On Tuesday afternoon, March 18th, 2014 the County secured a revocable license from SF Public Utilities Commission to build a park on a vacant parcel along the Hetch Hetchy waterline easement in unincorporated North Fair Oaks. As the sun rose on the next morning, San Mateo County Park staff Scott Lombardi, Ron Cardoza and Brian Gatt had 2 tractors rolling to clear and level the vacant property. It is impossible to forget the children’s faces, peaking out windows as they pulled back curtains to see the beginning of their new playground. Volunteers from the Sheriffs Athletic League (SAL), County Health Department, the community of North Fair Oaks and partner KaBOOM! joined in preparing the site for the upcoming “Build Day”. Holes were dug, broken glass removed and children transformed pieces of plywood into beautiful butterflies. The supplies for build day poured in.
Fast forward 2 days and 150 volunteers from Shutterfly Foundation built a playground along with 30 raised planters beds. It took the weekend for the concrete to cure. North Fair Oaks now has a park for all. Park rangers open and close the park each day to keep it secure. The Sheriff’s Office has a visible presence to support the park and the community. Park Rangers have installed several benches donated from Redwood City parks and Recreation. We have ordered animal proof garbage and recycling containers and have plans for the next phase in partnership with County Health: flourishing gardens of fresh fruits and vegetables.