Monthly Archives

April 2016

Community, Parks and Recreation

New Street Trees Improve San Mateo Neighborhoods

The city’s annual street tree planting program improves San Mateo’s quality of life and contributes to the greening of our community.

Tree lined streets improve quality of life and create healthier communities.

Tree lined streets improve quality of life and create healthier communities.

Urban trees provide fresh air, cooling shade, increased property values, and many other social and environmental benefits. San Mateo’s urban forest consists of over 22,000 trees in city parks and along neighborhood streets. This year, San Mateo’s Parks and Recreation Department will plant an additional 600 street trees along city streets, increasing San Mateo’s tree population by 2.7%.

“Tree planting is an investment in San Mateo’s quality of life, as trees are the only public infrastructure that increases in value over time,” says City Arborist, Matthew Fried. “This year, we were able to plant trees in areas previously covered by pavement. In total 3,200 square feet of concrete was removed and replaced with young trees. This is a stunning transformation for several San Mateo neighborhoods.”

San Mateo’s planting spree began last November and will continue through the end of April. The majority of the trees planted are in the Central, North Central, and Hayward Park Neighborhoods. The most common species of new street trees include 97 Chinese Pistache, 77 Frontier Elm, 49 Emerald Sunshine Elm, 53 Ginkgo (the fruitless variety!), 29 London Plane, and 27 Tupelo trees.

Benefits of Planting Street Trees

The diversity of San Mateo’s urban forest creates a unique landscape and provides many benefits throughout our community. The tree canopy is a natural air conditioner. It shades asphalt and other man-made materials, cools the air and assists in reducing erosion. Planting young trees ensures that the urban forest has a constant cycle of new growth as mature trees eventually succumb to disease, drought, or old age.

Tree lined streets in Downtown San Mateo create a pleasant walking environment.

Tree lined streets in Downtown San Mateo create a pleasant walking environment.

Community members were actively involved in the tree planting and assisted in identifying areas where trees would provide the greatest impact. One resident, living along the 100 block of 15th Avenue, has worked for several years to transform his street, which was almost entirely paved. In this area, concrete was removed and in its place, 30 trees were planted. The result is a neighborhood that is more walkable, safer, and aesthetically appealing.

“A tree lined street is something that I have envisioned for several years,” says Dominick De Bellis, property owner and community organizer along 15th Avenue. “Collaborating with City Arborist, Matthew Fried helped to realize this vision. Over the course of several months, we developed a plan to plant trees along my block. The city’s street tree program is an incredible benefit to the San Mateo community.”

Funding and Caring for the Investment of Street Trees

San Mateo’s Parks and Recreation Department manages the street tree planting program. Trees are planted annually with funding provided through development fees. Trees are an investment in the community. During the warmer months, the city will water trees periodically to ensure survival. The community though is encouraged to participate in the care of the trees and is invited to help with the watering. Watering instructions are posted on each new tree, and a door hanger with additional care information is left at the time of planting.

For more information about the city’s street tree services and additional resources to care for trees, please visit the city’s website.


Final Days To Provide Community Input

San Mateo’s Draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is available for public comment through April 29, 2016

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies goals and strategies to protect important city infrastructure.

Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can cause loss of life, damage buildings, threaten infrastructure, and have a devastating impact on a community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. The ability to mitigate and reduce these impacts is just as important as the response to a potential threat.

The City of San Mateo has recently updated and released its Draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan for public review and comment. San Mateo’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies goals and strategies to reduce potential harm from natural disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, and fire throughout our community. Broad goals aim to protect the community, and assets such as housing, and economic resources. It establishes an outreach plan, builds government capacity, and prioritizes the city’s ability to adapt to climate change. The strategies are unique to San Mateo and focus on specific community needs.

“San Mateo’s local hazard mitigation plan helps the city and community consider what could happen during a disaster by putting strategies and resources in place before one happens,” says San Mateo Fire Chief, John Healy. “If something does happen, the plan provides a framework to reduce the number of lives lost, injuries occurring, and properties damaged.

Share your thoughts and ideas by April 29th.


Jenelle Masterson, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, discusses the importance of the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan at a community meeting.

Community input is vital to the adoption of the mitigation plan. San Mateo will accept public comments through April 29th before sending it to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for approval. FEMA requires local agencies to update their mitigation plans every five years. The mitigation plan also ensures that San Mateo is eligible to receive federal hazard mitigation grants.

San Mateo’s Draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is more comprehensive than the existing plan adopted in 2011. It is a stand-alone document using best available data sources, maps, and analysis tools to assess our exposure to risk; it addresses potential hazards resulting from climate change, and the community participated in the process through surveys and an interactive public workshop.

“The San Mateo community can be proud of the draft mitigation plan,” says Jenelle Masterson, San Mateo’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “Each city department, as well as the community, participated in the process. The plan will help us protect valuable community assets.”

How do I submit community input?

The San Mateo community is invited to review the Draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and submit comments or questions by visiting or by contacting Jenelle Masterson, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at

Community, Community Events

Springtime Events in San Mateo

“Come the spring with all its splendor. All its birds and all its blossoms. All its flowers and leaves and grasses.”- Walter Goodfellow

San Mateo is buzzing, with tons of fun events to enjoy in this beautiful Springtime weather. The Beresford Park Renovation Project is nearly complete, Earth Day festivities galore, and San Mateo Innovation Week 2016 are among the many local activities coming up.

