Monthly Archives

July 2016

Citywide Yard Sale
Community Events

The Citywide Yard Sale is Back!

Back by popular demand! On Saturday, August 27th, the Citywide Yard Sale is returning to San Mateo. This is a wonderful way to build community relationships while also doing some end-of-summer cleaning and downsizing. Make your neighborhood safer by getting to know who lives around you, and practice sustainability by reducing, reusing, recycling, and reselling. Anyone who lives in the City of San Mateo can register for free by Friday, August 26th.

“The Citywide Yard Sale brings neighbors together to reuse and recycle the items they no longer need while providing an opportunity to form friendships and create a well-connected community,” said Donna Divodi, San Mateo Volunteer Coordinator. One of Divodi’s favorite things about this event is the neighborhood ties and connections that it makes. You get to know people living in your neighborhood and start watching out for one another, making your neighborhood safer. “When these connections form, residents look out for one another and pay attention to what’s happening next door, on their block and throughout their neighborhood,” Divodi said.

The website for the Yard Sale is incredibly easy and very helpful for everyone who may need it. You can register there and find all the information, tips, and ideas you may need to have a great sale. There is also an interactive map where you can see all of the sales in the city; this map will route you to the sales from wherever you are. The map also includes pictures of the items themselves. If you’re looking for a certain item, this map makes it easy to search for specific items in different sales. The search can also separate by single-sales and multifamily-sales.

citywide yardsaleWhen you register, you’re able to upload up to three pictures; pictures usually feature unique items in your sale. These are the photos that will show up on the map under your listing. This map function is the most helpful resource if you’re a shopper or bargain hunter.

If you want to participate in the Yard Sale but don’t have enough to fill up your yard, team up with neighbors and register as a multifamily-sale. This type of sale is a favorite of bargain-hunters, and you’re bound to get patrons to peruse your items. Live in an apartment, condo, or another type of home where you don’t have a yard? Ask your HOA or landlord if you’re able to sell in front of your building. If your HOA or landlord does not allow this, call a friend in the City and team up to have a multifamily-sale. This Yard Sale is as much a neighborhood fun-raiser as it is a fundraiser for you or possibly a local organization of your choice.

This is the second year the Citywide Yard Sale will happen with the helpful interactive map. Before last year, the Citywide Yard Sale had not been held for about a decade due to logistical issues. The technology available today makes this Citywide Yard Sale easier to organize and more fun for residents!

“The Yard Sale will provide a fun, interactive way to build community and establish the neighborly relationships that make San Mateo a safe, vibrant place to live and raise a family,” said Divodi. This is a great event for both sellers and buyers alike; get rid of some items that have been piling up in your home, or go out and find that gem you’ve been looking for at a great price.

On the day of the Citywide Yard Sale, join us by sharing “Photos of the Day” and unique treasures you’ve found along the way on social media by using the hashtag #SanMateoCitywideYardSale! We will share and retweet your posts to get everyone involved. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please email


City Council, Community, Sustainability

Sustainable landscaping at City Hall sets example for community

The Bay Area is in the midst of another severe drought and warnings are being issued about limiting water consumption and usage. One of the biggest areas where residents and businesses can limit their water usage is when watering gardens and landscaping. To both reduce water consumption and set an example for the rest of the community, San Mateo City Hall has revamped its surrounding landscaping with sustainable plants and watering systems to create sustainable landscaping, and added a new decorative wall to emphasize the natural look and feel of the building.

City Hall is situated in the center of San Mateo on West 20th Avenue and has an understated presence. Its new sustainable landscaping and decorative wall create a welcoming entry to an approachable facility that fully complements its location within the community.

Enhancing Sustainability with Plants

The landscaping features an environmentally sound collection of Mediterranean and California native plants. Special attention was given to the selection of each plant regarding their ecological functions and their architectural design. “The plantings were selected to thrive together,” said Elga Perez-Rubio, Green Iridescent Hummingbird Feeding on Pink FlowerSenior Parks and Landscape Maintenance Worker. Gardens and landscapes are expected to be resource efficient and use reduced amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides, labor and energy. “All of these elements were taken into consideration, and the landscaping is having less of an impact on the environment,” Perez-Rubio stated.

The new landscaping is a serene habitat and is creating an ecological system that is inviting to a variety of wildlife such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, sparrows, lady bugs, and earthworms. The selection of landscaping was made with this in mind. Everything from the colors of the plants to their scent and flower production attracts and retains them.

