Week Two: Keeping a Playground Magical Takes a Village

There is nothing better than designing an amazing place that brings joy and happiness to all who enter. It has really been awesome watching the energy and excitement surrounding Magical Bridge Playground. In order to keep things positive, we feel it is important to continue sharing and educating the community so we can all keep Magical Bridge Playground as enjoyable as possible, as well as keep it open. Here’s what we mean by the latter…

You may have noticed that upon issuing the Regional Stay-at-Home Order in our five surrounding counties, playgrounds and recreational amenities were included in the closures. Shortly after, that piece of the order was reversed and playgrounds, skate parks, and other recreational outdoor amenities have been cleared to stay open, with proper masking, social distancing, and gathering rules strictly abided by. During COVID-19, playgrounds and recreational amenities have proven to be essential. We have always known how vital these spaces are for the community and we are thankful that we can offer families some reprieve from their homes. But again, this comes with a responsibility attached. We are doing everything we can, but we all must do our part to keep each other safe. 

Findings

Since opening, we have been struggling a bit. We have come up with rules and guidelines to help keep our visitors safe and our playground free from harm, but it hasn’t been enough. Here is what we are experiencing as well as additional information about some of our posted rules that may need more explanation.

No bikes or skateboards are allowed in Magical Bridge Playground, ever. 

Magical Bridge Playground is designed for bodies of all ages and abilities, and for some, it is the ONLY place where many members of our community are able to play. Skaters and bikers, we already built you a park. It’s open, roll there. We have had many issues, from construction until now, with folks trespassing onto the playground and treating it poorly. Bikes and skateboards are extremely damaging to the surfaces and structures. These damages have caused delays in our opening, they will cause us to have to close while we repair damages, and it will cost the city a lot of money each time. We are having to pour a large number of resources into protecting this precious and important playground. It’s just not okay. We want you to have incredible family spaces. 

Here is what we have done so far

Hired outside security companies to watch during the latter part of construction.

Increased police presence during closed times at the Playground.

Parks and Recreation Staff have been deployed after hours to stand watch.

Here is what we are working on

While we are recruiting for our Kindness Ambassador Volunteer Program, we are now creating another opportunity for volunteers to assist with monitoring the playground after hours. Stay tuned.

Providing outreach directly to Red Morton Park skaters and bikers and educating them on the negative impact this has.

Installing security cameras and motion sensors.

Adding skate deterrents to playground concrete seating areas. 

Here’s how you can help

Talk to your kids. Educate them about the purpose of the playground and how fortunate we are to have it. Maybe your child or young adult can share this information with others whom they feel might benefit.  🙂

If you observe trespassers in the playground after we close at 5 p.m., we encourage you to report them to the Police Department. Please call 911.

Trespassing in General

Currently, we are open seven days a week from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. The playground is not lit for evening play and we close when it gets dark. Please do not hop fences. Even though it’s a playground, it’s still trespassing. Also, this does not send a great message to your kids or to other children in the park whose families are compliant. Thanks for your help with this.

Tot Zone Water Play Area

Water play is tons of fun and we love our new Tot Zone water sensory feature! We are also in love with the beautiful redwood grove that borders it. Unfortunately, the tree droppings are making their way over to our water table. Please tell your children to keep the leaves and dirt out of the water basin. We have been spending extra time cleaning this out and it will eventually get clogged and we’ll have to close it down for repairs.

Climbing the Playhouse

We know that kids love to climb. We also are fully aware that children play creatively, coming up with new and exciting ways to enjoy our equipment. While we are supportive of this concept, there are times when this isn’t a great idea. We have tons of climbing opportunities in the playground, but unfortunately, the outside of the Playhouse is not one of them. Thank you for helping us to enforce this with your monkeys. Speaking of monkeys, head over to the “King Kong” climbing ropes on the highest point of the Slide Mound. They are fun, and pro-tip for parents…tiring. You’re welcome.

Bare Feet

Calling all Earthers! We know how joyous feeling the earth under your feet can be, and we have acres of park space next to the playground for you to experience the warmth and texture of our great planet. But just like visiting an amusement park, children’s play attraction, or even coming to day camp, we ask that for your child’s safety, they wear proper footwear and shoes remain ON. We’d hate for you to stub or cut a toe.

Coffee & Gum

Lastly, we mentioned this one in last week’s blog post. We are very aware that coffee can be a crucial part of the morning park parenting experience. Unfortunately, we are finding spills around the playground that are tough to clean up. Please try to finish your coffee prior to arriving. Remember, Magical Bridge Playground was designed for everybody. You can play too! By finishing your coffee before visiting, you will be primed and have all the energy you will need to run up the slide mound. Plus, it allows you to keep your mask on while you watch the little ones play!

