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Photos: Who's Going to Take Responsibility for Flood Park?

With an annual operating cost of more-than $200,000, San Mateo County is ready to close the place for good. Some people in Menlo Park want the city to take charge of it. See what the fuss is about in these photos.

Flood Park is a county-maintained, 21-acre piece of property that is officially closed through September, 2011. On March 17, San Mateo County said it would consider closing it down for good to save more than $200,000 a year in operating costs. Since then, Menlo Park residents have encouraged the city to take charge of the space and allocate it for use by Menlo Park residents.  See what your tax dollars are paying for in this slide show.

Earltini April 06, 2011 at 02:17 AM
The caption here is very misleading: "See what your tax dollars are paying for in this slide show". Flood park is currently closed - as rhe pictures depict - because the SFPUC is installing a new 5 foot diameter water pipe to carry drinking water from Hetch-Hetchy to SF. That is not our tax dollars at work, it is SF water ratepayers. The tragedy of this closure is that it makes it easy to keep this park closed when we desperately need these precious 21 acres for playing fields, recreation, and usable green space. In fact there is revenue from many organizations available if MP took over and managed this as a city park like Burgess and others. Show your support at www.savefloodpark.org.
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) April 06, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Earltini, thanks for clearing that up. The intent behind publishing this slideshow was to allow people who haven't been to the park, for lack of time or other reasons, to see what this place looks like. The photo caption was a rather cursory description that could have been been worded to be more specific, I admit. Thanks for chiming in and letting Menlo Park Patch readers know where you stand. Would you mind elaborating on the alternative revenue sources?
Sarah Cueva April 06, 2011 at 06:32 AM
Major revenue could come from little league and other user groups (eg AYSO) if the city took over the park. This would give the city some much-needed space for playing fields and simultaneously preserve Flood as a neighborhood park.
Earltini April 06, 2011 at 10:41 PM
Vanessa, thanks for clarifying. I guess I would not had the strong reaction except for all the construction pictures in the slideshow! I have lived in Menlo Park for almost 20 years and visited Flood Park many times, and I did not think the pics did the park justice, nor would they persuade any residents that have not uses the park that it is a prize jewel worth saving an utilizing better. As to revenue sources, sarah is on the money. There is also the CY soccer league, Lacrosse leagues, as well as outdoor festivals (think classic auto meetups and community events) that do pay and would continue to pay to use a well kept park of this size.
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) April 07, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Sarah, How much is major? I'm not as familiar as I could be with the little league and AYSO business models as I could be. Do you know how much a city would get from, say, a season of little league games? And does all that money come from registration fees? Or are there subsidies from philanthropic organizations that come into play? Earltini, I would have loved to get into the park and take more pictures of the inside. But I didn't want to get cited for trespassing. I agree that the space could be repurposed in a variety of ways. From over the fence it looked like there was a rather large area that would be a perfect space for the summer concert series that are usually held at Fremont Park. That park gets SO packed. A friend of mine in town said that the biggest impediment to getting the soccer leagues onto that field is the additional work that would be necessary to make it suitable for the activity. eg installation of goals, marking the area, etc. Do you think that's a valid concern? Also, do you have any pictures of you or your friends in the park that I could add to this slideshow? I would love for people to see the inside of the place.
Matt Siegel April 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM
These pictures were taken well after the park was closed for installation of the water pipeline. Before that project began, there was no construction materials, no construction vehicles, no orange fences, no overgrown grass, etc. These pictures are completely biased towards trying to argue why the park should be closed by someone who does not live in the area and probably never visited the park before it was closed. It was a beautiful park that was well maintained and often utilized for parties on the weekend before it was closed for the water pipeline project. Is the $200,000 number the net cost of maintaining the park? I would love to see the breakdown of costs there. Given the number of parties during the non-rainy months, I am surprised the park does not offset a significant amount of this cost.
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) April 18, 2011 at 11:53 PM
Actually I live 10 minutes away, so it's not that far. I don't have any emotional investment in either outcome, rest assured. I would love to see photos of the park as it appeared before it was closed. Do you have any that I could add to this post?
Matt Siegel April 22, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Google search "Flood Park". 3 of the first 4 images shown are pictures of the park (the 4th is a cartoon map of the park). I live right next to Flood Park. The pictures you took were heavily biased, so there is some sort of emotional investment there. I can take some additional photos if you would like. Will you post them on this website if I do?
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) April 22, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Of course. As long as they're family friendly, that sounds great. You can either send them to vanessa@patch.com, so I can publish them. Or you could add them directly to the article, so that they appear immediately. To add your photo to this article, click on the green text that says "add" underneath the photo that's up there right now. I look forward to seeing them. (:
Matt Siegel April 23, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Thanks! The new photos of Flood Park have been added.
Jill Olson May 19, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Thanks to everyone for their support of the park!
Jill Olson June 09, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Good News. County to vote soon regarding new temporary reopening plan for Flood Park! City of Menlo Park is still in talks with County re: possible Flood Park transfer to the city and permanent reopening. Keep writing the county & city to show your support for these efforts!!!!! Article in the Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/bay-area/2011/06/san-mateo-county-budget-both-gives-and-takes-away#ixzz1Okv5AOcg

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