Parks and Recreation

Post image for Park in Menlo Park is renamed for war hero and Belle Haven activist Karl E. Clark

Congress person Anna Eshoo, State Senator Jerry Hill, Assemblymember Marc Berman Menlo Park City Council members Ray Mueller, Cat Carlton, Kirsten Keith and Peter Ohtaki, along with family and friends of the late Karl E. Clark, gathered on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 15, to dedicate a park named in Clark’s honor for his many contributions to the community.

Located across from the Boys and Girls Club, the single-acre park was renovated as part of the Belle Haven neighborhood improvement program. The project included new tube steel fencing for the tot lot, new concrete walks, new site furnishings, irrigation modifications, planting and park lighting.

On June 28, 2017, the Parks and Recreation Commission received a request from residents Julie Shanson and Cecilia Taylor (pictured right), representing Belle Haven Action, requesting to rename Market Place Park after  Karl Clark, a long time Belle Haven resident and decorated WWII veteran.

On October 25, 2017, the Parks and Recreation Comission voted unanimously to support the renaming. The recommendation was brought before the City Council for final decision on November 14, 2017, where they too voted unanimously to support the renaming.

Mr. Clark was serving as a steward first class aboard the USS Aaron Ward when Japanese kamikazes attacked the destroyer near Okinawa in May 1945. Mr. Clark was credited for saving the ship, single-handedly putting out the many fires threatening to sink it and for rescuing injured shipmates, carrying them to the infirmary for urgent medical care even though he was badly injured himself.

Even though the destroyer’s captain acknowledged that Mr. Clark had saved the ship, it took more than six decades to be fully recognized for his actions, because of his race. Mr. Clark, received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat Distinguished Device in 2012.

A video of Mr. Clark telling his story can be viewed here.

Beyond his accomplishments in the military, Mr. Clark made many contributions to the community throughout his lifetime as a community activist and mentor. He was an accomplished author of three books and helped establish the Onetta Harris Community Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2018; pictured in third photo is Lois Reed, a close friend of Clark

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La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve opens to the public today

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A new MidPeninsula Regional Open Space park, La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve, opens to the public today. Previously, this area was only opened to visitors by special reservation. Hikers and equestrians will have free daily access to six miles of trail from a new parking lot at 900 Sears Ranch Road in La Honda.. […]

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Attention local dog owners: weigh in on dog regulations for San Mateo County parks

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Local dog owners can give their opinions about dog regulations at San Mateo Parks in an online survey that will be available through noon on Friday, September 15 . For the past 11 months the San Mateo County Parks’ Dog Management Committee, comprised of 10 community members appointed by the San Mateo County Parks and […]

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Tot Lot Play Zone resumes at the Arrillaga Recreation Center on Thursdays, beginning Sept. 7

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Children can run, jump, play, and socialize with other youngsters at the City of Menlo Park’s popular Tot Lot open play zone starting this fall on Thursdays, beginning Sept. 7. Tot Lot is a weekly drop-in program held at the Arrillaga Recreation Center in Burgess Park for preschool aged children from 2 to 5 years […]

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5-year-old boy saved from drowning at Burgess pool

Menlo Park firefighters responded to a request for medical aid today at Burgess Park pool in Menlo Park at approximately 11:46am. Engine 2 arrived to find a 5-year-old boy in distress at poolside, apparently having had a drowning experience in approximately three feet of water. Menlo Fire Engine 3 arrived on scene shortly after to assist […]

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Next community meeting on plans for Bedwell Bayfront Park set for August 10

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The City of Menlo Park is hosting a community meeting to hear your thoughts on the proposed conceptual plan alternatives for Bedwell Bayfront Park. The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2017, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Menlo Park Senior Center (110 Terminal Avenue). Spanish interpretation, childcare and light refreshments will be provided. For […]

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City of Menlo Park seeking more input in second survey about Bedwell Bayfront Park

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Update: The City has extended the deadline for taking this survey and asks residents that use the park to please weigh in. The City of Menlo Park is asking people for their input about two concepts for Bedwell Bayfront Park that  were shared at the Open House #2 held on June 17. It does not […]

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Second meeting about Bedwell Bayfront Park set for June 17

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Dog-friendly Bedwell Bayfront Park is a 160-acre park with hiking/biking trails, lovely vistas, and various bird habitats at the end of Marsh Road in Menlo Park. You can help shape this park’s future by attending a second meeting on June 17 to get community input on the Bedwell Bayfront Park Master Plan project. The meeting will take place from 10:00 am […]

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Spotted: Notes of encouragement for girls at Burgess

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We received this email from a reader: “My daughter and I were at gymnastics at Burgess last week, and we found dozens of post-it notes on the mirror in the women’s bathroom. They had so many beautiful, encouraging words. I thought it was so awesome that girls can inspire and empower other girls. Thank you […]

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Spotted: Goats waiting patiently for more grass to munch at Sharon Hills Park

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The goats arrived last week for their annual task of clearing the grass at steep Sharon Hills Park. And boy do they have their work cut out for them this year. The grass is over three feet tall in some places, thanks to all the rain. Early this morning, they were huddled at the top […]

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Kites fly high in the sky at Bedwell Bayfront Park

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Yesterday was Kite Day in Menlo Park and families gathered at Bedwell Bayfront Park to test their kite flying skills. The annual event was co-sponsored by the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club and Streets Alive! Parks Alive!. City of Menlo Park staff were on hand to help kids assemble their kites and get them in the air. […]

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