February Public Meeting – General Meeting – End of Meeting

Audio from Opening Session of the February Public Meeting

Summary Keywords:

park, community, project, breakout groups, questions, design, san mateo county, phase, include, plan, breakout session, chat, information, picnic, areas, share, tonight, participants


Nettie Wijsman, Nicholas Calderon, Ron Snow, Audience member E, Zoom Interface Voice, Carla Schoof, Mike Murphy, Chris Guillard, Facilitator — sports and play areas, Audience Member, Scott Lombardi, Arturo

Ending Session Video -Starts at 32:05

Audio Transcription:

Zoom Interface Voice  00:00

[recording in progress ]

Nicholas Calderon  00:13

Chris is, we’re bringing people back, I just want to take a minute to echo what you had closed out the last session with which is thanking everyone for coming and participating. I know there’s a lot of opinions and voices being expressed. And we are hearing them all we are seeing all of the comments that are being put in the chat, we are taking note of what is being brought up during the interactive opportunities through Mentimeter. And we’re seeing that all we’re hearing that all, and we’re going to go through that in a very detailed way to be able to digest that and, and I just want to make sure that everyone is aware, and, and walks away from today, understand that we are hearing what you’re saying, we are seeing the comments that you’re putting in and from our perspective, and from what I’ve seen, and I haven’t been in all the breakout sessions. But from what I’ve seen, I think there’s been a wealth of information exchanged and good dialogue occurring. So I want to thank you all for that. And just reassure you all that, you know, we are hearing what you’re saying, and we will be bringing that back in digesting that and, and relying on on that information as we move forward.


And I often to note that it’s really difficult, we have this new people, I mean, it’s exciting to see that we had about 100 people turn out for tonight’s meeting, which is wonderful. Obviously, we’d like to do these in person and hopefully moving forward, we will be able to but with COVID still …   thank you for showing up on the screen. But we recognize it’s really difficult that we can’t obviously have the same type of discussions that we would in person. So we’re doing the best we can to try and make sure we capture all your information. And like Nicholas said, will digest it all and make sure we get back to you all about about a lot of the questions that may not have been answered today.

Arturo  02:17

Chris, you’re muted. There.

Chris Guillard  02:23

Thank you. I had to unmute. Yes, I was just going to say that we will be compiling all the information, the presentations that were shared. From this evening, we’ll have a recording of the main introductory presentation, the results of the Mentimeter surveys, we will make an effort to respond to the questions that were put in the chat that we were not able to respond to in the in the session this evening. And then the the breakout session materials will be available on this computer going forward. So before we wrap up this evening, we didn’t want to have each of the facilitators of the groups do a very brief overview of the high points of the conversations that were had in each group. And so I’m going to go ahead and start with the urban forestry and ecology group. 

Chris Guillard  03:18

And I’ll just start by noting that there was there were a lot of participants who expressed a real concern for the the urban forest, a real deep connection with the park, many who have lived in the area for a long time. And some new residents who have also come and really found the the existing park to be something very special. There were several, I think recommendations about how to preserve trees in the park and overlying concern about the second smaller multi use field and looking at options to either adjust the size of it, or potentially relocate it as part of the design process with the goal preserving trees at the south central part of the park that are, you know, some some of which are very large and significant. And so those were, I think some of the high level concerns from that group. And what we shared out was that we’re here to listen. And we will be looking at alternatives as we develop the design. And we’ll be bringing those alternatives back as part of the second workshop and having opportunities to discuss those as part of some of the community events coming up. So that’s, I think, a good overview for the urban forestry group.

Ron Snow  04:48

I had a just quick request can can you make it so that we can save the chat? There’s a lot of good comments in there and it would be great for us to be able to just save it like we normally would in a zoom. And short of that, if someone could save it and send it to everyone here, that would be great.

Mike Murphy  05:08

Yes. Second, third, I’d like to be able to save it.

Facilitator — sports and play areas  05:12

I’m going to ask Chris, did you want me to jump in and recap the sports play area? Please go ahead. Great. Yeah, we had a lot of participants in both breakout groups. Folks, there were a lot of folks really interested in the fact that the county and participants have requested more expanded sports and athletic spaces, there was interest in soccer, baseball, a lot of interest in the tennis and pickleball court, pump track and volleyball. 

Facilitator — sports and play areas  05:51

And we got some really great ideas about potential themes for the play spaces, there was a lot of interest in forest and nature, nature play. Also some fun ideas like space or space travel, and or sea, focused on the sea. And then interest in like cultural heritage, and really sharing the culture of, of the park and the surrounding area. Folks shared about the types of play structures that they think would be fun for families at Flood Park, there was interested in natural features, rope structures, and swings. There was also interest in like the climbing features or big slide and bridge, so a lot of big kind of physical, active play. And then folks also shared what other amenities might be nice in the play spaces. And some of the important features were benches and seating shade, plants and nature. So again, our group had a little discussion about how the sports field the second smaller, multi purpose field, you know, what our options for fitting that in, while minimizing, you know, reducing any of the trees. And yeah, it was good, good group.