Gum is self-explanatory. Please keep it out of the playground and off of our Sports Field Turf. 

Thank you in advance.

We hope that by sharing this information with you we have given you a greater understanding of the challenges we are facing, how we are addressing them, and how you can do your part as a good steward of the community! We know some of these rules may seem atypical for a playground, but Magical Bridge is not typical. 

Magical Bridge Playground is a gift, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it stays magical. Thank you for your kindness, support, and compliance. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more info on Magical Bridge Playground visit our website, here.

Prepare for your visit, read last week’s blog post here.

More information about how to play safely on our Redwood City playgrounds can be found here.

Here are the CDC’s safety guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities.

Lastly, here are the California Department of Public Health requirements for playground safety.

Please play safely! We are all in this together.

Magical Bridge Playground, We’re Learning.

We opened on December 1, 2020!

We quietly opened the highly anticipated Magical Bridge Playground on Tuesday, December 1, and had the perfect number of users come to play. It was incredible to see the playground activated and we watched for hours as members of all ages and abilities climbed, swung, slid, and explored.

Not only was it a proud moment for our team, but extremely educational. We used the time to carefully watch how the play areas were being utilized, listen to our visitors, and learn what systems needed to be put in place to help our guests better understand the playground rules as well as our playground admission process during this complicated time. It’s important to note that while our county is in the Purple Tier, playgrounds are still allowed to remain open with modifications, and that is exactly what we have done. For the State’s Blue Print for a Safer Economy, go
here.
What we have learned
As we head into the weekend, we want to share with you what we have learned this week and what you can expect moving forward–in the short term, of course. Our rules will change with the State and County guidelines as the virus rates change. Please do your best to play safely, treat each other with kindness, be patient with our staff, you never know what someone else is going through, and we are all in this together.

 

Please note that we are closely following the State, Region, and County guidelines and that a Stay-at-Home Order may be issued. We will follow this closely and will post any changes once we are made aware of them. This is another reason why wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, and following the Playground rules are so important. Thank you for your help!

 

1. Strollers, scooters & bikes

We have set up two areas for stroller and scooter parking. You can find stroller parking in front of the Playhouse and in the Swing/Innovation Zone which runs parallel to the Valota Road parking lot. Strollers must stay on the concrete surfaces and should not travel with you from zone to zone. Wheels in general cause damage to our rubber matting surfaces which is expensive to replace. Wheelchairs are the only wheeled mobility aid allowed on all surfaces. Please park your strollers and scooters in these designated areas. Bikes may not enter the park. Bike racks can be found currently at the South Entrance (Valota Road Parking Lot) and we are in the process of adding more racks to the North Entrance.

2. No food or drink is allowed

This is a COVID-19 rule, but in general, it is also a Magical Bridge Playground rule. The grounds of this playground cannot support ground-in-food, sticky drinks, or coffee spills on our surfaces. Our surfaces are also one of the main staples of our accessibility. Not only are messes extremely difficult to clean, but they are sometimes impossible to remove, and the only remedy is expensive turf replacement and park closures. This is the same reason we do not allow wheels.  Plus, we are in the process of creating special areas called “Nibble Nooks” in multiple areas around the playground fencing in addition to the picnic area that will be completed next year.

Water bottles are permitted, but please keep them with you or packed away in your strollers or bags out of sight from others. We have already noticed stray sippy cups and other children attempting to pick them up and drink from them.

3. Playground Hours

The playground will be open daily from 9:00am-5:00pm, 7 days a week unless otherwise noted. If a stay at home order is issued, we will close.

4. Playground Entrance

Entry will be limited to the two lower gates: North Entrance (Veterans Memorial Senior Center side) and South Entrance (Valota Rd. Parking Lot). Capacity is limited to 80 visitors on the playground. Once the playground reaches capacity, we will only start a line at the SOUTH ENTRANCE. This ensures everyone can enter in the order they arrived. Please practice social distancing and mask-up while waiting.

5. Capacity

In addition to the playground capacity of 80, you will notice that each area is marked with a zone capacity. While these numbers are based upon the entire area of the zone, it will be up to you and your children to maintain social distance on the play amenities.

6. 30-minute limit while others are waiting

Our community is very eager to play at Magical Bridge Playground. During COVID-19 regulations, all of our playgrounds have a posted limit of 30 minutes while others are waiting. We ask that you kindly pay attention to your arrival time and be aware that once a line forms, we may need to ask you to leave in order for more folks to come in to enjoy the playground. Once a line forms, our team will walk around the playground with gentle bells alerting you that the clock-watching has begun.  Please understand this is the least favorite part of anyone’s job, it is not in our DNA to ask people to stop playing, so your help in monitoring your own time is greatly appreciated.

