through Judy Horst February 3, 2022
On February 2, the San Mateo County Parks Department and CMG Landscape Design (project contractor) held a public Zoom workshop from 5:30-7:00 p.m. to discuss the proposed Reimagine Flood Park plan.
This meeting was an opportunity to discuss the services that Flood Park could offer to meet the current needs for family outings and additional sports fields, while preserving playgrounds, picnic areas and natural surroundings of Flood Park, the county’s second oldest park and home to a grove of heritage oak trees. A playground for all abilities, which is part of the proposed plan, will be the first in the county.
Over the next few months, as the park design evolves, the County Parks Department will host several neighborhood “pop-up events” to gather public input from March through September. Two additional public workshops are planned for June and September. In addition, a working group made up of representatives from community organizations meets several times a month with the county team to offer feedback and discuss plans as they are developed. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2023.
Second public meeting
This was the county’s second public workshop. About 100 people attended the Zoom meeting. The last public meeting on this project took place in December 2015.
After a quick review of current plans, four breakout sessions were held and each person could attend two. The sessions were: Urban Forest; Historic resources and staging/picnic areas; Playgrounds (sports fields and activities); Spanish speaking group.
At each session, the county’s current plan was presented, feedback was solicited, and in some cases participants could vote on various activities for each by ranking them, offering guidance to county and city staff. design before the final design stage.
Many people in this breakout session said they were unaware until recently that the plan was to remove many large old trees, especially oaks, mainly to build a second large pitch soccer/lacrosse (multi-purpose) in the heart of the forest. Many requests have been made for these trees and the wooded area of the park to be preserved and maintained.
A petition on the community-generated website, FloodPark.org, with this application has nearly 3000 signatures. The website creators want to balance the park with sports fields in the northern half and amenities such as the current picnic sites and planned playground for all abilities among the trees in the southern half of the woods.
The importance of trees providing a peaceful retreat from urban congestion, animal habitats and offsetting global warming was also discussed. Suggested alternate sites for the second ball diamond are on FloodPark.org. Other discussions focused on ideas for the new playground, sports such as baseball, soccer, tennis, pickleball, basketball, a pump track and other amenities.
Historic Resources and Staging Areas/Picnic Areas
The adobe Flood Park Administration Building, built in the late 1930s in the heart of the park, will be rehabilitated and continue to serve as the park’s administration building. New squares, playgrounds and toilets will be built nearby, and picnic areas will also be renovated.
Playgrounds (sports fields and activities)
A planned All-Abilities playground will be the first in San Mateo County. Other considerations discussed for play areas were benches and seating, shade, sculpted hills and topography, plants and nature, art/murals, and tables. The main discussion, however, centered on improving the sports fields currently in the park and how to incorporate additional sports areas into the park without affecting trees, wildlife and those who picnic, walk or go hiking in the park,
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