In total, landscapers placed 1,500 plants throughout the grounds of City Hall ranging from non-fruit bearing olive trees, coastal Redwoods, and Maples. Lavender, rosemary, carpet roses and an assortment of salvia, sage, star jasmine and California poppies provide an array of color ranging from white to yellow, orange, blue and purple. Hydrangeas and leaf foliage in shade zones were added for interest.

The majority of the plants require moderate amounts of water to thrive, and an upgraded irrigation system helps to meet state and local water efficiency goals and mandates. Landscapers installed a drip tubing irrigation system called Netafim, developed in Israel, to apply water at the root zone where it is most needed; smart controllers adjust the irrigation amounts, and mulch throughout the grounds retains soil moisture in the roots. The three components of the irrigation system successfully conserve water and manage its usage.

A Lab for the Community

City staff hopes that San Mateo residents can come and learn from the new landscaping and incorporate some of its features into their landscaping at home.

“Think of the new landscaping as a lab,” said Parks and Recreation Director, Sheila Canzian. “Many of these plants are easy to incorporate into home gardens and the community is welcome to visit the grounds to learn about the varieties planted.” resized

To encourage residents and community members to come visit the new landscaping, and City Hall, the new display wall was designed to “grow” out of the landscape and flow around the building. Staff wanted the environment to be welcoming as well as properly detailed so anyone walking by will know they arrived at City Hall.

The wall is capped with a natural flagstone selected to blend the elements together. It provides an appealing transition from the building to the landscape with its subtle curves and complementary colors. The wall on the east side gives a predominant place for the friendship olive tree from Toyonaka, the Sister City of San Mateo.

The new landscaping and entry feature create a stronger sense of place and enhances City Hall’s presence in the neighborhood. “The grounds are beautiful, and City Hall is such an inviting place to visit,” says Mayor Goethals. “I encourage community members to visit City Hall and wander the grounds. It’s peaceful and relaxing, and this project represents one small fraction of all San Mateo is doing to create a more sustainable environment.”

City Council’s Recognition

Last Monday, July 18th, the City of San Mateo formally recognized the completion of the new City Hall Landscaping Project. The new landscaping creates a serene environment and the recently constructed entry feature identifies the building as a civic facility in the neighborhood. Mayor Joe Goethals and San Mateo4X3A2003 City Manager, Larry Patterson welcomed the community at the ceremony, acknowledged city staff that led and contributed to the project, and recognized the benefits this landscaping brings to the community and the environment.

“It’s a tremendous improvement from what used to be here,” Patterson said. “The wall facing 20th Avenue lets visitors know they’ve arrived at City Hall, and the new landscaping is a complete transformation of the grounds. City staff designed and installed the landscaping and city staff also designed the wall. I’m proud of the attention and ingenuity given to the project. They’ve done a remarkable job.”

At the following City Council meeting, Council presented a proclamation to recognize July as Parks and Recreation Month. The City wanted to acknowledge all of the hard work that Parks employees put into completing the project. This project was important because it makes San Mateo an even more sustainable city.  For more information about upcoming Council meetings and City events, please visit

Community Events

Event Round Up: End of July in San Mateo

July is quickly wrapping up and summer seems to be speeding up. San Mateo still has plenty going on through the end of July to keep you and your family busy through these warm months with free concerts, farmers markets, and so much more.

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National Night Out

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event designed to raise crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and unity, and develop partnerships between the City and the community on the “block level.” Strengthen your community by knowing your neighbors, watching out for each other, and working together for a safe community.  This SMPDevent is open to all residents and blocks in the City of San Mateo.

The deadline to register for this Tuesday, August 2nd event, held from 6:00pm-9:00pm, is this Friday, July 29th; click here for more information.

July in San Mateo

Don’t forget to register for the Citywide Yard Sale!