7. jack frost has been visiting, use caution

Burr. We’ve had some cold mornings. Morning dew and cold weather have resulted in some frosty conditions on the Slide Mound, some pathways, and our Water Sensory Rock Area. Please make sure to check the surface of the rocks prior to letting your kids climb and use caution during the earlier morning hours. This area can be very slippery. Current thawing usually happens between 9:30am-10:00am

Reminders

Just to keep everything in one place, here are some of our gentle reminders from our last post. Thank you for helping us to play safely!

No dogs allowed

Sorry, dogs, you know we love you, but you are not allowed inside the playground. Service dogs are permitted.

Face Masks

While as a whole, face masks will be required of every individual entering the playground age 2 and up, we also understand that not everyone can wear a mask. For those who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, our staff will provide a sticker for them to wear. If you see someone wearing a sticker, please be kind, understanding, and practice social distancing.

Wear Proper Footwear

Wear appropriate footwear at all times. Bare feet, flip-flops, high heels, and cleats are not permitted.

Wash, wash, wash your hands!

Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering and as often as possible while playing. Hand washing stations are available onsite, and the restroom will also be open.

Help us out, BYO Wipes

We encourage you to “bring your own wipes” and to self-clean any high-touch surfaces before using them. Staff will not be cleaning the playground throughout the day.

Keep toys and cardboard boxes at home

In addition, cardboard boxes (which we know are very popular on the slide mound in Palo Alto) and personal toys are not allowed in the playground at this time.

Subject to Change

As we have already experienced, the protocol is subject to change. We are aware of the uncertainty of these times and are doing our best to provide safety guidelines that will allow us to keep our playgrounds open, but ultimately it takes a village. We ask for patience and kindness while we navigate the evolution of this space because after all, it’s our first pandemic too. 

Thank you in advance for your attention to these protocols which are in place to protect the safety of the whole community. Your actions affect the health and safety of everyone and will help to keep our playground open and magical.

Kindness Ambassador

Become a Kindness Ambassador!

There is no better volunteer job to put on your resume than this! Thanks to our partnership with the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation, we will have a group of volunteers to help us open Magical Bridge, also known as Kindness Ambassadors, who will help keep the playground safe and magical for all who visit. As a Kindness Ambassador, your goal is to create a fun and inclusive space where visitors of all ages and abilities feel welcome. At this time, we are only accepting applications for Kindness Ambassadors ages 18 and up. You must be able to dedicate a minimum of 4 hours a month for at least 6 months (shifts are 2 hours long). Kindness Ambassadors will help safely open the playground and help lead family-friendly events and activities, once we are safely able to do so. Kindly click here to apply!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

More information about how to play safely on our Redwood City playgrounds can be found here.

Visit our park and facility FAQ page for up-to-date information on closures and guidelines, here.

Here are the CDC’s safety guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities.

San Mateo County Officials Reinforce Message to Stay Safe and Support
Each Other to Follow All COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures

Lastly, here are the California Department of Public Health requirements for playground safety.

Please play safely! We are all in this together.

WE HAVE MAGICAL NEWS!

Redwood City’s Magical Bridge Playground in Red Morton Park will open on
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

We are excited to share that the much anticipated Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City’s Red Morton Park will open to the public on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 11:00 am!

In partnership with Magical Bridge Foundation, our team has been hard at work not only getting the playground ready for the public to enjoy, but designing protocol that allows this popular attraction to open safely under the guidelines set forth by the County and State due to COVID-19.

We take the safety of our community very seriously and have put a lot of care and thought into how to responsibly open our beloved playground. Due to the excitement surrounding the opening of this particular site, we are implementing rules and guidelines that will be specific to the Magical Bridge Playground, like the addition of operating hours and the providing of staff and volunteers to support keeping the community safe while they play.

Starting December 2, Magical Bridge Playground in Red Morton Park will be open to the public 7 days a week, from 9:00 AM to dusk, unless otherwise noted. On opening day, the playground will open at 11am and close at dusk.

MAGICAL BRIDGE PLAYGROUND PROTOCOL DURING COVID-19 

Protocol subject to change.

We understand that these are uncertain times. We are doing our best to provide safety guidelines that will allow us to open Magical Bridge, but ultimately it takes a village. We ask for patience and kindness while we navigate the evolution of this space because after all, it’s our first pandemic too.

This is a playground built on the premise of kindness. Please be kind and respectful to city staff, volunteers aka Kindness Ambassadors, and all who visit our magical space.

