Ladera Recreation District offers swim, tennis and more in a family-friendly atmosphere

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on May 18, 2018

Drive up a winding road in Ladera and you come to a little piece of paradise run by the Ladera Recreation District. You’ll find a spiffy playground (aka Laderaland), a Junior Olympic-size pool, an enclosed/gated wading pool, along with  tennis courts, bocce ball, a skate board ramp, volleyball and community recreation room.

And here’s the good news: You don’t have to be a Ladera resident to become a member and use the facilities.

“Every single resident of Ladera is eligible to join,” explained Di Gow, who has been General Manager for the last two years and a board member/volunteer for two decades. “We also take about 110 non-Ladera residents — mostly people from Menlo Park — and currently have openings.”

While the pool is open from the end of April through October 31, the rest of the facilities are available year-round. There are BBQs every Wednesday and Sunday nights during the warm months — with the pool staying open to 9:00 pm.

“The feel here is old-fashioned community,” said Di (pictured top photo). “People like the laid back attitude.”

Added assistant manager Steve Marra (pictured next to Di, top): “It’s the Cheers of  swimming clubs; people like the conviviality here.”

What the facility is not is an event venue. “We have a few birthday parties here but that’s all,” said Di.

In the summer there are camps, and Di said it was kids who made the skate board ramp a reality. “A bunch of middle school kids came up with the business plan, presented to the Board, who approved it, and then installed the ramp.”

The tennis program is also booming, led by coach Bryan Richter. “We have a regular group of players who’ve been playing for 20 years along and lessons for kids and adults,” said Di.

One fun fact about LRD’s beginnings: Officially located in unincorporated San Mateo County, it was a group of Laderans who purchased the land from Stanford in the late 1950s.

Complete membership and facility information is available online.

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2018

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