donated by local vendors.
The installation was a huge success on many fronts: it was well organized with plenty of help from a large number of volunteers; the UC Davis students had a hands-on opportunity to learn installation of irrigation, planting, and site preparation; and, we were all able to network with other working professionals in the field. Most of all, everyone had the chance to get their hands dirty and feel that they made a difference.
By the end the site looked stunning and drew the attention of the many people who walked by. WEAVE also showed great appreciation for the dramatic change to the landscape. I really enjoyed the installation and the feeling of being a part of giving back to the community.
It’s hard to believe that newest hire, Jon Bowhay, has been at Callander Associates for almost one year. When not working on one of his many projects at our Rancho Cordova office, you can find Jon tearing it up in the great outdoors – from fishing, hiking, camping, golfing, and snowboarding to training his ducking hunting dog, Cabela.
Click here to learn more about WEAVE
E-mail Jon directly
Callander U: Pervious Paving Test Lab
As part of our ongoing efforts to learn about new materials and design trends, a group of Callander Associates staff visited Stanford University to tour a unique test lab for pervious pavements. In order to evaluate applications of pervious pavements, the University constructed a parking lot that included side by side installations of pervious asphalt, pervious concrete, and pervious pavers. Each material was utilized in both drive aisles and parking bays and included test pits to measure infiltration rates and stormwater quality. It was extremely helpful to see the materials side by side and to see how each has held up since being installed in 2009. Some observations and information gathered from University staff include:
- Pervious concrete and asphalt have similar open surface textures that resemble gravel paving
- Pervious asphalt ravels more that pervious concrete especially in drive aisles with turning movement
- Pervious pavers have the most refined appearance (very smooth surface) but are cracking in areas and weeds have begun to grow in the voids
- Pervious concrete showed some signs of cracking but nothing more than expected
- Pervious asphalt was the cheapest while pervious pavers were the most expensive but comparable to standard paver costs
- Parking lot has yet to be vacuumed of sediment
We see a real potential for these surfaces to be utilized more frequently on projects and in conjunction with other stormwater treatment measures as regulations become more demanding. Recently, in working in conjunction with the Town of Los Gatos, our firm specified porous asphalt for the parking lot serving Creekside Park, a new park designed for the Town by Callander Associates. The porous asphalt is an integral measure employed at this site to help achieve compliance with C.3 requirements.
We will share the results of this and other C.3 measures utilized at Creekside Park. Stay tuned!
San Jose Trail Counts Count!
Another year, but who’s counting? Well, I guess we are! For the 3rd year in a row, members of Callander Associates staff volunteered to participate in the City of San Jose’s Trail Count. This annual, week-long activity documents the number of users along five trail systems to understand the level of usage and to maximize support for development of San Jose’s Trail Network. As listed in the City’s website, these efforts have been instrumental in:
- Securing a grant from the State of California for $700,000 for construction of the Guadalupe River Trail (Woz Way to Virginia Street). State representatives reported that the Trail Count Fact Sheet influenced the grant panel’s decision to award the grant;
- Impressing Caltrans staff and, in discussing a $350,000 grant application, said that they wished other agencies gathered similar data;
- Receiving a $150,000 grant from the Bay Area Ridge Trail for Penitencia Creek Trail and $123,000 from the State of California for Guadalupe River Trail enhancements;
- Coordinating with sponsors of the San Jose Grand Prix to minimize impacts from event closures along the Guadalupe River Trail. The Trail Count Fact Sheet helped to document the negative impact of such closures to bicycle commuting;
- Securing $1,377,000 in grant funding through 2008′s Trail Count data;
- Documenting progress to City Council and decision makers in the realization of San Jose Green Vision goals towards achieving 100 miles of bicycle trails within the City.