February Public Meeting – General Meeting – Opening Session

Audio from Opening Session of the February Public Meeting

Summary Keywords:

park, community, project, breakout groups, questions, design, san mateo county, phase, include, plan, environmental review process, hear, spaces, workshop, process, opportunity, trees, lead, sports, cmg


Nettie Wijsman, Nicholas Calderon, Lauren Stahl, Christina, Carla Schoof, Mike Murphy, Chris Guillard


Opening Slides

Opening Session Video

Audio Transcription:

Nicholas Calderon  00:00

… that you’ve joined us to learn more about this project, and to work with us as we move from reimagining, to realizing blood Park. Tonight’s workshop will be the first in a series of three workshops designed to engage the community. As we develop the designs for the park. We know that Flood Pa rk means different things to different people. And using the information received at these workshops, as well as other engagement opportunities. We will strive to deliver a project that balances these perspectives and offers the experiences that you as park users want. Tonight’s workshop includes a presentation that will provide everyone with an overview of the history of the project, and why it’s a county priority. We’re also going to excuse me, we’re also gonna talk about the direction in which we’re going and how we plan on getting there. 

Nicholas Calderon  00:54

The second part of the program will include a series of breakout groups focused on different aspects of the park. The breakout groups will be an opportunity for you to provide input, ask questions, share your ideas, hear what others have to say, and really shape the designs of the project. The public engagement process is a chance for us to hear from the public on how you would like to see the proposed features designed. These include playgrounds, the pumptrack, picnic and reservation sites, sports fields, to name a few. Because the landscape plan was already adopted by the Board of Supervisors and analyzed in accordance with Cequa. The process we are in right now is really about designing the features that the public had asked for, during the process that we will cover tonight. That occurred starting in 2015. So at this point, I’d like to turn it over to Karla for land acknowledgement.

Carla Schoof  01:56

Good evening, everyone. My name is Carla Schoof from the communications manager for San Mateo County Parks. It’s important that we understand and acknowledge the long standing history that has brought us to reside on and use these lands and seek to understand our place within that history. San Mateo County Parks acknowledges that our lands are located on the ancestral homelands of the Ohlone peoples, and that as the original stewards of this land, the Ohlone understood the interconnectedness of all things and maintain harmony with nature. For millennia, indigenous communities have lived in and moved to this place over hundreds of generations and indigenous peoples from many nations live and work in this region today. Please join us in acknowledging and honoring their ancestors, their elders, and their communities.

Nicholas Calderon  03:00

Thank you, Carla. So as owner and manager of the property, San Mateo County Parks is the lead agency for this project. And so joining me tonight, from our team, I’d like to make some introductions. First we have Hannah Ormsha, who is the Assistant Director of the San Francisco County Parks Department. Carla Schoof, who you just heard from is our communications manager, Scot Lombardi is our superintendent of operations. Julio Castaneda is our lead park ranger for the district that includes Flood Park. Dan Krug is our arborist and Christina Fitzgerald is our project manager supporting the department in this extremely important project. We have a fantastic team of consultants led by CMG landscape architect. As you can see, the team includes a wide range of specialists including Schio, who’s collaborating with CMG to organize and facilitate the community engagement process. 

Nicholas Calderon  04:01

And so, so now we’ll want to provide an overview of the process that has occurred to date. So flood Park has served as has served the community in many different ways for over 86 years. In 2015. An assessment revealed that almost all of the park’s facilities and amenities and infrastructure needed repair or replacement. At the same time, the community demand the community demand for additional recreational facilities and a safe place for youth to congregate and recreate was growing. In response, San Mateo County sponsored the Reimagine Flood Park project, which was an in depth community engagement process that identified community goals and priority uses for the park and helped develop the vision plan. During multiple community meetings and surveys, we heard from over 500 meeting participants and received over 200 survey responses, it was these voices and opinions that were used to develop the landscape plan that will hit we’ll discuss here shortly. Next slide, please. 