Entry will be limited to the two lower gates: North Entrance (Veterans Memorial Senior Center side) and South Entrance (Valota Rd. Parking Lot).

Capacity is limited to 75 visitors on the playground. Once the playground reaches capacity, socially distant lines will form outside the two lower gates with markings 6 feet apart to keep you safe while you wait. Our Magical Bridge Team will monitor capacity and make sure that social distancing protocol is maintained while in line.

Just like our other playgrounds, visits are limited to 30 minutes per group while others are waiting. Please be prepared that a Kindness Ambassador/staff person may ask you to leave the playground if max capacity is reached and there is a line. Please exercise kindness and support these safety guidelines, which follow strict State regulations.

Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering and as often as possible while playing. Hand washing stations are available onsite, and the restroom will also be open.

We encourage you to “bring your own wipes” and to self-clean any high-touch surfaces before using. Staff will not be cleaning the playground throughout the day.

While as a whole, face masks will be required of every individual entering the playground age 2 and up, we also understand that not everyone can wear a mask. For those who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, our staff will provide a sticker for them to wear. If you see someone wearing a sticker, please be kind, understanding and practice social distancing.

Please maintain 6 ft. distance between households/pods while playing and while waiting in line for any playground amenity.

Food and beverages are not allowed inside the Magical Bridge Playground. In addition, cardboard boxes (which we know are very popular on the slide mound) and personal toys are not allowed in the playground at this time.

Thank you in advance for your attention to these protocols which are in place to protect the safety of the whole community. Your actions affect the health and safety of everyone and will help to keep our playground open and magical.Kindness Ambassador

Become a Kindness Ambassador!

There is no better volunteer job to put on your resume than this!

Thanks to our partnership with the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation, we will have a group of volunteers to help us open Magical Bridge, also known as Kindness Ambassadors, who will help keep the playground safe and magical for all who visit.

As a Kindness Ambassador, your goal is to create a fun and inclusive space where visitors of all ages and abilities feel welcome.

At this time, we are only accepting applications for Kindness Ambassadors ages 18 and up. You must be able to dedicate a minimum of 4 hours a month for at least 6 months (shifts are 2 hours long). Kindness Ambassadors will help safely open the playground and help lead family-friendly events and activities, once we are safely able to do so.

Kindly click here to apply!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

More information about how to play safely on our Redwood City playgrounds can be found here.

Visit our park and facility FAQ page for up-to-date information on closures and guidelines, here.

Here are the CDC’s safety guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities.

Lastly, here are the California Department of Public Health requirements for playground safety.

Please play safe! We are all in this together.

We Are Parks & Recreation!

July is Parks & Recreation Month, and on this very last day, we wanted to share with you what our dedicated team has been up to during this unprecedented time.

Life has changed a lot since Shelter-In-Place was ordered back in March due to COVID-19. “Normal” personal and business routines were upended and we found ourselves having to rapidly adapt to providing essential services, on numerous fronts, to our residents. We had to suddenly close a number of community centers, parks, restrooms, and recreational amenities while keeping larger parks open for individual exercise and going for a walk; focus our resources on food support for children, families, and seniors; launch a massive rental assistance program; open showers, porta-potties and hand washing stations for the homeless; redeploy staff; work from home; develop a virtual recreation center site; use our collective creativity to develop virtual camps and other programs, and step up to the plate and provide critical child care camps while wearing a smile under a mask.

We are so proud of the PRCS Team who have shown heart, determination, care, and a can-do spirit for our residents and for each other. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we have accomplished!

  • The Veterans Memorial Senior Center has served 26,000 meals to over 600 seniors in 99 days.
  • Kept in touch with our senior population via the drive-through lunch pickups and personal phone calls.
  • Fair Oaks Community Center has provided continuity of the provision of homeless services such as shelter referrals, shower programs, food, toiletries, and other basic needs.
  • We continued to manage the Homeless Shower Program at Hoover Pool; and we continued our partnership with the Dignity on Wheels Program (mobile shower and laundry service).
  • We’ve serviced and sanitized 20 handwashing stations, 16 Porta-potties, and provided showers for our homeless population.
  • In addition, our Human Services Team has provided tons of emergency food:
      • Brown Bag Distribution, 2 times per month, 170 households (Second Harvest)
      • Family Harvest Food Distribution, 275 households (monthly) (Second Harvest)
      • Daily emergency food distribution, 20 households (MWF) for housed community members (Second Harvest)
      • Providing 10 emergency groceries and toiletries per day for unhoused community members (St Vincent de Paul and Second Harvest)
      • Sandwiches on Sunday—80 lunches every Sunday (Coalition of Churches)
  • 876 households have been assisted with $1.7 million in COVID19 Relief Fund Rental Assistance.
  • Provided logistical and daily support for the new outdoor dining program, Eat, Sip & Be in RWC.
  • We have planted and replanted just under 100 trees in Red Morton Park.
  • We are nearing completion on our incredible Magical Bridge Playground (to be opened when the state lifts restrictions).
  • We revamped and reimagined summer camps, wrote new policies, and safely delivered in-person camps in Redwood City & Redwood Shores for over 230 kids.
  • Created virtual programming for youth, teens, and seniors, and an online portal for all information regarding COVID-19.
  • Supported child care programs at the Fair Oaks Community Center and the Sandpiper Community Center.
  • Found ways to safely reopen limited park amenities.
  • The Parks Division teams were recently outfitted with electric leaf blowers and electric walk-behind mowers which will reduce ongoing maintenance costs and will be much quieter!
  • Partnered with the Parks & Arts Foundation for the first-ever Virtual Chalk For Fun Festival.
  • Launched Shakespeare at Home via our ongoing partnership with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (LIVE Virtual performances through September 27)

