Environment

Post image for Italian stone pine in Fremont Park gives birth to art & play structure – with new trees to come

From disaster and death can come the birth of something good (myth of the phoenix). The big Italian stone pine that guarded the eastern side of Fremont Park had to be taken down in September, a disturbing event for many in our community. From the collective brainstorming of residents and city of Menlo Park staff, the idea arose to transform the lower part of the tree into a piece of art along with a play structure for Fremont Park.

City of Menlo Park logo from fallen treeThe City has an ongoing contract with West Coast Arborists for tree maintenance. Big Jon Mahoney, a chain-saw artist, works for West Coast and was contracted to use his imagination to create something from the downed tree. He is working on two sections of the trunk plus the stump itself. From the latter he is creating a chair. From the former, one section is proving to be a whimsical set of seats, while the other is becoming a children’s play structure.

The end of one tree section facing the nearby walkway will be cut and sanded flat to expose the approximately 70 growth rings (exact number to be determined later). Menlo Park Historical Association Board member Jim Lewis was contacted by city staff to suggest some appropriate local historical dates with which to mark a half dozen or so of the rings, which will then be protected by a permanent transparent cover. Jim and this author (MPHA President) immediately noticed that the rings tell us that the tree was probably planted when the park was first created (early 1930s, see story in The Gate Post for Oct-Dec 2011).

Behind this artwork, along the fence to the east, the plan is to plant three deodar cedars (same type of tree as on the north side of the project, i.e., toward University Avenue). Because of limited funds, these trees will be a modest 24-inch or so box size, but they will eventually fill the glaring hole in the arborscape to the east.

But there is more! Christian Bonner, the City Arborist, explains that most of the tree’s wood has been given to Menlo Hardwoods (846 Santa Cruz Avenue), who will use it to fabricate some interesting furniture, the sale of which will create funds to be returned to the City for the purchase of a large tree (type not yet determined) to placed between the fence and the walkway.

Fremont Park gets new art, a creative play set, and new trees! The trees will eventually restore the arborscape.

Photos by Jym Clendenin, a frequent contributor to InMenlo

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Spotted: Fall color in Menlo Park

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Are other residents noticing that Fall in the form of the changing color of the leaves on Menlo Park’s liquid amber trees is early this year? In 20 plus years, we’ve witnessed the peak around Thanksgiving. And certainly not before Halloween. We’re presuming it’s drought related but if anyone has other explanations, we’re opening to […]

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Reported mountain lion sighting in Atherton last weekend

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On Saturday, September 6, a resident in the area of Monte Vista and Linda Vista Avenues in Atheton, reported a mountain lion in her driveway at approximately 9:15 pm. In an incident that has attracted much media attention, a mountain lion attached a boy last weekend in the area near Picchetti in the hills of Cupertino. […]

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Water efficient gardening 101 is topic at Sept. 6 talk at Menlo Park Library

The public is invited to a free informational seminar on drought-tolerant gardening techniques presented by the Menlo Park Library on Saturday, September 6. The seminar’s presenter is Alane O’Rielly Weber, a Sustainable San Mateo County Award Winner, a long-time Master Composter, and owner of Botanical Arts in San Mateo. Weber’s early educational focus on Biology, […]

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Mosquito fogging in industrial areas of northeast Menlo Park scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2nd

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The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) detected adult mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) collected on August 28, 2014, from the 94063 ZIP code area. In an effort to prevent human cases of WNV, the District will conduct a truck-mounted mosquito fogging treatment around the detection site. Weather permitting, the ground […]

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Menlo Park Municipal District Water activates conservation plan

Responding to the current drought, a new California State mandate requires water suppliers to activate their water conservation plans. In compliance with this law, the Menlo Park City Council activated the existing Menlo Park Municipal Water District Conservation plan. This plan will only affect Menlo Park Municipal Water District customers. Please refer to the interactive […]

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West Nile Virus detected in mosquitos in Menlo Park – fogging scheduled for Aug. 11

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The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) has detected West Nile Virus (WNV) in adult mosquitoes collected on August 6, 2014, from two areas of the 94025 zip code in Menlo Park. In response, the District will conduct truck-mounted mosquito fogging treatment around the detection site, in an effort to prevent human cases […]

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Spotted: Sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Co in Menlo Park front yard

Thumbnail image for Spotted: Sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Co in Menlo Park front yard

Menlo Park resident and physical therapist Robin Tobias spotted this sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in west Menlo Park this morning. The oyster farm on Tomales Bay was going to be forced to close today until a group of restaurants filed a lawsuit saying closure would violate the Aquaculture Act and harm businesses. Carolyn […]

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Find out why fog is one of Menlo Park’s best friends at USGS lecture on July 31

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Growing up in Menlo Park, my house faced West toward the hills. My mother would use that vantage point to reliably predict summer heat — or lack thereof. The best summer days, from a comfortable temperature viewpoint, occurred when the fog from the Coast would extend inland, reliably burning off by 11:00 am or so. The […]

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“And hello kitty!” What’s your guess about this west Menlo visitor?

Thumbnail image for “And hello kitty!” What’s your guess about this west Menlo visitor?

A homeowner in west Menlo Park had a visitor (yellow image in center of photo) to his yard, which is a half mile or so from (the dry) San Francisquito Creek, early this morning. It took him by surprise due to its size “much larger than a domestic cat.” The Menlo Park Police were alerted. Our […]

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Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Thumbnail image for Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Menlo Park artist Michael Killen characterizes his work as chronicling the “developments and thoughts of our time that include climate change, human rights, impact of climate change on California’s water, resilience of America, and sustainability.” A sampling of his paintings are currently on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park. Emailed the artist: “One of the […]

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