February Public Meeting – Picnic & History – Session 2

Audio from Feb 2nd Public Meeting — Picnic & History – Session 1

Summary Keywords:

forestry, amenities, people, areas, outdoor classroom, adobe, capacity, record, breakout rooms, interpretive center, session, flood, historic, design, shout, cmg


Lauren Stahl, Ron Snow, Zoom Interface Voice, Nettie Wijsman, Audience Member, Audience member C, Scott Lombardi

Picnic & History Session



Audio Transcription:

Lauren Stahl  00:00

Join the second breakout room. If you’re unable to join let me know and I can assign you


You have me It asked if I want to join urban forestry I was just there. Can I join something else?

Lauren Stahl  00:15

Okay, which one would you like to join?


How about the historic?

Nettie Wijsman  00:19

Okay yeah same for me I

Audience member C  00:22

was in sports and it’s sending me back there Could you put me in urban forestry please

Audience member C  00:29

you know this this that he and I was in sports and I want to go to picture

Lauren Stahl  00:36

me you want to go to urban forestry? Yes please. Okay, who’s next? Laura Do you want to Lauren?

Ron Snow  00:44

Lauren I think if you pointed out at the very bottom of the screen is a button that says breakout rooms that people will be able to hit that

Lauren Stahl  00:52

there is a button down there I think it’s not working for some people but ideally if you could hit that button you can go yourself but if you don’t aren’t able to if you let me know I can move you

Nettie Wijsman  01:05

This is Netti.

Ron Snow  01:56

I was wondering about does anyone know about this chat? It seems like the chat might be for there’s just one chat for everything. There’s not a chat for this particular breakout Is that correct?

Audience member C  02:09

So I think actually while you’re in the breakout room typically when it says Send To everyone it only sends to people in the breakout room but when you go back to the main session it will send to everyone in the entire meeting.

Ron Snow  02:23


Ron Snow  02:29

amazing and we get 100 people using this technology

Audience member C  02:34

yeah, there’s so much coordination that goes into it


Are you the leader of this breakout room?

Audience member C  03:09

I thank you for joining I’m actually not the facilitator and the note taker but we’re just waiting for Lauren Stahl, who’s in the process of helping a few more people get divided up into their breakout rooms 


Okay, thank you.  No problem. 

Zoom Interface Voice  04:42

[recording in progress.]

Lauren Stahl  04:44

Hey everybody, sorry about that I was coping with some technical difficulties. So, time a few minutes late and I will just skip into the presentation now.

Lauren Stahl  04:52

Thanks Alright. So hello everyone. Welcome to the historic resources picnic and gathering areas group. My name is Lauren Stahl, and I’m a landscape architect with CMG landscape architecture. And joining us as part of this session are Scott Lombardi, the superintendent of the San Mateo County Parks and Simone Delaney, my colleague at CMG, who will be taking notes. So we will be using the Mentimeter. Again, but don’t fear if you’re not able to use it, if it’s not working for you, you can just shout out your answer and Simone will  record it. So the goal of this session is to provide an overview of the history of the park and its historic adobe structures. And then we’ll also be asking you to provide input on some of the picnic areas. And so I’ll give some brief presentation. So ask some Mentimeter questions. And then as we have time, we’ll have some discussion at the end. But I know we’re running a little bit behind schedule. So let me share my screen here.

Lauren Stahl  05:59

Okay, so if you’re ready on the Mentimeter, the code for this one, as shown at the top, it’s 99435942. So you want to go ahead and get yourself set up. We’ll be asking some questions on there now. And actually, I can put the link like this in the chat box, too. So if you’re able to. You can also just, I don’t know why that didn’t work. There’s a link. Let me just copy that one more time. That one works. Okay. You should be able to also click that link if you need to.


And you put the number in the chat box, please. Sure.

Lauren Stahl  06:38

Yeah, it is 99435942.

Audience member C  06:43

All right, sorry, where are you wanting to put that code?


If you go to www dot menti.com, you should be able to answer some survey questions. But if you’re not able to get there, you can also just shout out your answers. And we’ll record. Oh, excuse me. All right. All right. I’m going to get started cuz we’re running a little bit behind schedule. 