Nicholas Calderon  05:17

So you’ll see a project overview here and timeline. As you can see, this started at the end of 2015. When the Reimagine Flood Park process and its community engagement process started, which included the review of the assessments engaging with the public and holding community meetings in the community. And unfortunately, because of the circumstances we’re in right now, we’re relying on virtual and we’re really excited to the turnout that we have. And we’re very optimistic that later in this process, we’ll be able to see you all in person to continue this process in between 2017 and 2019 was the environmental review process or the CEQA process. And then in 2020, the the department presented for the board of supervisors consideration, the landscaping plan, which was adopted, and the environmental impact report was certified. And so now we’re in the design phase. And that’s really what we’re starting tonight. And so while our consultants have been doing data collection, tonight is the first chance for us to hear from you all in the public and, and be able to dive into the details of how you want to be able to recreate. Next slide please.

Nicholas Calderon  06:41

So during the 2015 visioning and community engagement process, the public prioritized the following project goals, promoting healthy lifestyles, preserving existing trees, incorporating innovative technologies, creating community gathering spaces, and expanding the types of uses that are in the park. These goals will continue to guide us as we refine and develop the overall Park design. Next slide please. 

Nicholas Calderon  07:09

These goals were supported by priorities for Park programs. These include a destination play, picnic areas, access to nature, sports fields, trails, cultural resources, including the adobe structures that are currently in the park, community gathering spaces, public art, demonstration gardens, court sports, nature plays and so much more. Next slide please. 

Nicholas Calderon  07:39

During the reimagine phase, we explored a range of different Park programs and conceptual designs, including the Central Park alternative, which was voted by meeting participants as the preferred alternative at the time, this alternative was refined in 2016. Based on community input, key refinements included shifting the multi-use field to the northeast corner of the park, reducing the number of tennis courts from four to two, eliminating the smaller practice softball field, adding an additional sand volleyball court and adding a bicycle pump track and adventure play. The plan was then further refined in 2020, based on feedback received during the environmental review process, key refinements made at that time included relocating the multi use field to the southwest part of the park. And we also determined that addition that the addition of a large multi use feel overlaid in the outfield will provide the most flexible dynamic use of the park. 

Nicholas Calderon  08:44

We heard from a lot of residents during our engagement process in our in our environmental review process, that there are two big needs for the community. One is more space for organized sports and more space for drop ins. And so that was a message that came through loud and clear for us. 

Nicholas Calderon  09:05

The 2020 landscape plan is the starting point for our design phase. As stated earlier, the landscape plan has been adopted and the environmental review process has been completed. And so now we get to dive into the fun details of how we design these features. Briefly, you’ll see a lot of in the image you see these numbers that correspond to certain facilities or features. And so you’ll see that there’s a promenade, a focal element for gathering. There’s a gathering Plaza. We’re working to preserve the Adobe Admin Building. We are going to maintain the quantity and capacity of picnic spaces. We have a demonstration garden. We’re very excited that this will have the first all abilities playground in the San Francisco County Park System as well as an adventure play, we’re adding basketball and an amphitheater. Earlier I talked about the pumptrack. And we have multi use of sport fields, as well as a tennis courts that will also be striped for pickleball. So you’ll see that the park has been the landscape plan has really been designed to meet the needs of what the public has told us throughout this entire process. And what we get to start today is the design of this. So as part of the upcoming design process, we’ll be developing detailed designs for each of these elements will study the scale and final location of key spaces, including the picnic areas, we’ll consider how the elements flow and support one another, and will better understand how you want to use the part and what experiences do you want to have? Well there. One of the most exciting parts, as I spoke earlier is is the fact that we’re going to have the first all abilities playground in the San Mateo County park system. And at each step, we will share our findings with the community and gather your input through workshops and surveys. Next slide, please.

Nicholas Calderon  11:11

While we would like to construct this project in one phase, we’re not you know, we’re not quite sure that that’s going to be feasible, we have to look at many different factors. And so looking at things like funding and construction schedules, we and as well as what the public tells us, we will be developing phases for construction right now, the first phase is what you see before you. And this includes the promenade and the basketball court and the pump tracks, sports fields, we have grant funding for some of this. And so so as we hear from the public, we will better shape how these phasing plans work. But as you see on the slide, there’s a lot that needs to be considered when developing these phases, and determining what would be in a phase one or phase two. So that’s another factor of what we’re looking to hear from everyone tonight is which features, you know, really you’re most excited about. And then for us to figure out how we could phase that. So I’m going to stop right there. And I think we’re going to have a some questions, a q&a session, essentially. And so we’re going to use the chat function for that. And so let us know at this point, any questions that you have?

