FloodPark Oaks - slated for cutting

Woodland at Flood Park

The woodland is one of the most important features of Flood Park. While the borders of the park have a line of trees, it is the central heritage woodland that is so treasured. In this half of South-East San Mateo County, there are no parks, city or county, that provide the unique native environment and nature that Flood Park provides. It is unique in this aspect of providing to the public, families, children, and even organizations a setting amongst the trees and wild life that the woodland contains.

One of the reasons for this website is that the heart of the heritage woodland and those beautiful picnic areas within it is under threat of being gutted. Gutted is a strong word, yet it use here seems appropriate as the current County Park’s plan, the Reimagine Project, will cutdown a huge percentage of the trees that comprise the heart of the heritage woodland. County states*: “It is estimated that tree removal during Phase I will include up to 40 significant trees with a circumference of at least 38 inches. Ground disturbance during construction also could encroach on the root zone of remaining mature trees, impairing their health.” County goes on to explain* that “The Landscape Plan will have a potentially significant impact on scenic resources due to the loss of mature trees …” (emphasis added)

The interactive photo below is from the Pine picnic area, in the heart of the woodland. It shows, by dragging the center control bar left or right the impact that the current county project will have unless modifications are made to preserve the woodland:

San Mateo County Parks describes the park woodland, “Flood Park is dominated by a number of stunning heritage oaks and California laurels. The Park is quite flat, with large areas of lawn. Squirrels are common. Commonly seen birds include mockingbirds, woodpeckers, scrub jays, red-tailed hawks, and other raptors.” County also states that “The shady picnic areas beneath the Park’s gorgeous trees are popular gathering spots for families and large groups.”

This is true, picnicking and family use are by far the most popular use of the park. Many of the surrounding neighborhoods like North Fair Oaks and East Palo Alto use the park for picnics because their neighborhoods lack any thing close to natural woodland and shaded picnic areas the park .

Interactive Flood Park Map

In the following map, you can click various items in the list to the right of the map in order to explore changes proposed for Flood Park. As a point of reference, the current park walking paths are shown in yellow.

1983 Park Design
Current Park Design
2015-2019 Preferred Plan
2020 Reimagine Design
Current Satellite
Trees to be Removed
Current Fields vs Proposed

Reference – FAQ

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


We are hoping to get a list of stakeholders, people and organizations, that have requested changes; and/or, those that have a vested interest in some of the changes. Thus far, County has not identified these entities, but we hope to get the list soon.

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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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Ways to Take Action and Help

One of the growing concerns are the plans to destroy the heart of the woodland to make room for a soccer/lacrosse field that will, in addition, have 20′ to 30′ tall fence around it. The destruction the beautiful woodland, the displacement of the picnic areas from the woodland and the loss of the wildlife, nature, and serenity of tis area of Flood Park is tragic, at least from the perspective of most people.

We feel that the woodland can be preserved, the picnic areas would not have to be moved or reduced, and we could still support the plans for a multipurpose (soccer/lacrosse) field as part of the large baseball field. If the old abandoned Flood School property, 2.5 acres, were made available for public park use, then additional multipurpose field, basketball, and accessable playgrounds could be available there.

Other ways to help:

  • Let others know of this website so they can come up to speed on what is happening
  • Support the effort to have the old Flood School property be used for park use
  • Stay in touch – be notified when public meetings on the Reimagine plan are occurring
  • Sign the petition to Extend Flood Park to add more sports AND thus save the woodland and family picnic capacity.
  • Sign the petition to Save Flood Park native trees
  • Provide your feedback, ideas, questions, and concerns using the comment form below
  • Sign up for County updates on the County’s Reimagine Project page — Here
  • We plan on doing online surveys here — please participate in those as they appear

Short Survey:

The following survey is only an example of the surveys, polls, and questionnaires that this website may be conducting in the future. These provide yet another way for our community to provide input to county parks and management.

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