Back by popular demand, the citywide yard sale will be happening again on August 27th. Registration is now open if you want to host your own yard sale or maybe partner up with neighbors or local organizations. This is a great community event you won’t want to miss — register today! Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to


Central Park Music Series: Pop Fiction – Party

July in San MateoCome get your dose of FREE live music at the weekly Central Park Music Series. This week, Pop Fiction an 8-piece party band featuring unsurpassed talent, versatility, energy, and style- both musically and visually, will play flawless renditions of the greatest 70’s disco hits from Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, and KC and the Sunshine Band, 80’s classics from Depeche Mode, The B52s, and Madonna, fist-shaking rock sing-alongs from AC/DC, Journey, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard, and the most current pop and hip hop hits from artists like Beyonce, The Black-Eyed Peas, Usher, and Rihanna. Come listen and enjoy with friends and family while munching on food from the vendors there. This is a weekly event, every Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm through August 18th. Come check it out! More information here:

25th Avenue Farmers’ Market

July in San MateoRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, August 2: 4:00pm-7:30pm; Hacienda St. at W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403;

Art in Public Places
Community Development

San Mateo’s “Art in Public Places” Program

If you frequent San Mateo you’ve probably seen some of the beautiful and creative art pieces that are on display throughout the town. From Synthesis in front of 2000 Delaware to the El Camino Mural in front of Peninsula Station, these displays of art are becoming more prevalent throughout the community thanks to the Art in Public Places program.

Art in Public Places

Synthesis in front of 2000 Delaware

This program was established in 2005 by an ordinance passed by City Council  in order to “promote the general welfare through balancing the community’s physical growth and revitalization and its cultural and artistic resources.” The Civic Arts Committee maintains this program and calls for a 0.5% building permit fee to be used directly by the developers to commission and install their own art in publicly accessible places within projects that are valued at or greater than $3 million, or to provide the City the required in-lieu fee that then is reserved for City acquisition, installation and maintenance of public art. The program and ordinance applies to all new developments, whether it be residential, commercial, or retail.

As of April 2016, the total obligation to public art exceeds $2.8 million through this program.  That includes both $1.8 million directly through the ordinance and the $1 million of public art support from the Bay Meadows development agreement.

Developers must select the artists and submit a proposal to the committee. The Committee then decides on the proposal based on established guidelines. Heather Stewart, Senior Management Analyst for Community Development, said that the “committee works hard to make sure the art is accessible” to the community. One requirement for the public art is that it is accessible and interactive for the community. For example, the San Mateo Bridge sculpture in Landing Green Park is a series of steel structures so that when you walk around it you can appreciate the sculpture from a wide variety of different angles.

Art in Public Places

San Mateo Bridge sculpture in Landing Green Park

The purpose of the program is to involve the community in the development process so they can enjoy it more. Although not all artists are local — plenty are from all over the world — there are several who go back to Bay Area, or even San Mateo, roots, like the aforementioned San Mateo Bridge sculpture by Chuck Ginnever. Stewart said that this program isn’t unique to San Mateo and that it’s a “movement through municipalities.” Throughout the Bay Area cities and towns are enacting public art programs as “one way to bring art and culture to the community,” Stewart said.

The newest public art display that is a part of this program will be unveiled later this year. The “Mirror Labyrinth NY – for California” will be front and center in the Town Square of Bay Meadows. This sculpture is a large scale steel and aluminum sculpture that will reflect all of the lighting from surrounding businesses and homes making it a delight to see a night. During the day, kids will love wandering through the small paths created by the structure.

Art in Public Places

El Camino Real mural in front of Peninsula Station

Stewart thinks this piece of art will be a big hit, as most of the other art pieces around town have been well-received by San Mateo residents. Stewart said that “…there has been an appreciation for what has been installed so far,” and with new developments always in the works, the program is bound to be incredibly successful.


Japanese Garden's 50th Anniversary
Community, Parks and Recreation

The Japanese Garden’s 50th Anniversary

For years San Mateo residents have loved the Japanese Garden in Central Park for its serenity and beautiful nature. Next month marks the Japanese Garden’s 50th Anniversary and the City of San Mateo 50th Anniversaryrecognizes the Garden’s significance to not only the landscape but also to the community. Throughout the month of August there are multiple events to commemorate the beautiful garden. Check out the City’s website for more information.

One of the finest gardens in California, San Mateo’s Japanese Garden was designed by the same landscape architect who designed the Zen Garden in the Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden: Nagao Sakurai of the Imperial Palace of Tokyo. Sakurai beautifully incorporated beautiful cherry trees, Japanese maples, Bonsai, and more to create a tranquil landscape perfect for taking a walk, meditating, or simply enjoying nature.

One great feature is the kidney shaped koi pond full of fish splashing around. There is a bridge crossing over the pond for you to soak up the calm atmosphere while standing over the fish. While walking through the garden you’ll find your eye drawn to many different aspects you may not have seen previously, like the granite pagoda. There are many other features to marvel over in the garden, including a tea house and bamboo grove.

