Flood Park - Baseball field

Playgrounds and Sports

This webpage will cover both Playgrounds and Sports. Currently the Sports information is presented below; however, we plan on providing information and conversation about the Playgrounds soon.

Sports

Flood Park currently has many sports fields, however, some have not been maintained for over a decade. The baseball field was not restored after the water supply work many years ago. Here is a list of current sports areas at the park:

Baseball1not maintained – closed due to condition of field
Petanque, Boules, and Boccenot restored – closed due to condition of area
Horseshoes4Some maintained – some not
Softball1Not maintained, but open
Tennis4Could be better maintained
Volleyball4Sand courts with nets
Walking/Jogging/Bird WatchingYA path with alternate routes throughout woodland
Current sport areas at Flood Park

Usage Statistics

County’s most recent usage statistics* of sport areas in the park shows that Volleyball, Softball, and Tennis are the most popular. Baseball, Horseshoes, and Petanque are less popular.


Proposed Plan (Reimagine)

While the Proposed plan is approved, it seems that there are still decisions that are fluid and may change. The most popular sports at the park, using actual usage statistics*, are Volleyball, Softball, and Tennis, yet the proposed plan removes 1/2 of the courts from both volleyball and tennis and it eliminates the popular softball field.

Baseball1Restores existing field
+Basketball1At drop off area
Boules, Bocce, and Petanqueremoved
Horseshoesremoved
PickleballThis has been requested but County has not added it
Softballremoved
-Tennis22 courts removed
-Volleyball22 courts removed (see item below)
+Soccer/Lacrosse2Multipurpose field, heart of woodland (20’to 30′ netting)
Walking/Jogging/Bird WatchingYPath around sports fields and connecting routes
Impact of Reimagine Plan for Flood Park (2021)

While multipurpose fields to host soccer or lacrosse and other play are proposed, one of these fields, with 20′ to 30′ netting requires the gutting of the very heart of the woodland. If this 2nd multipurpose field could be moved out of the woodland, it would preserve the woodland and preserve the nature there. Moving the 2nd field out the woodland has the additional advantage of keeping the picnic areas at their full capacity, instead of being cut back by several hundred from current capacity. Preserving the woodland and the picnic areas would have a significant cost savings of millions of dollars. (Why spend millions to cutdown the majority of trees in the historic Heritage Grove?)

* County did not provide park usage counts in the latest project planning. County provided usage counts in a prior plan.

Reference – FAQ

The following FAQ section pertains to concerns, issues, and other comments related to sports at Flood Park.

Sports

If the Lacrosse field were moved to the other end of the park, where the multi-purpose field and baseball field are, a major portion of the woodland set for destruction could be preserved for generations to come.

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In a radius of 2 or 3 miles around Flood Park, there are many multipurpose, soccer, and similar fields that could support lacrosse. When considering public and private fields, including schools, parks, and sport complexes, how many fields would support lacrosse? We have asked County this question and are looking for their help in identifying these for local coaches.

In the meantime, we are also in the process of creating a Local Sports Field spreadsheet to identify what local area fields support playgrounds, hiking, picnicking, and various sports. The goal is to identify both public and private fields and then have County seek permissions for public use of sport fields (especially use by NFO and East Palo Alto neighborhoods).

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We are waiting for a reply from county parks.

Several years ago, the baseball field was disrupted by the public water supply lines project. Why many of the other sports areas were not maintained is one question. Why the baseball field was let go years before the work and was not restored after the work are also part of the answer sought here.

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Volleyball is a very popular sport at the park. Removing a court doesn’t seem in the interest of the park. Same with Tennis Courts – once maintained, it seems keeping the 4 courts should be considered. Maybe looking at the historical records to see how popular tennis was back when the courts were in good shape.

We have asked County this question and are looking for their help in identifying these for local coaches.

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This question applies to the baseball field and the shared multipurpose that is next to the baseball field. This question also applies to the 2nd soccer/lacrosse field in the woodland.

The latest EIR discusses artificial turf surfaces; however, there is no discussion or associated research on the impact of an artificial surface on the remaining trees in the area around the sport field. Temperatures, moisture content of soil, and impact on the microorganisms and insects that make up a health woodland.


Waiting for County Response.

