Bay Meadows | Paddock + Persimmon Park

San Mateo, CA

Two public parks in the center of the Bay Meadows community draws children and families from all over San Mateo.

The 1.5-acre Paddock Park features open play fields, one half basketball court, picnic and barbecue areas, and a large and exciting playground. The park design encloses two main park rooms with a dense border planting that frames the corners. At the same time, the outside edge of the park is activated with places to sit and pause, to diversify the park users and to ensure the street remains a vibrant part of the neighborhood’s open space.

At the heart of the Bay Meadows development, Persimmon Park is the eastern terminus of a linear park that connects to the Town Square, attracting a broad variety of visitors. Set beneath a grape vine trellis, the dining area features a CMG custom-designed 34’-long table made from salvaged redwood. An adjacent barbecue and lounge garden create a welcoming and dynamic social setting. The community garden offers hardwood raised planters, work tables for the gardeners, and a combination of citrus and annual trees overhead. Throughout the week, an organization called Star Apple coordinates a range of gardening classes at the park.

CMG led a collaborative process with artist Evan Shively to incorporate art into the park and create an imaginative play environment with natural materials. Made of salvaged eucalyptus trees, “Castello” and “Limbs” are the central features of the playground: a mysterious tree trunk that can be climbed into and a long horizontal tree trunk with twists and turns. The other piece, “Two and a Half,” is an intriguing entry to the park entrance. A series of three massive tree rings that were cut and smoothed from the same original trunk invite climbing through and sitting.

CMG worked closely with the City of San Mateo Park and Recreation Department to ensure that the park is practical, durable, and well-used.