All right, so Flood Park has a really unique and ever evolving history. And we believe that the design of the park can illustrate and bring that history alive by exploring and telling the stories of the communities that have shaped and we’ll continue to shape this special place. Starting with, you know, the Ohlone over 10,000 years ago, is when, you know, their influence on the park started and they’re still involved in this area today. In 1769, the Portola exhibition or expedition arrived, and then in 1795 Flood Park became part of Rancho de Las Pulgas. In the 1870s, James Flood, a silver magnate established the park estate and built a palatial mansion called the Linden towers. And part of that estate became Flood Park, which was the second park in the San Mateo County park system. And in the 1930s, it was improved as part of a Works Progress Administration project. And then in the 1940s, there was a large swimming pool complex and a baseball fields were constructed. In 1988, the Park received national attention as an international model for accessible design, the county modernize the park to make it welcoming to people of all abilities. And then in 2011, the ball field was closed. And then from 2015 to 2020, the county went through the process of doing the previous engagement process to Reimagine Park. So the realization of that Reimagine vision that we will be are going to be realizing now and so we’re really excited that we have this opportunity to provide the park for a new generation of visitors. 

Lauren Stahl  08:55

The Adobe administration building and outbuildings were built by the Works Progress Administration, and they’re the most notable Flood Park historic resources. The adobe bricks for the walls were actually made by hand in the park by combining water, soil straw and bonding elements and then into a form and then those were dried in the sun. And then also some of the redwood doors and picnic tables were made by from trees that were nearby. 

Lauren Stahl  09:25

Documenting, preserving and adapting the historic structures are a primary goal of this project. And we’re working with Agent Trimble who is architecture firm that specializes in historic restoration. And their Adobe structure specialist has taken a look and actually given us the some of these recommendations for the building. But yeah, go preview. So after the kind of basic repair that needs to be done, we think that the administration building has a really great potential as a park amenity. It’s located really centrally in In the park, and it’s adjacent to many of the proposed gathering plazas and the main play space. So we want to hear from you what your preferred use for the administration building is. Options include community event space, restrooms, interpretive center, food or beverage kiosks, or others. So go ahead, if you have the mentee, you’re able to access that survey. You can go ahead and rank these options there now.


Okay to shout it out. Right ahead. Interpreted Visitor Center. That’s your preferred. Yeah, great.

Audience member C  10:41

I got a shout it out too. I agree if the interpretive Visitor Center,

Lauren Stahl  10:45

great looks like that one is definitely winning. It’s got the most votes tonight. Oh, although maybe that just changed. Alright, so it looks like there’s some votes for community and event space and some votes for visitor and interpretive center. But the restrooms and the beverage kiosk are not so exciting to people. 

Lauren Stahl  11:07

So now we’re going to move on to the picnic areas. Flood Park is known as one of the most delightful and accessible locations for group picnics in the area. The design will keep the existing quantity and capacity of apparently it’s 10 Drop in an eight reservable picnic sites of different sizes. And the project will improve these facilities and increase the flexibility of use. So as part of that design process, we’ll consider the visitor experience, the program adjacencies and really try to provide a variety of options. And so these are the eight reservable picnic areas in the park. They range in size and character and can accommodate between 40 and 200 people and several of the picnic areas like the large picnic area will be retained and renovated. And then others will be relocated as part of the project. And then the 10 existing drop and picnic areas each have at least two tables and a grill. And so again, the plan is to maintain a stable number of these that some of them will be restored and then some of them will be relocated. So we want to know from you, what type of events would you hold at the Flood Park picnic area? So this could be either events held in the past or things that you would like to do in the park. So you can either type them in and they’ll pop up on the screen that will form a word cloud. You can or you can just have a mouse and will record them


Outdoor classroom. Great. 

Audience Member  12:47

 Do we get more than one choice?

Lauren Stahl  12:48

I think you got three. So you have some other ones go right ahead.


family picnic? Can we community meetings? I’ve used my three in shooting. Thanks for taking this course. 

Audience member C  13:16

I would say family picnic, outdoor classroom, keep moving. Friends and family. I think they’re gathering with friends. I think yeah, they keep moving. So it’s hard to see.

Lauren Stahl  13:29

Yeah, you can also have other ideas, but I think it seems like there’s a lot of great things out here. A lot of them are outdoor classrooms and meetings, Boy Scouts and cultural programs, family picnics. So there’s a real range of ideas of what people want to do in the park, which is great. 

Lauren Stahl  13:44

 And then we also want to know what size group would you most likely bring to flood Park? So are you most likely to bring in a smaller group, a bigger group somewhere in the middle? We know that that may vary from time to time, but it’s become what what size group? Would you most likely bring?

