Highlights of the community meeting on proposed Reimagine Flood Park plan
On February 2, the San Mateo County Parks Department and CMG Landscape Design (contractor for the project) hosted a public input Zoom workshop from 5:30-7:00 pm to discuss the proposed Reimagine Flood Park plan.
This meeting was an opportunity to discuss what services Flood Park could offer to meet today’s need for family outings and additional sports fields, while preserving playgrounds, picnic areas and the natural environment of Flood Park, the County’s second oldest park and home to a grove of Heritage oaks. An All-Abilities Playground, part of the proposed plan, will be the first one in the County.
During the next few months as the design of the park evolves, the County Parks Department will host several neighborhood “pop-up events” for further public input from March-September. Two additional public workshops are planned for June and September. In addition, a working group consisting of representatives from community organizations meets several times a month with the County’s team to offer input and discuss the plans as they develop. Construction is expected to begin in the Fall of 2023.
Second Public Meeting
This was the second public workshop held by the County. Approximately 100 people attended the Zoom meeting. The last public meeting on this project was held 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 & Gathering Areas/Picnic Areas; Play Areas (Sports Fields and Activities); Spanish Language Group.
In each session, the County’s current plan was presented, comments were solicited, and in some instances, participants could vote on various activities for each by ranking them, which offered some guidance to the County and Design staffs before the final design stage.
Many people in this breakout session said they hadn’t been aware until recently that the plan included removing many large old trees, especially oaks, primarily to build a second large soccer/lacrosse (multi-use) field in the heart of the woodland. There were many requests that these trees and the woodland area of the park be preserved and cared for.
A petition on the community-generated website, FloodPark.org, with this request has almost 3000 signatures. Creators of the website want to balance the park with sports fields in the northern half and amenities such as the current picnic sites and the planned all-abilities playground among the trees in the southern woodland half.
The importance of the trees providing a peaceful retreat from urban congestion, animal habitats, and offsetting global warming was also discussed. Suggested alternative sites for the second ballfield are on FloodPark.org. Other discussions focused on ideas regarding the new playground, sports such as baseball, soccer, tennis, pickleball, basketball, a pump track, and on other amenities.
Historic Resources & Gathering Areas/Picnic Areas
Flood Park’s adobe Administration Building, built in the late 1930s, at the heart of the park, will be rehabilitated and continue to serve as the park’s Administration Building. New plazas, playgrounds and restrooms will be built nearby, and picnic areas will be refurbished as well.
Play Areas (Sports Fields and Activities)
A planned All-Abilities playground will be the first in San Mateo County. Other considerations discussed for playgrounds were benches and seating, shade, sculpted hills and topography, plants and nature, art/murals and tables. The main discussion, however, centered on improving sports fields currently in the park and how to fit additional sports areas into the park without impacting trees, wildlife, and those who picnic, walk or hike in the park,
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