Friends of Flood Park

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One of our concerns that we hope to address with San Mateo County Parks is the removal of so many of the indigenous, natural trees from the woodland area of the park, including the beautiful large trees in/around the picnic areas.

A few years ago, County Parks had made public presentations on a "Re-Imagine Flood Park" plan and in those initial presentations, County stated that preservation of trees was a primary goal. Other goals included restoring the baseball field, adding a multi-purpose sports field next to the baseball field, enhancing the playground, and other maintenance oriented tasks. That all was well received by the community; however, most recently the plans evolved to now remove 72 trees from the Flood Park, severely damaging the woodland area of the park.

So rather than a priority to preserve trees, as was those initial presentations stated, now a large number of the beautiful trees that provide shade and clean cool air through the woodland are destined to be destroyed. If instead, we can allow the community voice to be heard and acknowledged, County Plans could be modified back to the preservation of the trees.

Destruction of 72 trees, many large trees in the heritage woodland portion of the park, will have a terrible impact on the nature and environment of the park. This would change the woodland drastically and many are wondering that in a time of drastic climate change, drought, and loss of urban forests that this would even be considered here. Here in our own community. Especially here at Flood Park, the only park in the this half of south-east San Mateo County that offers a woodland, beautiful walking paths through nature, and an environment and habitat for wildlife for all to enjoy, young and old.

To help envision the impact of the destruction of the trees, please view the interactive images below. This is one of the woodland areas where County plans to destroy trees. The removal of these trees and the shady woodland environment they provide will cause even greater impact: Higher temperatures, negatively impact the nearby trees, removes habitat for wild life, including many birds in the woodland. It will also decimate the ambience that generations of families, churches, and other groups have come to enjoy and expect at Flood Park.

County can alter the phasing of the the park improvement plans to avoid the destruction of the trees in the initial phase. By changing the first phase to focus on the exiting sports field area and removing from this 1st phase the destruction of the woodland trees, our community is provided time to work together with County on a solution that could preserve the woodland. This would not slow down the project - it might even accelerate the restoration of the baseball field and those fields next to it.

Below are two interactive photos. To view the current trees in one of the areas County plans to destroy trees and a projection of County's 'preferred' plan. Please drag the center control in the image to the left or right.

There is much more to measuring the impact of destroying our woodland trees. The wildlife in the park uses these trees for sources of food, for roosting, and for nesting. These trees significantly cool the areas around them and that benefits the other trees in the woodland with lower temperatures and better water retention in the environment. Under the ground, these trees are interconnected as a woodland community, with all of the other root structures and composition of the shared woodland.

If the plan cutting of the beautiful mature trees is allowed, it will have a very high impact on the surrounding trees and they will be under much higher stress levels. All of the trees in the SF Bay area are already under stress due to climate change and water shortages.