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Comments on the Bedwell Bayfront Park Master Plan

From: domainremoved <Nancy>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:48:42 -0700

Chair Harris, Vice Chair Stanwood, and Commissioners Baskin, Johnson, Lane, Palesfsky, and Shenk:


I appreciate your willingness to entertain my comments concerning the Bedwell Bayfront Park Draft Master Plan. While I am happy with the park much the way it is, I realize some maintenance is overdue and some changes could be made in without substantially detracting from the passive open space nature of the park.

Maintenance I support:

 Better and bi-lingual signage
More benches chosen for views
(Some) wheelchair and walker accessible paths & summits
Full time ranger service
More paved but better defined parking
Decent restroom and reliable plumbing
Some additional activities I can support:
Nature play spots for small children, e.g., logs to climb on––3-4 small sites distributed along the edges of the park
Small outdoor classroom (seating for 15-20 max, natural materials)
Small nature/ranger/docent office (an appropriate use for Bohannon contribution)
Simple fitness course constructed only of natural materials

What is not appropriate for a park with a nature, wildlife and quiet focus:


Off-leash dog park
Gliders and drones; at most, glider use should be allowed only for hand-launched gliders in a part of the park which a qualified ornithologist can ascertain to be a non-nesting, non-breeding area for birds and other creatures

I was very concerned to see listed as a Park Master Plan Objective to “identify and integrate revenue generation mechanisms into the park structure, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the park.” I don’t see this being addressed in the plan reviewed tonight although I recognize that some present hold to the idea that the park needs to be self-supporting. To satisfy my own curiosity, I talked with 5 parks and recreation department directors in nearby cities (Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Mateo and Redwood City) and San Mateo County to determine how they fund open space parks and what expectations, if any, they have for the self-funding of these parks. Briefly what struck me was:

1) None expect open space parks to be self-funding; only for San Mateo County do user fees & concessions cover any significant portion of park expenditures

2) All have ranger service

3) All accept donations

4) Only the County charges for parking (equivalent to an entrance fee for all its parks
Two interesting comments/facts:

  I was told that Redwood City envies Menlo Park its Bedwell Bayfront Park
 Palo Alto recently purchased 36.5 acres of IT&T’s former Baylands antenna field for $250,000 to add to its park network and just approved $400,000 to begin sprucing it up

Note that the East Bay Regional Park District’s Bay Point Regional Shoreline park was just awarded $750,000 under the National Park Service’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program to improve access and prepare trails for rising sea levels. The 150-acre park will see new drinking fountains, walking and hiking trails, signage and enhanced access for the disabled. The park has also received a $200,000 grant for trail improvement from the California Department of Parks and Recreation. There is money out there to be found.

Thank you for your attention.

Nancy Borgeson
Laurel Street, Menlo Park
Received on Wed Oct 11 2017 - 15:06:09 PDT

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