The following article highlights some of these events, but be sure to visit our Event Calendar for even more local community events (many of which are free to attend)!

PLEASE NOTE: We strive to ensure all events listed here are accurate and up-to-date. However, event dates, times, locations, and other details are subject to change without prior notice. Therefore, we recommend you contact the specific event organizer to confirm details. Thank you for visiting!


San-Mateo-Innovation-Week-2016San Mateo Innovation Week

Mon, May 16 thru Fri, May 22, 2016

San Mateo Innovation Week celebrates the spirit of creativity, productivity and innovation in San Mateo.  With a national spotlight on the internationally celebrated “Maker Faire” in San Mateo in May 2016, Innovation Week has the opportunity to leverage the energy, media attention and number of visitors coming to the city. Learn more…


Richochet Wearable Art Happy HourRicochet’s Wearable Art Happy Hour

Monthly, 1st Thurs of each month, 5-8pm

Did you have a long day and now you want to relax? Do you want to enjoy good music with some good company? We are happy to announce that Ricochet Wearable Art Boutique is holding happy hours each month! This is a great time to shop around the store, socialize, get to know the artists and Jill, and nibble on free snacks and drinks! Bring in snacks, drinks or music to share and receive 10% off your purchase! Learn more…

Garden_FIGardening Clinics at San Mateo Arboretum Society

Weekly Events Offered

Nearly every weekend, there’s something fun happening at the San Mateo Arboretum Society, located next to the Rose Garden in beautiful San Mateo Central Park. Master Gardener Plant Clinics answer your questions on a wide range of gardening topics from general information, to specific problems. You can even bring samples of your plants for better diagnosis! Water wise and drought tolerant gardening tips are also covered. View class schedule…

CSM Earth DayCollege of San Mateo Earth Day

Fri, April 22, 2016, 10am-1pm

College of San Mateo’s 2nd Annual Earth Day celebration will be bigger and more interactive than ever! Meet over 20 exhibitors and student clubs presenting on social justice, biodiversity, water, waste, and energy issues affecting the CSM community. Learn and earn free food! This is a zero waste event. Click here to learn more…

Coyote-PointBeach & Park Cleanup

Sat, April 23, 2016, 9am-12noon

In honor of Earth Day, CuriOdyssey and the San Mateo County Park Rangers are sponsoring a beach and park cleanup project at Coyote Point Park. Volunteers may participate for any portion of this time. Pre-registration is not required but is appreciated for groups of 10 or more. Questions? Email the CuriOdyssey volunteer manager at:


Half Moon Bay CoastlineEarth Day Taste & Talk Forum: Sea Level Rise in San Mateo County

Mon, April 25, 2016, 6:30-8pm

Join the City of San Mateo’s 2nd Annual Earth Day Taste & Talk Community Forum. Sample food from local San Mateo restaurants while enjoying a discussion on a key environmental issue for our community. The focus of this year’s event is Sea Level Rise in San Mateo County. Learn about initiatives underway by both the County and by the City of San Mateo to address this issue. 

Please click here to RSVP for this free event: Earth Day Taste & Talk Forum

39th Hillsborough-San Mateo Spring Garden Tour & Plant SaleGarden Tour-SanMateo

Sat, May 7, 2016

Perfect in time for Mother’s Day! The 39th Annual Hillsborough-San Mateo Spring Garden Tour & Plant Sale is here. Visit the five gardens that were selected for sustainability, artistry, and creativity. At the Kohl Pumphouse in Central Park, San Mateo from 10am to 5pm. Enjoy Spring Fairy Garden demonstrations, vendors, food, and plant sale! Purchase Tickets…


Bike to Work DayBike to Work Day 2016

Thurs, May 12, 2016

Join hundreds of thousands of people riding their bikes to work on the Bay Area’s 22nd Annual Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 12.  Visit your nearest Energizer Station on your way to work on Bike to Work Day and enjoy free coffee, snacks, and get a free canvas tote bag. View event details…

CONTEST ALERT! Show Bay Meadows how you roll to work on May 12th, and be entered to win some wheels and other fun prizes! Click here for contest details.

Foot GolfFootGolf

Daily, after 4pm

Poplar Creek Golf Course in San Mateo opens the first 18-hole, American FootGolf League – certified FootGolf course on the Peninsula. FootGolf is played just like golf, but with a No. 5 soccer ball instead of a golf ball and clubs, and 21-inch holes. The rules are similar to golf, as is the etiquette expected of the players.

The Poplar Creek FootGolf course is on the golf course front nine holes, and is perfect for kids and families. It takes about two hours to play 18 FootGolf holes. FootGolf can be played any day after 4pm. For now, no tee time reservations are necessary – play will be first come, first served. Learn more…


PLEASE NOTE: We strive to ensure all events listed here are accurate and up-to-date. However, event dates, times, locations, and other details are subject to change without prior notice. Therefore, we recommend you contact the specific event organizer to confirm details. Thank you for reading!