Chris Guillard  12:57

Yeah, I have a question. My name is Amara, I’m with Alpine strikers. Yes, sorry, let’s use a chat for Sorry, I’m driving. But I just want to put this in chat. Do we know or do you have a timeline of when the groundbreaking will be?

Nicholas Calderon  13:13

Great question. We would like to break ground in early 2023. That’s what we’re targeting as a groundbreaking for

Nicholas Calderon  13:24

phase one. And I see here. And so I see here in the chat that there are questions regarding

Nicholas Calderon  13:37

trees and heritage trees. And so as the county defines it, the way the landscape plan is currently drafted, no, no heritage trees will be lost with regards to how many trees in general will be lost. We can’t answer that question until we go through the design process. And that’s really what we’re here to discuss at this workshop at future pop up events at future community events is where certain amenities are going to be located. And based on that, we’ll be able to have a more firm answer for that question. But in the meantime, until we’re able to really engage with the public, that’s That’s not a question we can answer fully.

Christina  14:21

Because I think it might be worth mentioning here too, that as part of the presentation, we intend to have all of our breakout groups and have a lot more facilitated discussion about a lot of these individual topics. Right now we can we just want to see kind of what are your general questions or concerns? We’re not necessarily going to go through the chat and answer every single question right now. We are going to have a lot more opportunities where we can talk about smaller groups too. So keep the questions coming so we can see what it is you’re concerned about and what you want to know about. But we do have a lot more information we’re still going to be presenting just wanted to give you an opportunity now to ask any quick questions.

Nicholas Calderon  14:54

Yeah, thank you for staying in. And just some of the breakout sessions include sports and play which will answer the sport questions that are being asked. There’s an urban forestry breakout session which will answer some of the tree questions that people are asking. So I think that’s a great point, Christina, which is those those conversations will be had on more detail at those breakout sessions.


So what are we here for just to hear what’s happening, we don’t get to talk about, you know, the trees or the things that people?  It seems to be beautifully planned. But everything is planned for people. And that that sort of concerns me like every single, you know, I wish there was just a place where people could, could be at peace with trees. I know that sounds corny, but that’s, I feel. It’s a beautiful place. And I, I really hate to organize it to death. I’m sorry. But that’s, that was the point that I wanted to make. And I’m very concerned about cutting down those trees. I’ve just gotten back. This is off the topic, but I’ll just say I’ve just gotten back yesterday from going to Wunderlich Park, which they have butchered beyond all recognition. It’s just terrible. And so anyway, I just wanted to speak for that. I know, it doesn’t sound very smart. What happened?

Nicholas Calderon  16:41

No, ma’am. That’s the exact type of feedback we’re looking to have and receive today. And that’s what the breakout sessions really are for is to have that type of conversation and have an opportunity to hear what other others in the community are thinking. So that’s the exact type of feedback we’re hoping to hear today. Okay. He said, Yeah, please do not apologize. No, that’s, that’s what you’re saying is what we want to hear.


Oh, I should come back when there is a breakout session is what you’re saying. We’re gonna have a breakout session shortly. Yeah, I’ll turn off the video, but Okay, thank you.

Nicholas Calderon  17:19

Yeah, why don’t I go ahead and turn it over to Chris Guillard, who is the lead consultant who will start talking about the design phase and the breakout sessions?

Chris Guillard  17:30

Hey, thanks, Nicholas. Hello, everyone. I’m Chris Guillard. I’m a principal and founding partner with CMG landscape architecture. And on behalf of our whole team, I’d like to express the honor and excitement we bring to this project, and the opportunity to work with you to realize Flood Park. We’ve been busy behind the scenes, working understand the history of the park, the diverse communities that it serves the vision that Nicholas shared and the amazing opportunity for creative and community driven design. So speaking of our team, I’d like to introduce Lauren Stahl, Lauren a senior associate and will be leading and managing the consultant team and the design process, excuse me. Arturo Fuentes Ortiz, will be the project designer and will be instrumental in our efforts to bring the vision alive, and Miranda Maupin from Schio is the lead on community engagement, and is working closely with the county to organize and facilitate our participatory process. Each of them will be facilitating one of the breakout groups this evening. We go ahead and share a slide here. 

Chris Guillard  18:39

And as we begin this conversation together, I’d like to share four principles that we believe are essential to our collective success. And the first is that we honor the voices that have shaped the plan to date. As Nicholas noted in his introduction, the county conducted an extensive process of outreach and community participation. They established the program for the project. And it’s imperative that we honor those voices and realize the goals that the community has established. 

