Orchard Parkway Preservation Project

Join the preliminary efforts to draw attention to a diverse piece of land along the Guadalupe River, north of highway 101

Acreage stated in video is incorrect, the site is approximately 80 acres.

Why Preserve Orchard Parkway?

  1. This land is one of the few undeveloped patches beyond the Guadalupe River Levy extending habitat for resident and migrant species.
  2. In four years of extensive birding along the Guadalupe River, I’ve determined that these empty plots provide habitat for many birds I’ve only seen in this location along the Guadalupe River.
      • Loggerhead Shrike
      • Meadow Lark (flock of 50+ birds)
      • Western King Bird
      • Say’s Phoebe
      • Burrowing Owl
      • Great restoration/recreation potential Native plant/habitat restoration (Burrowing Owl)
      • Recreational trials giving access to the Guadalupe River from Orchard Parkway

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We need your Help!

What we need:

  • Volunteers willing to develop and organize a preservation plan.
  • People educated in the field of environmental sciences willing to help with studies, data collection, professional opinion and analysis, interviews, and letters of support.
  • People experienced with land preservation procedures.

Contact Greg Kerekes at tpsgreg@yahoo.com

Project Update: 11/5/11      So many empty buildings

My wife, Alexandria Perez and I drove around the empty land in a few blocks radius and filmed all of the empty buildings around Orchard Parkway. There are many empty buildings going to waist around this property and the City is still going to develop the empty land. The first phase of the project will build where I have seen Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks, Burrowing Owls, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Meadow Larks hunt in this field. This field contains the tallest trees on the property, where I expect the Kestrels to nest this coming spring.

Project Update: 3/2/12      Owls look for good burrows to nest.

The pair of Burrowing Owls at Orchard and Component Dr. have vacated the burrow due to high disturbance from campers and dogs off leash. A new owl has shown up at the PG&E substation with ankle band #69, so there is now a nesting pair. I spotted one Burrowing Owl in the field along the Guadalupe River Levy for a total of 3 still at the empty lots.

The two Say’s Phoebes still inhabit the land and I’m waiting for signs of nesting behavior. Today they were chasing each other around the meadows. The two Kestrels mated today just before I could set up my camera, I think I know what tree they will nest in. A Great Egret was Hunting in the field it pulled up 26 crickets in 12 minutes. Also saw Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, White-crown Sparrow, Morning Dove, Meadow Lark, American Crow, ground squirrels and two jackrabbits.

Project Update 3/19/12       OPPC’s 1st committee meeting + New Owls!!

During our first committee meeting, when discussing the owls locations, a sighting of a new Burrowing Owl pair was mentioned by Dave Cook. Today, I confirmed this sighting making Orchard Parkway home to two breeding pairs and one single owl. We now have 5 owls total. The committee will be GPS locating the burrows this Sunday and reporting their locations to Department Fish and Game.  Also in the fields today: 3 Kestrels, 2 Red Tails, Meadow Larks, 3 Great Egrets, Jack Rabbit.  More to come!

Project Update 7/29/12  New Owlettes, Cavalia, Public Awareness.

Much has happened since the last update. We currently have two families of owls, one with six chicks that are grown up and flying frequently. One family had a failed nesting attempt and was seen mating again in late May. No chicks have surfaced yet this year has been hard on the owls. A few nesting pairs around the bay have left mid season.

When Cavalia set up in the fields, Santa Clara Valley Audubon partnered with Cavalia to raise awareness about the plight of the Burrowing Owl. They graciously supported our efforts and are showing thousands of people each night a video about the orchard burrowing owls which my wife and I contributed video too. They are also matching donations collected from ticket sales and during the show. At the show we are asking San Jose residents and Locals to sign postcards to San Jose City Council to build a public concern and support base for the owls. Seeing children and adults light up at the sight of the owl has been an amazing experience. We have met with city council member Sam Liccardo twice to discuss setting aside land for the owls of San Jose and about sponsoring a Wildlife Corridor Ordinance which gives more protection to the lands along our rivers and streams.

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5 Responses to Orchard Parkway Preservation Project

  1. ANDREW KLUMB says:

    does this area have repairian area status? i will do anything to preserve it, OCCUPY!

    • Alan says:

      As someone who works near here – I suspect this had been a flood zone – being near the Guadalupe river – but it’s behind the levee they built a little more than a decade ago. As a non-expert, it seems to me that the area would need fairly extensive work to restore native plants. There’s an awful lot of empty office buildings near the area, so the pressure to develop should be minimal in the next several years – if logic is to hold. The one thing that makes me a little hesitant to support a wilderness designation here is a matter of priorities; would building here, near the center of the city, mean they don’t build something out on the edge of the city? It’s good to build a case for why this area is particularly important.

  2. Emily Creegan says:

    This is how we need to create our world…considering and planning for all life we are connected to. Thank you, Greg, for framing it so beautifully.

  3. Anita Marlin says:

    I agree it would be a tragedy for this area to be developed, not only for the creatures who need these lands to live, but also for the people who work in the vicinity. It’s already complete gridlock heading west on Trimble toward 101. It will be a traffic nightmare if more offices are built at Orchard and Component. Today I saw a raptor, thought it was a Peregrine Falcon, though I’m not an expert and it may have been the Kestral. Do you ever see Peregrine’s in these fields, Greg?

    • tpsgreg says:

      Hi Anita, It may have been a Peregrine as they use the Guadalupe River to travel through our valley, I have seen them out there before as well as Merlin. The American Kestrel nest in the fields each year, there are currently 2 adults and 2 fledglings hunting the fields. I am working with Santa Clara Valley Audubon and the City of San Jose to allocate land for the owls and other creatures of San Jose.

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