Chris Guillard  07:22

Great. Lauren, do y ou want to share out from the history,

Lauren 07:25

Yeah, I can share some brief thoughts from the history. So we walked through the very brief history of the park and the adobe structures and talked about the condition of the existing Adobe administration building that will be rehabilitated as part of this project and will be take on a new life within you to use and so it looks like as part of the group that we’re using that as either a community and event space, or an interpretive center, where the most popular options for that building. And then we also talked about the picnic areas, both the droppin picnic areas, and the reservable picnic areas throughout the park, and I think had some great discussions about what those what those could be, and, you know, you know how well, they are. So we got some good ideas for how to make a great picnic area, making sure that there’s shade provided that they’re private, while separated, that there’s casual seating. So things like stumps are picnic benches, and that there’s also room for kids to run around nearby. And we’ll note there were some things going to come some concerns about the picnic areas about noise, and then also, you know, use of the picnic areas concurrently with sports fields and generating lots of people in the park. But overall, I think it was a really great discussion and looking forward to hearing more.

Chris Guillard  08:42

(inabudible) turn out.

Arturo  08:45

Yeah, for our group, it was very unfortunate that we were not able to have a full representation of Spanish speaking community being represented in the Spanish speaking breakout group. However, we did have one person briefly join us in the breakout room in the beginning, but she needed to leave. So she left us with some concerns. Her concern is that the Latino ethnic community and folks of color are not being represented in the design process. And it was evident today that we should take into consideration other methods to reach out to the Latino community. We talked about like physically going to the events in schools partnering with nonprofit orgs and other orgs that work in the area, and just physically going to the park and nearby areas where people are active, like playing soccer and stuff like that. Yeah, the main thing was just make this information and process really more accessible to our communities.

Chris Guillard  09:36

 Great, thanks for that Arturo. Nicholas, do you want to go ahead and close this out and we can share some of the information about some of the upcoming events and as part of that,

Nicholas Calderon  09:50

Yeah, Chris, thank you. So as we stated at the beginning today was, excuse me today was the first workshop of three, and the next step will be a series of pop up events that we will hold. And the as you saw on the schedule, the plan will be to hold a couple of pop up events between each workshop. So the next workshop is scheduled for sometime in June, this is still a bit fluid based on the design process and feedback we’re receiving. And I’m not gonna lie, can’t see the details on the last one because the chat keeps popping up and blocking my vision. So let me do this. And then September would be the third workshop, before we go to the board, this is going to be what I would consider to what I would consider a robust year of public engagement. And one of the things that that was said at the end was going into the community. And that’s really what these pop up events are about. So it’s really important that we we recognize that this is a very these workshops are very important, are very important part of the design process, as are the pop up events and any online opportunities that we provide. So what I would certainly do is encourage everyone to go to the parks department’s website and sign up for email updates, one of the questions, which is just put into the chat. So by going there signing up for email updates, we’re going to be able to get you information in a efficient way and be able to provide you with the most up to date information available. So certainly, please make sure you have an opportunity to do that. But other than that, I just really want to take a moment to thank everyone, for spending your evening with us. I know. And we all know that time is is precious and limited. And so for you to spend it with us tonight, we certainly appreciate that. And we appreciate you sharing your open, honest feedback with us and allowing allowing us to work towards a project that is going to represent the community and serve the community for many generations to come.

Nettie Wijsman  12:27

How many people attended tonight I’d be interested.

Nicholas Calderon  12:31

I see right now to 69. I think at one point I saw 100 100 was the highest number I saw on the participant account.

Carla Schoof  12:38

That’s great. 

Audience Member  12:39

Nicholas, where can we see the video when? If we want to? I was driving, so I didn’t see it? For website under flood Park. Okay, thanks.

Chris Guillard  12:51

Yeah, the video and all the content from tonight’s workshop will will be posted there as we compile it


in the chat. 

Audience member E  12:57

So wouldn’t be great to have the chat too, because we’re not able to copy it at the moment.

Chris Guillard  13:03

We will work on that and do what we can to capture it. 

Audience Member  13:07

How about the written statements written comments?

Nicholas Calderon  13:11

I think that’s the chat. Yeah.

Ron Snow  13:14

Well, Nicholas, I, just speaking for myself, and everyone I think, thank you for this. This is a great. All you people have put in time and effort on this. I think it’s great that you’re hearing what the community is wanting and getting that feedback. I think the one thing that would be great in the next one [public meeting] would be a little bit more ability to make comments about other, you know, when we say other, but let’s be able to write here, and we use the comments for that. But it would be nice to have a little bit more dialogue, as opposed to just being prompted for answers. So maybe a combination of both. But this was great. Thank you so much.

Nicholas Calderon  13:47

Thank you, thank you very much. And certainly, um, I really hope that you know, I just kind of laid out a series of meetings, I really hope that one of these at least one of them is going to be in person and we can see everyone in a safe way. And I think that that certainly provides a different element to the meetings. But, you know, we certainly we adapt, and I think today went very well. And I went well, because you all participated. So thank you very much.

Audience Member  14:14

See you at the park.

Mike Murphy  14:16

Yes, come to the park. Yeah.