Audience Member  13:58


Lauren Stahl  14:00

Think a small group between one to 20. Yeah.

Audience member C  14:05

I would bring smaller, but I know in the partner. Now the larger groups are what are very popular.

Lauren Stahl  14:10

Yep. Yeah. And I don’t think we’ll be changing the capacity of those large picnic areas. So we won’t be sacrificing that.


Then I guess I have to ask if you’re not going to change the capacity and yet there isn’t capacity in the park for parking to maintain the current capacity and all these new amenities. What are you going to do? extensive work on the e ir. And I really noticed the dat is and I can tell you in 2019 when it was presented in it didn’t pass. They were only allowing for the one 200 person group site and eight small group sites of 15 people each and that was markedly reducing the number of people in terms of how they did the analysis. So how are you going to allow for all of this? Now we’ve got two fields, not just one but two, and all these new amenities. How’s that all gonna fit within the park? 

Lauren Stahl  15:01

Because that is a really good question that I don’t think I can answer right now. I don’t know if Scott, if you have an answer for that one, or if Simone if you could record that, and then we can provide an answer as part of the workshop report out.

Scott Lombardi  15:15

That would probably be the best way to do that, since we don’t know what all the amenities and the designs can be. 

Lauren Stahl  15:20

Okay. So we’ll have to get back to you on that one. 


Butwhat I guess a follow up would be, are you going to give equal weighting to picnic users as you are to sports users? So for example, since everything can’t happen at once, I know, are you going to some we can say, Okay, we’re going to cut down on how many sports fields are being allowed to schedule and then another weekend, you know, they’ll be allowed the picnickers

Lauren Stahl  15:46

there will be I know as part of this, designers as we are going to look at the operations of the park. So there will be some considerations for the types of uses and concurrent uses that will be studied as part of the operations side of the of the design as well. So that will be something that will be taken into consideration. But again, I think that, you know, we can probably do a more thorough answer to that in the report out,

Ron Snow  16:09

Just to add that the county just updated their FAQ on the county website for parks. And in there, it actually says that picnic areas will be restricted when there’s more than one sport activity happening. And even though you have the capacity, we have the capacity for all these tables, nobody’s going to be able to use them. And that sort of defeats the aspect of saying that we have full capacity (inaudible), picnics is the number one thing that this park is all about, I think,

Lauren Stahl  16:39

yeah, I know, it’s a popular program. David, did you have a comment? We do have one more question to get through. And just three more minutes.


Okay, real quick, I just want to make a comment that I have concerns about, you know, the structure of this input, because to me, the most historical feature of the park is the old oak trees that predated even the Adobe. And you know, there was comments at the beginning of this, about, you know, the land acknowledgement and the once indigenous peoples. And it’s not acknowledged as part of the history. And if you look at the historic Bay Area, valley, floor, land, or once all woodlands, and now there’s almost nothing left, but Flood Park, there’s a couple acres down in San Jose. So that’s it. And it’s not even included in the historical perspective on this thing. And I find it very disappointing.

Lauren Stahl  17:33

I hear you that it’s not in this session, I think we did not include it because we had the urban the separate urban forestry session that was all about the trees. So I hope you had a chance to attend that one. Otherwise, you know, there will be any other other breakout opportunities. Go ahead. But can you get back to his issues


about maybe including one of the Native American history in the park for Park activities or whatever?

Lauren Stahl  17:58

Yeah, part of that was brought up as part of in the last session or something that could go into an interpretive center. So but yeah, I think that’s a great idea, we can do that.

Audience Member  18:09

Thank you. 

Lauren Stahl  18:10

And we do have one more question for you all before we close this session, so the picnic areas will include tables, grills and waste receptacles and then some of the larger reservable picnic areas will also include access to water and power. So what are some other things that you think make a great picnic area so again, you can either type them in or let us know so these can be different types of you know, actual facilities like furniture or new types of grills, they could be character defining things you know, things like the adjacency to of other programs. So just let us know if you have any other ideas that you think that we should hear before we start considering the design of the picnic areas.

Lauren Stahl  19:10

Now let’s take we’ve got 52 seconds before the breakout rooms are going to close so you can continue to get through this but if you have answers and want to shout them out, we can record them. Sure. 



Lauren Stahl  19:21



No boom boxes. 

Lauren Stahl  19:26



As a neighbor, I want to I want to ask that these big debris boxes are put as far away from neighbors as possible. 


[End of Session]


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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