We promise to continue to provide City Services, keep you up-to-date, work on future programming, and do the best we can with the resources we have during this incredibly challenging time.

We have been here the whole time. We are Parks and Recreation and Community Services!

Enjoy our video!

Make it! Rock On!

Rock out(side) with us during this week’s Make It project!

The opportunities are endless as to what you can create with a rock and permanent markers (or paints). You can write an encouraging word, make a pet rock, or just brighten someone’s day with a simple heart. There are so many ways to spread joy!

Of course, if you have acrylic paint at home, that is fantastic! For this demo, we’re going to use markers.

IMG_7235

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Permanent Markers (Sharpies)
  • Smooth Rocks

IMG_6919

STEP: 1

Use permanent markers to create cool designs on your rock!

STEP 2:

Display your rock outside for the world to enjoy, use it inside as a paperweight, or create a habitat for your new pet! Anything goes!

STEP 3:

Share your rock creation with us! Tag us #keepbusyredwoodcity or use the #rwcrocks

We can’t wait to see how much you rock!

SOME IMPORTANT GUIDELINES

  • Do not take rocks from your neighbors’ yards, unless they are okay with it.
  • Do not take rocks from city landscapes.
  • Do not hide rocks in the grass, it could damage lawnmowers
  • Do not add things (glue decor) to the rock! It could be hazardous to animals or the environment.
  • Please practice safe physical distancing and proper hygiene

DO YOU LOVE PAINTED ROCKS?

Did you know that there is a whole worldwide movement of sharing painted rock joy all over the world? There is even a local group if you really want to get into sharing rock love all around! Check out the RWC Rocks Open Facebook Group, there are some really great examples by some talented artists of all ages!

2019 Stafford Park Concerts. Gentle Reminders…

Updated for 2019

Music in the Park kicks off another exciting ten concert line-up this week from 6:00-8:00 pm at the beautiful Stafford Park! Folks can enjoy a family-friendly event, visiting with neighbors and friends, listening to great live music, eating a picnic dinner, and relaxing in the lovely atmosphere of one of Redwood City’s most popular Parks. What could be better?

Here are some gentle reminders to help make Music in the Park enjoyable for our entire community:

  • ride your bikeParking. Please remember that this concert takes place in a neighborhood park. Please drive slowly, pay close attention to pedestrians – especially the little ones, and take great care not to block driveways when parking your car. Better yet? Try riding your bikes, scooters or walking to the event!
  • Picnic Areas. The park is mostly lawn with a few picnic benches scattered about. Picnic Areas are first come first served. There are some BBQs permanently affixed to some of the sites and are NOT PERMITTED for use during the concert.  In addition, you MAY NOT bring portable grills for use in the park.
  • Seating. Some folks like to get to the park early to set up their area well before the show starts. We ask that you please take into account the height of your picnic chairs and try to not impede the line of sight for the majority of folks who will be sitting in low chairs or on picnic blankets. We ask that higher seating stays to the perimeter of the crowd or towards the back of the park. Please, no umbrellas.
  • Pets Many people ask if Dogs are allowed. Leashed dogs are always welcome, but we would like for you to consider a few things before bringing your pet. Concerts can become crowded and many dogs are likely to become agitated and scared by the enormity of the crowd and the volume of the music. Your beloved pet might be happier at home, but you know your pet best. Dogs must be on-leash at all times.
  • Food. There will be a concession tent selling hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, and drinks, graciously operated and donated by the Optimist Club of Redwood City. All proceeds benefit the Save the Music program in Redwood City Schools. Again, we would like to remind you that portable grills are not allowed.
  • Alcohol. Beer and Wine are okay to bring during this event in the park. Please drink responsibly.
  • Trees & Plants. Our landscape staff works very hard to maintain the beautiful plants and trees in our parks. Please be aware that we have some smaller trees that are just not strong enough to support children climbing them, primarily the magnolias. Please help us to keep these delicate small trees healthy, and please stay out of the landscaped areas.

