Realize Flood Park

Menlo Park, CA

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Video Credit: County of San Mateo

Honoring Community Needs + Preserving Ecological Heritage

Flood Park serves a range of communities as well as regional visitors, providing a venue for picnics, gathering spaces, play equipment, sports, passive recreation, birding, and more. The County and CMG developed a robust community engagement strategy that focuses on equity and reaching a broad audience from across the community of park users. The outreach included virtual and in-person workshops, a series of pop-up events, an online survey and an advisory Working Group representing various stakeholder interests. To maximize opportunities for community members to give feedback, events were held online, at local community centers and at the park and all materials are available in English and Spanish. Almost 800 people responded to the online survey, and several hundred provided feedback during the first Realize Flood Park workshop and subsequent community events at Casa Circulo Cultural in North Fair Oaks and a Movie Night at the park.

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After analyzing the community feedback from the first several events, CMG developed an updated landscape plan that sensitively sited the program to maximize usability and efficiency while reducing the number of tree removals and preserving the beloved historic character of the park. The updated plan was shared online and presented at a second public workshop held at Flood Park. CMG and representatives from the County walked the site with the participants, describing the proposed improvements at various points in the park. The site tour allowed the community to visualize the new design in the space and gave the design team the opportunity to hear granular feedback about the new plan.
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(1) Drop-off/Arrival; (2) Focal Element; (3) Gathering Plaza; (4) Preserved Administrative Office; (5) Amphitheater; (6) All Abilities Play Area (7) Adventure Play; (8) Seating; (9) Ballfield/Multi-use Sport Field; (10) Multi-use Sport Field; (11) Basketball; (12) Tennis/Pickleball; (13) Sand Volleyball; (14) Pump Track; (15) Trail W Exercise Station; (16) Reservable Picnic Area; (17) Renovated Oak Picnic Area; (18) Demonstration Gardens; (19) Restrooms; (20) Existing Parking Lot; (21) New Parking

The outreach and survey responses indicated strong support for each of the park programs while minimizing tree removals and preserving the heart of the historic oak woodland. The revised design honors the community’s interest in preserving the native landscape and the oak woodland by reconfiguring the layout of facilities and pathways to reduce the removal of existing heritage trees. Through this new plan, Flood Park will improve the diversity and resiliency of the urban forest, rehabilitate and expand recreational facilities for youth and families, accommodate simultaneous use by organized sports teams and drop-in play, and illustrate important histories and stories of the communities who have shaped the land.