Nettie Wijsman  14:21

Are there statistics on what areas have participated in this process? Because I’m walking away with this feeling as if a lot of us were not represented in this process. And that’s concerning. Yeah,

Nicholas Calderon  14:37

I’d have to go back. I don’t, I’d have to go back to look if there was a like a zip code attached to that or not. That’s something I have to look at

Carla Schoof  14:47

my neighborhood. If I can jump in, this is Carla. And there we have zip code data. So I’ll go and look and see exactly where that is in the historical documents. Great.

Nettie Wijsman  15:04

This is Nettie, I just wanted to say it’s concerning to me since I live by the park. And I know that a lot of the picnic users are from the Latino community. And they have never been represented at these meetings. I Some years ago, went and talked to about 10 or 12 different groups size, walked around and asked if they knew anything, not a one knew anything about this whole process. And so here we have all these people that have been using the park for decades for family, church events, and they’re, they don’t know what’s going on. So yes, that, that that’s coming in is not pertaining to a lot of the users that are there now.

Nicholas Calderon  15:45

Yet Nettie, so as part of the outreach process, and as part of this design process, we will be engaging with everyone who’s made a reservation, at the park through our reservation system, so we have their contact information. So we will be able to directly reach out to them and have that conversation. So that’s one method of outreach and engagement that we’re doing. We’ve also been very fortunate to have many community based organizations working with us and participating in the working group and participating for the outreach of this. And certainly, excuse me, some of those pop up events will be will be, you know, hopefully partnered with those organizations. So I hear what you’re saying, I certainly have had numerous conversations with community based organizations that are working with us on this. So I appreciate your concern on that. And we share that concern. And so we are working to address that.

Nettie Wijsman  16:45

Could you could you send notification to all the people that have made reservations in some five year period for this meeting, for example?

Nicholas Calderon  16:53

I’d have to look into that. But we are working on really specifically a survey for picnicking, right, and asking individuals who have had reservations for picnics. What are you looking for when when you have a picnic or a reservation? What type of uses and amenities Do you want to have on site and you want to be able to access? And when I say on site, I mean on your reservation site? And then as well as what type of facilities do you want to access playgrounds, field? Trails, whatever it may be. And so that’s what that survey is going to do specifically target those types of questions.

Nettie Wijsman  17:31

And Nicolas, I’ve been there many times during the week, and going birding, for example, and there are many people with children playing in the playgrounds. I mean, those are people who don’t make reservations.

Nicholas Calderon  17:48

Well, so this is a multi prong approach, right? So we’re not just saying, we’re going to send out a reservation and that’s it, right, I mean, we’re having the conversation tonight, we are going to be hosting online opportunities, we’re going to be having pop up events with one of the pop up events really focused on the playground. So that’s why we we do multiple different ways of engaging with the public is for exactly what you just said, which is, you know, people use the park for different reasons. As I said earlier, the park is something different people get different things out of the park. And some people want playground, some people want reservations, and so and someone something else. So when we structure a public engagement process, that’s what we have to factor in. This is tonight, it’s just one part of a larger process. So So we certainly will be doing everything we can to engage with all the different user groups. So yeah, no, I appreciate you raising those concerns. Um, and I just want to thank everyone for the team …

Audience Member  18:58

Nicholas it goes there during the week, instead of on weekends, when, indeed, there are few people out there. And then I also noticed, like the ball fields are completely covered with ground squirrels and nobody’s maintained it.

Audience Member  19:17

you know, I just wonder if you’re actually reaching the people who are there during the week and not on weekends, when there might be more people.

Nicholas Calderon  19:27

That’s certainly the goal. And that’s certainly what we’re working to do so is to capture all the different user groups based on you know, whether you use it during the week or on the weekend. So we are working to make sure we’re capturing all of that. So again, that’s where we are well aware that you know, if we used the parks for different reasons, at different times of day on different days, a weeks and that’s all what we have to capture during this large public process. Again, tonight was one step or was one meeting and A much larger process and we’re going to make sure that those other elements of the park, you know where you have a chance to hear back, hear feedback on those parts as well. So …

Scott Lombardi  20:10

Thank you. Goodbye. 

Nicholas Calderon  20:12

Thanks, Scott. Have a good one. Thanks, everyone. Have a great night. Yes. Thank you all. Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks a lot.

[End of Meeting]


Thanks to the local Flood Park advocates for their work to present the materials from the Feb 2nd Public Meeting and to Mike Murphy for the transcription of the audio from the meeting.

To preserve the historic trees at Flood Park, action is needed. Below are a few ways, more ideas for action are on our Action webpage.

Ways to Participate:

The plan of San Mateo County Parks department is to cut down a major portion of the historic woodland in the park. This will have a major negative impact on wildbirds and the overall ecology of the park. It may very well have a negative impact on the remaining trees due to loss of the protective environment of those trees, resulting in hotter temperatures, stress of changes to soil microbes, moisture, and exposure to sunlight on soil.

Please visit the Action webpage and write to the county Supervisors to let them know that woodland trees should be preserved and protected. This is critical to protect this natural habitat for wildbirds and other wildlife that call Flood Park home throughout the year.


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