Lastly, we have plenty of trash and recycling receptacles around the park. Please do your part to help us keep our park clean.

stafford-park-concert_kids_800xMusic in the Park runs June 12-August 14, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Stafford Park, located at the corner of King St. and Hopkins Ave. in Redwood City (Map). The concerts couldn’t happen without the support of our generous sponsors: The Port of Redwood City, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente, WAVE Broadband, County Consumer Plumbing, Joyce & Tatum for Dwell Realtors, Duo- Karen Fryling & Rebecca Johnson, Redwood City Arts Commission, and Redwood City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services.

To keep up with all of the wonderful FREE events happening in Redwood City, subscribe to our weekly event news, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

The Little Park that Could- Linden Park

If you round the bend on Park Street, you could blink and almost miss it. Located atop the Hetch Hetchy right-of-way, and nestled into a street corner, is a Redwood Oaks neighborhood treasure, Linden Park. The land is owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and due to the water pipeline project in 2011, the park had to be removed and Linden Park was to be reimagined.

History of Linden Park

Let’s start at the beginning. In 1971, the City of Redwood City obtained a Land Use Permit and by 1972 had dedicated the Park open to the neighborhood. A renovation was done in 1986 and the narrow little park housed a wooden play area for kids with a small grass area to relax. It was a sweet little pocket park and a hidden gem for families.


linden old sign

Fast forward to 2011, SFPUC removed the park during their water pipeline project. Due to the piping beneath the ground and the need for access, there are many stipulations about what can be placed into the ground. There are strict guidelines to the depth of grounding park objects like footings, tree roots, etc. This makes designing for this space extremely challenging. We partnered with motivated neighbors, created a project team, and after a number of community meetings, a design was settled upon by everyone. In 2013, Council approved funding to reconstruct Linden Park and the dream of breaking ground was soon to become a reality.

linden-empty

But, as it would happen, the unexpected occurred. In April 2014, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)  informed the City the need to modify the SFPUC engineering standards and land use policies for their entire right-of-way. Though the City had nearly completed the 65% construction drawings at the time, the project could not move forward based on their direction and the uncertain change of requirements. Since the park is not on City land, the City was required to comply with the SFPUC requirements, process, and approvals. This was a devastating blow to the residents, volunteers, and staff who had worked tirelessly to perfect the new park design. Several months later, SFPUC completed their study and allowed the City to move forward with the project using their revised engineering standards and recreational use policies.

linden kidsThe project bid opening was held on December 14, 2016. It was awarded to C2R Engineering, Inc. from Mountain View. and construction finally began in February 2017. And to add to the delay, we experienced a whole lot of rain. While we were incredibly thankful for this drought alleviating season, it inevitably amassed major delays.

The good news? We are happy, relieved, and excited to announce that Linden Park is a now reality! We are thankful for the creativity, care, and focus that our team gave to this project. A truly unique space has been created.

Introducing the NEW Linden Park!

 

coccoons-wp

We’ve told you about the many challenges in designing this space. This particular park created a unique circumstance for our designers as we could not install any traditional play equipment, trees, or utilities due to the change of policies and engineering standards that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) put in place after initial community meetings and drawings were completed. Through the artful eye of Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services’ Landscape Architect, Claudia Olalla, the expertise of SSA Landscape Architecture, the support and project oversight of our Director and cheerleader, Chris Beth, our contractor, and our dedicated park staff, we are proud to introduce the new Linden Park—themed, “Butterfly Lifecycle.”

This innovative park design features interesting shapes like spirals, arches, and lines that inspire creative play and encourages kids to balance, jump, hop, race each other, and use their imaginations. The special willow arch structures were formed to elicit the feeling of being in a butterfly cocoon and provide additional shade and “chill” space. Kids can also find a couple of cute characters like caterpillars and a butterfly to sit and play upon. Lastly, Special plants were chosen which attract, house, and feed butterflies, with the hope that Linden Park will create a successful habitat.

Although we wish it hadn’t taken so long to complete, we think the park will be a wonderful amenity for the surrounding neighborhood and broader community. If you plan to visit this park, please note that the streets surrounding it are tight and there is no parking. It is through and through a neighborhood park. We ask that if you plan to visit, it is by foot or by bike.

