The San Tomas & Monroe Neighborhood Park and Community Garden’s grand opening was held on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. Along with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, there were also several self-guided activities available for both kids and adults.
“The City of Santa Clara is proud of its park system,” said Lisa M. Gillmor, Mayor of Santa Clara, in a statement. “We are opening new parks, rehabilitating old parks, breaking ground on a new sports complex and continuing to expand.”
The park features playgrounds, restrooms, picnic tables with BBQ pits, community gardens, outdoor classrooms and an off-leash dog area.
“A compass incorporated at the center of the park shows true north for Santa Clara — it symbolizes a clear direction for our City,” said Gillmor.
Many organizations and members of the community supported the grand opening.
University of California Master Gardeners: Two members of the UC Master Gardener program, Diana Bebbington and Jill Willard, were providing information on the community garden.
“We try to provide information on California’s native plants,” said Willard. “What’s great about community gardens is that you’re bringing people in from all walks of life. It fosters an understanding among a great diversity of people about promoting sustainable landscapes.”
Master Composters: Along with a live demonstration of worms, the Santa Clara Master Composters also had examples of what items can be composted.
Open Space Authority: Having contributed nearly $425,000 to the San Tomas Park, the Open Space Authority had prizes for spinning a wheel and answering questions about California native wildlife.
Zume Pizza: The artisan pizza restaurant chain recently opened their Santa Clara branch on Aug. 22. Along with offering free slices to participants, Zume Pizza was also offering knick-knacks like coasters.
“It’s exciting to celebrate the park’s opening with our grand opening,” said Kacie Jackson, marketing manager. “Being part of the community is what we want to do.”
Santa Clara Valley (SCV) Beekeepers Guild: Elizabeth Victor and Tom Freits, treasurer of the SCV Beekeepers Guild, were passing out free samples of honey sticks. They also had bottles of honey for sale. As a non-profit promoting urban beekeeping, the guild had a live bee colony on display.
“We’re in talks with the city of Santa Clara to establish a teaching apiary for the bee guild and community members,” said Victor. “We’re hoping to be established and open by next year.”