Chris Guillard  19:06

Now with that we want to maximize opportunities for ongoing community participation. And first and foremost, we value the time that you’re giving to the community by participating in this conversation. Through a series of workshops, surveys and community events, we will provide multiple opportunities for input and discussion along the way. 

Chris Guillard  19:29

Our third principle is respecting existing resources. We all know that Flood Park is a magical and delightful place that is brought respite, recreation and community together for generations. As landscape architects with a deep appreciation for the park’ s history and ecological value, we will respect the existing resources by preserving the parks natural character, and historic adobe structures. The place that we call Flood Park has been many places we need to honor all of its histories. And we also need to make take this incredible opportunity to restore and make it a place that generations will come to play, celebrate and connect with nature. Our approach is to bring change with care. To do that, we’ve developed a community engagement process that will build on the developed, the community developed landscape plan, you want to go to the next slide, there. 

Chris Guillard  20:27

Thank you. And importantly, welcome new voices. We’re going to supplement the three workshops that we planned by going out to the community with pop up events. And we’re going to include a combination of virtual and in person options for participation. As Nicholas noted, and tonight’s conversation is being conducted in Spanish as well, we’ll continue to provide opportunities to participate in Spanish throughout. And we’re really here to build momentum and excitement for such an incredible place and project. 

Chris Guillard  21:01

So our design process that we’ll be working through here over the course of this year, begins with schematic design. That will start here in February and run through late May. During that stage of the design process, we’ll be refining the landscape plan, and developing options for each of the key programmatic elements within the plan. We’ll then move into design development, where we will refine the design based on feedback that we receive in the second workshop and in some of the community events and further developing the technical resolution of the design. And then the last phase of the of the documentation is to complete the technical documents for bidding and construction.


The project will then go to the board of supervisors to approve the first phase of construction in the budget. And we’re anticipating that will be completed by November or December of this year. 

Chris Guillard  22:05

As we noted, we have three workshops scheduled the first one here tonight, one at the end of schematic design, where we will be sharing out and engaging everyone in a discussion about some of the options for the overall configuration of the spaces and individual spaces within the park. And then we’ll have a third workshop where we share further refinement of that design with the community. And in advance of completing the construction documents. Along the way, we’ll also be hosting a series of pop up events that we mentioned. As part of the schematic design phase, we’re planning two events, one that’s focused on the overall Park design, and another that’s focused on the design of the all abilities and adventure play space. And for that event, we’re planning a multi generational guided gathering that will guide the creation of place spaces that welcome all ages and abilities. 

Chris Guillard  23:01

During design, development will host two additional events. One will be focused on athletic and recreational programs. And the goal is to engage youth in teams. And at a second event, we’ll be sharing out an overview of the design and what we’ve heard from the community. And then, following the third workshop, we’re planning to host an event where we’re sure we will share out the final design and ideally be celebrating and discussing next steps. 

Chris Guillard  23:31

In addition to that work, the county has formed a working group to provide input and guidance on how best to realize the vision. And the working group is composed of seven community members who have participated in the process previously, and/or have specific community knowledge and experience. And the purpose of the group is really to seek a shared understanding of how to balance the project goals to inform us in our design process. And in this community leaders and sharing information. We had a great walking tour of the park with the group a few weeks ago. And the group will be convening before and after each community workshop to review community input and discuss next steps in the development of the design. 

Chris Guillard  24:17

Following approval of the proposed design and phase one budget in November or December, the project will then go out to bid for several months. We’re anticipating that that will happen in early 2023. With groundbreaking occurring in spring of 2023. And construction starting there and moving through the end of the year likely ended early 2024. And I’ll just note that the construction and phasing are all very preliminary and those will be you know, refined and updated as we move through the process. 

Chris Guillard  24:54

So with that overview of the project and the process and opportunities for you to participate, we’re now going to go ahead and break out into discussions based on three topics. And we’ll have two sessions. The first will be 25 minutes, and the second will be about 20. So you’ll have an opportunity to participate in two out of the three topics. We also have a Spanish language group for those who prefer to participate in Spanish. And those attendees will be able to pick two out of the three topics, as well. And all the content will be the same throughout all the groups. So the three topics that we’re going to be working on this evening are urban forest and ecology, sports and play spaces, and historic resources, picnic and gathering areas. 