We celebrated the Linden Park Grand Opening on June 29, 2017, joined by enthusiastic neighbors and supporters, Mayor John Seybert, Vice Mayor Bain, Parks Commissioners, and City Staff. You can check out the celebration and several features of the park in the video below. For more information about our city parks and programs, click here.

Stafford Park Concerts Start Tonight! Gentle Reminders…

stafford-park-concert

Updated for 2016

It really starts to feel like Summer when Music in the Park begins! That magical day has come! Tonight, from 6:00-8:00 pm, folks can enjoy a family-friendly event, visiting with neighbors and friends, listening to great live music, eating a picnic dinner, and relaxing in the beautiful atmosphere of one of Redwood City’s most popular Parks. What could be better?
Here are some gentle reminders to help make Music in the Park enjoyable for the entire community:

  • ride your bikeParking. Please remember that this concert takes place in a neighborhood park. Please drive slowly, pay close attention to pedestrians – especially the little ones, and take great care to not block driveways when parking your car. Better yet? Try riding your bikes, scooters or walking to the event!
  • Picnic Areas. The park is mostly lawn with a few picnic benches scattered about. Picnic Areas are first come first serve. There are some BBQs permanently affixed to some of the sites and are NOT PERMITTED for use during the concert.  In addition, you MAY NOT bring portable grills for use in the park.
  • Seating. Some folks like to get to the park early to set up their area well before the show starts. We ask that you please take into account the height of your picnic chairs and try to not impede the line of site for the majority of folks who will be sitting in low chairs or on picnic blankets. We ask that higher seating stay to the perimeter of the crowd or towards the back of the park. Please, no umbrellas.
  • Pets Many people ask if Dogs are allowed. Leashed dogs are always welcome, but we would like for you to consider a few things before bringing your pet. Concerts can become crowded and many dogs are likely to become agitated and scared by the enormity of the crowd and the volume of the music. Your beloved pet might be happier at home, but you know your pet best. Dogs must be on leash at all times.
  • Food. There will be a concession tent selling hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips and drinks, graciously operated and donated by the Optimist Club of Redwood City. All proceeds benefit the Save the Music program in Redwood City Schools. Again, we would like to remind you that portable grills are not allowed.
  • Alcohol. Beer and Wine are okay to bring during this event in the park. Please drink responsibly.
  • Trees & Plants. Our landscape staff works very hard to maintain the beautiful plants and trees in our parks. Please be aware that we have some smaller trees that are just not strong enough to support children climbing them, primarily the magnolias. Please help us to keep these delicate small trees healthy.

Lastly, we have plenty of trash and recycling receptacles around the park. Please do your part to help us keep our park clean.

stafford-park-concert_kids_800xMusic in the Park runs June 15-August 17, 2016 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Stafford Park, located at the corner of King St. and Hopkins Ave. in Redwood City (Map). The concerts couldn’t happen without the support of our generous sponsors: The Port of Redwood City, The Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission, Indigo Urban Luxury Living, Kaiser Permanente, Brian Ayer – Realtor, County Consumer Plumbing and Redwood City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services.

To keep up with all of the wonderful FREE events happening in Redwood City, subscribe to our weekly event news, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Tips for a Safe Halloween

halloween-kids

Updated with new info for 2015!

If you grew up listening to your parents tell you that every apple would have a razor blade inside, some of these helpful tips will sound OBVIOUS to you. If you are more the type to take candy from a stranger (which we will all be doing on Halloween night), then read on! We have put together a great list of safety tips over the years with help from our Redwood City Police Department to help all of us – adults and children alike, even your pets- have a safe and candyriffic Halloween night!

ADULTS
  • Welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights on.
  • Remove any outdoor obstructions that could pose a threat to people walking onto your property. (toys, hoses, gardening equipment)
  • Patrol your street occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and crimes against children.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police department immediately.   Call  9-1-1.
  • Do not give homemade or unwrapped treats to children.