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Waiting for county response.

Many want the large soccer – multipurpose that is located in the sports side of the park to be built first and thus delay the cutting of the majority of trees in the historic Heritage Grove area in the woodland.

As it stands now (2021) County plans to cut down the heart of the woodland to build a 2nd sports field in the middle of the nature area of the park. At the same time, County could be leasing from the Ravenswood school district the 2.5 acre Flood School property that is currently vacant with no buildings. The money ear marked for the woodland destruction and the 2nd soccer field could instead be used to build a full size soccer/lacrosse field on this 2.5 acres. It is just next to the freeway end of the large baseball field at Flood Park.

Local community youth sports and after school programs have identified that more fields are needed; however, county could be facilitating the use of many existing fields in the immediate areas through establishing use agreements with city parks, school districts, private schools, and commercial fields. Many of these appear to be unused and available during the most recent soccer and lacrosse season.

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Summit and Everest high schools don’t have their own fields, yet other local high schools and middle schools do.   Soccer coaches and players from NFO say there aren’t enough fields to meet desires.  Yet, an inventory of public and private fields within a 2-3 mile radius of Flood Park shows that at least 4 other fields in local parks and at least 9 other fields on semi-private and private locations.

A quicker and probably much less expensive alternative is to have Flood Park support 1 multipurpose field (not 2) and for County to assist local schools and youth sport groups in getting permission to use these 13+ local fields. With permission obtained, the fields would be immediately available. No construction time, no construction costs, no delays for use. A potential win-win-win for county residents and entities with fields and all this with County saving millions of dollars.

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Coaches and ballplayers say there aren’t enough local fields for all the ball groups and players. Families may have players of different ages and on different teams both using fields at Flood Park.

As previously mentioned, there seem to be over a dozen soccer fields within 3 miles radius of Flood Park that could support soccer or lacrosse. County should pursue use agreements with these city, school, private, and commercial entities to provide access. Such agreements would yield use immediately, without having to wait for planning, construction, and other related delays.

This would also mean Flood Park could build the one multipurpose field in conjunction with the baseball field restoration and not build the destructive second field that destroys the heart of the heritage woodland. This would mean a savings of several millions of dollars AND the park would not need to be closed, it could essentially stay open while the play fields are restored (that area is closed now anyway).

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County Parks has indicated they will be in charge of scheduling. We are waiting for more details from County as to how this process will work and who will have priority over others.

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Ways to Take Action and Help

If you are a local coach or player, please leave a comment below as to what sport you play, where you currently play, what other areas would you like to have available to play. Please leave your feedback in the comment area below.

Other ways to help:

  • Let others know of this website so they can come up to speed on what is happening
  • Use our Spread the Word webpage for more ways to help
  • Many actions and related information at the Action webpage
  • Stay in touch – be notified when public meetings on the Reimagine plan are occurring
  • Sign up for County updates on the County’s Reimagine Project page — Here
  • Provide your feedback, ideas, questions, and concerns using the comment form below
  • We plan on doing online surveys here — please participate in those as they appear
  • Do you want other sports at the park? Leave a comment with the sports you want.

Comments (3) on “Playgrounds and Sports”

  1. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the US. I would very much like to see permanent pickleball courts at Flood Park. 4 pickleball courts fit on the same space taken up by one tennis court and 16 people can play there instead of just 4. There is a terrific need and nterest in pickleball courts. I would be happy to provide more information.

    See what has been done with Pickleball at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto. https://www.paloaltopickleballclub.org/

    1. Some have suggested that maybe two of four tennis courts be modified so that pickle ball could also be played there. It may be possible to add 3 or 4 pickle ball courts if 2 of the 4 tennis courts were converted. If you like Ron’s idea of pickle ball, please add your comments here.

  2. The increased popularity of pickleball in this area calls for more courts in San Mateo. One Nealon Park tennis court has been lined for pickleball play as a trial run. During this trial period, over 500 people have made use of the courts and sometimes people are lining up to play. This in comparison to the other courts which are usually empty or have only two people playing. Nealon Park along with Mitchell Park in Palo Alto would be good examples of how the popularity of pickleball cries out for more courts.
    I do hope that this information will be taken into account when Flood Park is reimagined.

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