The California Native Garden in Lake Cunningham Regional Park in San Jose, California, began in 2002 as a project of the community-based group Lake Cunningham Volunteers. Planned in cooperation with park staff, the project has attracted volunteers from the community as well as local high schools and colleges. It has received grants from San Jose Beautiful and Community Action and Pride, and a San Jose City Council commendation in 2005.

Today, the Native Garden covers a 1.5 acre swath between the southern end of the lake and the adjacent dirt parking lot. It has become a destination for walkers, birders, photographers, and others who value and enjoy nature-based recreation.


20151121_103514_Cunningham Ave

Western sycamore and toyon are colorful companions in November

The mission of Lake Cunningham Volunteers is to preserve and enhance Lake Cunningham Park’s environment by removing invasive plants and planting California native wildflowers, perennials, and shrubs; to provide summer shade through native tree planting; to encourage community participation and ownership; to create a sustainable, low-maintenance landscape; to enhance nature-based recreation; to create habitat for birds and wildlife.

Volunteers are welcome at the native garden, where they can fulfill community service requirements by prior appointment. Workdays are every Saturday and Sunday 9am-noon. Tasks include removing invasive plants, mulching, planting native plants, labeling, and watering. Individuals as well as groups of up to 20 are scheduled 2-4 weeks in advance. Prior experience is not required. Volunteers are trained for the tasks at hand.

This is a great opportunity for students interested in learning about the environment, botany, horticulture, and California native plants from seasoned experts. If you enjoy working outdoors with a view of the lake, amidst native habitat and many opportunities for observing wildlife, you will enjoy volunteering here.

To volunteer, sign up through Volunteer Match by clicking here.

To get updates of upcoming workdays, join our yahoogroup mailing list by clicking here.

For more information, contact:

Susan Sundberg, email: sundberg27 at yahoo.com
Arvind Kumar, email: chhaprahiya at yahoo.com
(Replace “at” with @ sign)


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