MOTORISTS

  • Exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle.  Be on the alert for excited youngsters, whose vision may be obscured by masks, darting out into traffic.
  • Leave yourself plenty of travel time. Drive slower than usual. It’s one night. Being late is a better option.
TRICK OR TREAT TIPS
Make sure your kids dress up safely
  • Make sure costumes are flame retardant so children aren’t in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns.
  • Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.
  • Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable, and they can obstruct a child’s vision, a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
  • Make sure kids wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
  • Wear comfortable, safe shoes.
Make trick-or-treating trouble free
  • Create a map of a safe trick-or treating route and set a time limit for your children to “trick-or-treat.” Your neighborhood Nextdoor group now has a candy map which can help you to create your safe-route!
  • Make sure older kids trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so you will know where they are going. Tell them to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on and be very clear about your expectations for the evening.
  • Trick-or-treaters should always be in groups so they aren’t a tempting target for real-life goblins. Parents should accompany young children.
  • Try to get your kids to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well-lighted streets.
  • Do not go inside anyone’s home. Remain on the porch at all times.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Remind kids to keep a safe distance from moving cars.
  • Cross only at street corners, NEVER between parked cars, and never diagonally across an intersection.
  • Look in all directions before crossing the street, and obey all traffic signals. Walk, never run, across the street, and use sidewalks, not the street, for walking.
  • Do not take shortcuts through back yards, alleys or parks.
  • Do not eat any treats until parents have inspected them.
  • Discard any homemade or unwrapped treats.
Check all treats before eating
  • It’s hard for kids to hold back from eating their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while they’re still out is to feed them a meal or a snack beforehand.
  • Check out all candy in a well-lighted place when your trick-or-treater gets home.
  • What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means remind kids not to eat everything at once or they’ll be feeling pretty ghoulish for while!
  • Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and kids alike–if everybody remembers the tricks and treats of playing it safe.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you suspect any tainted candy.

PET SAFETY
Just Like July 4th, Halloween can pose stressful for your animals as well as deadly.

  • Keep your pets away from the door. Dogs are especially territorial and this night can bring out the worst in them. A comfortable secure room in your home will keep your pet happy and they will be very thankful.
  • Tell your child if they see an animal, even one they know, to remember that they are in costume and may be extra scary to their 4-legged friend.
  • Two things that are DEADLY to dogs are Chocolate and the chemical, Xylitol. Xylitol can be found in sugar-free gum, candy, breath mints and baked goods– which we already told you not to hand out. 😉
  • PETMD says to keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. “Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents.”
  • Decorations and the excessive number of extension cords can pose harmful.
  • Make sure your animals are properly tagged in case they escape.
  • Check out www.petmd.com for more pet safety tips.

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Get Moving! It’s National Walking Day!

jen_route

We had 25 people – including some of our City Staff, members from our Senior Walking Club, Parents, Children, and one dog (Awww), show up to walk with us today to commemorate the American Heart Association‘s National Walking Day! This crew was lead by our fitness enthusiast Intern, Jennifer Schultz, on a stroll through our lovely Red Morton Park!  Thank you to those who came out to make their commitment to health with us on this somewhat brisk and foggy Bay Area morning!

You too can improve your health, wellness and reduce risk factors by walking just 30 minutes a day! Walking is probably the easiest physical activity to achieve, and can be a great way to socialize (face-to-face!). You don’t need expensive equipment, you don’t have to pay for a membership, and you can just step out the front door and get started! No excuses!

Our nation is becoming more sedentary by the minute. We are spending more time at work than ever before, as well as many of us are glued to our electronic devices (guilty!). The American Heart Association states that these increased levels of inactivity can double our risk of heart disease!

Here are some of the consequences per the American Heart Association[1]

  • More of us are overweight.
    Adult (and childhood) obesity/overweight level continues to increase: 65% of all Adults are obese or overweight.
  • It is more difficult today to create an active lifestyle.
    People are less active due to technology and better mass transportation; Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950; Physically active jobs now make up only about 25% of our workforce. That is 50% less than 1950.
    Our average work week is longer. Americans work 47 hours a week – 164 more hours a year than 20 years ago.
  • Extra weight costs us physically and financially.
    Obesity costs American companies $225.8B per year in health-related productivity losses.
    The average healthcare cost exceeds $3,000 per person annually. An obese employee costs employer additional $460 to $2,500 in medical costs and sick days per year.

As you age, your body is slowly wearing down, and without physical activity, this process is accelerated. Did you know that for each hour you exercise, you can gain about 2 hours of additional life expectancy? [2] Sounds like a good deal to us! Also, exercise greatly improves your quality of life, positively effecting: circulation, weight, blood pressure, mental health, self-image, strength, bone loss, heart disease, you name it! The benefits are endless. Do you need more reasons? Click here.

Lastly, we have so many ways for you to get moving in Redwood City! We have Fitness Classes, a Drop-In Fitness Center, and Open Gym times to name a few. In addition, here is a list of parks with trails in our immediate area that will help you to ignite your walking addiction!

1. Stulsaft Park

2. Red Morton Park

3. Edgewood Park

4. Huddart Park

5. Wunderlich Park

6. Redwood Shores – part of the Sand Francisco Bay Trail

Did we not list your favorite place? Where do you like to walk? Let us know in the comments!

1. American Heart Association: The Price of Inactivity
2. American Heart Association: Physical Activity Improves Your Quality of Life