Chris Guillard  25:45

During the breakout groups, we’ll be using Mentimeter. To gather your input on a series of questions and Mentimeter’s an app that allows for real time polling and in a virtual context. There are a couple of ways to access the Mentimeter app, you can either do it on your computer or on your phone. Two ways one is to just go to www.menti.com. And type in the code at the top of the screen that you’ll see within the breakout group introduction. The other option is that you can go to the chat box in the breakout room, and we’ll be posting a link that you can click on to join the Mentimeter

Chris Guillard  26:24

presentation. So for those of you with both a computer and a phone, I suggest that you use your computer to view the presentation and zoom and your phone to participate in the Mentimeter questions. If you’re attending only on your phone, you’ll need to move back and forth between the Zoom meeting and the Mentimeter survey if you’d like to respond to and view the questions. So before we go into the breakout groups, we’d like to give everyone an opportunity to try the app and let us know where you’re from. So we’re going to take a moment and change presentations here. And you can see here at the top of the screen, there’s the code for the Mentimeter you can log into WWW.menti.com, or go into the chat box and look for a link that should be coming up shortly.

Chris Guillard  27:30

Just click on the map where your home is. And if you live outside of the map box there you can use the I live outside outside of the box map. Give everyone a moment to get in there and share where you’re from.

Mike Murphy  28:10

 Hi, it’s not letting me click on it.

Chris Guillard  28:13

Interesting are …  are you able to log into the Mentimeter? App?

Mike Murphy  28:21

Yes, but on the page that came up when I would click on the map, nothing happened.

Chris Guillard  28:28

were you when you clicked on it? Did you see a dot and the request to submit?

Mike Murphy  28:33

There’s the dot at Flood Park, but I can’t move it. And there is a request to submit that I haven’t clicked that yet. Because I haven’t been able to indicate 

Chris Guillard  28:41

Interesting Are you on your phone or on a computer computer?


It’s the same here. I do the same thing. Nothing happens on the map also.

Mike Murphy  28:51

So my happy to submit because I’m certainly within your area just to indicate that it’s not working right.

Chris Guillard  28:58

Interesting. It seems to be working for a number of folks at work.


Not working for me either.

Lauren Stahl  29:05

This is this is just a test question. So this other question format that we’re using in a breakout rooms won’t require you to do the same doc format so they might be a little easier to use once we get to breakout rooms.

Mike Murphy  29:16

Okay, so I’m gonna click submit but something’s not right yet.


Once I say I think you’ll find a lot of people are going to flag Park.


[many voices overlapping — … not working …]

Lauren Stahl  29:26


Mike Murphy  29:29

 For me, either. It’s not working. Let me submit


work. Maybe there won’t do anything doesn’t work,

Chris Guillard  29:40

that we’re not going to rely on this entirely for our discussion this evening. We just have a few questions that we thought would be great to have some live polling on so I’m going to go ahead and move us on to get into the breakout groups. And the to do that you should see in the bottom right of your screen on your zoom, there’s an icon for breakout rooms, four squares, and you can go ahead and click on that square and then choose the first of the sessions that you would like to join. Two out of the three. So go ahead and choose your first one. Join the group and we’ll see you all in the breakout groups.


Just mentioned real quick the mentee app worked for me on the phone but not on my laptop. Before it’s

Chris Guillard  30:29



I can’t get to a breakout room. I can’t

Lauren Stahl  30:34

either. I keep clicking

Christina  30:36

it either.


I can’t seem to I’ve lost.

Lauren Stahl  30:41

Yeah, I will stay in the room for a bit and help people who are unable to get into a breakout room select their room. Thank you. So if you let me know your name, I can assign you to a room.


My name is Linda Lopez. I want room number one. Okay, thank you.

Nettie Wijsman  30:56

My name is Nettie Weissman. I

Christina  30:58

want room number two

Lauren Stahl  31:00

right now.


My name is my Oh, my name is Chris Barker. I’d like to go to Rome one. Okay. Um, I need in hell. Lesson. I’d like to go to room one, please. Okay,

Wendy Schiller  31:15

my name is Wendy Schiller and I’d like to go to room one, please.


Eva, I like to go to room one.

Lauren Stahl  31:24

Sarah Room One, two. Okay, hold on one moment. He said Sarah.


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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