History of the Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden came to fruition through efforts to rectify racial tensions with Japanese Americans after World War II. Over the 20 years or so from the end of WWII to the groundbreaking of the Garden, the San Mateo community underwent a healing process culminating in 1963.

“Sister City” Relationship Established

San Mateo’s mayor of the time, Roy Archibald, proposed a sister city relationship to Mayor Tasuku Fujito of Toyonaka, Japan. “Sister cities” is a concept that was proposed by President Eisenhower in 1956. The purpose of these sister cities is to promote “citizen diplomacy” around the world by linking U.S. cities to cities in other countries. San Mateo established its sister city relationship with Toyonaka in 1963. Gifts were exchanged between San CENTRAL PARK21 resizedMateo and Toyonaka; the El Camino bell now sits near the entrance of the Toyonaka City Hall, and a few years later, Toyonaka contributed the granite pagoda to the San Mateo Japanese Garden.

Momentum for the Garden Blossoms

Following the sister city development, another community project began in San Mateo: the Japanese Garden. The San Mateo Gardeners’ Association had proposed to maintain and landscape the garden in a public location sometime in the 1950s, but until the sister city relationship was put into place, a location had not been chosen. This sister city relationship with Toyonaka led to the suggestion of a one-acre site in Central Park. This suggestion was taken and that is where the Japanese Garden is today.

To make the garden as successful as possible, a Japanese Garden Koen-Kai (support group) club was organized. This club selected Nagao Sakurai to design the grounds and raised money for its completion. Start-up funds were also granted by the City. The Garden was started on October 22, 1965, and many organizations – both companies and individuals – donated money, materials, and volunteered DSCN1109 resizedlabor to make sure the Garden was finished. The Gardeners’ Association, for example, donated 6,000 man-hours for the completion of the Garden. It was at this time that Toyonaka contributed the pagoda.

A Significant Community Landmark Established

With a dedication ceremony at Central Park, the Garden was officially completed in August of 1966. There was a banquet following the ceremony at the Villa Hotel and the Mayor of Toyonaka sat at this banquet as guest of honor. The Japanese Garden has maintained it’s beauty and is a gem located in the heart of our community.

San Mateo is proud to boast such a beautiful and serene garden amid the hustle and bustle of urban downtown. It’s significant history and success is something the City is proud of. Be sure to come to one of the many events happening in August to commemorate the hard work that previous San Mateo residents put into making the Garden as successful as it is. And if you can’t make one of the events, make time to take a stroll through and ponder the considerable history the Garden holds!

The Japanese Garden is open from 10:00am – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday and 11:00am-4:00pm on the weekends. The Garden will be open for extended evening hours from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on Thursdays through August 25th. There are public koi feedings at 11:00am and 3:00pm, Monday – Friday during the spring and summer. No dogs are allowed in the Japanese Garden.

Community Development, Sustainability

Have You Tried San Mateo’s Bike Share?

San Mateo’s Bay Bikes are Perfect for Your Commuting Needs

San Mateo has been working to make commuting in and around the City as easy as possible. Connect San Mateo is one of the best resources that San Mateans can use to figure out their commutes on a daily basis. One of the featured modes of transportation featured on Connect San Mateo is the recently-launched bike share program Bay Bikes.

Mayor Joe Goethals

Mayor Joe Goethals riding a Bay Bike

Bay Bikes offers bikes for short term use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All you need to do is register with the Social Bicycles app, add a few bucks, and you’re ready to go! With convenient hubs throughout San Mateo it’s the easiest, healthiest and most affordable way to get around town. This new bike share is operated by Bikes Make Life Better, a Bay-area bike fleet operator, with funding and support from the City of San Mateo. The bicycles and technology are by Social Bicycles, a leading provider of smart-bike share systems.

The program launched in May and has been a success so far. The City is happy with usage rates and is excited to see the rates growing. These bikes are unique and stand out from other bike sharing systems because of the Social Bicycles app. The app makes finding bikes and hubs incredibly easy. On the app, you can find out how many bikes are near you at a certain time, and can find the nearest hubs to you.

When you register, there are two options for membership plans: hourly and monthly. The hourly plan is simply $5/hour and trips are prorated to the minute. Monthly membership is $15/month. Click here for more information on membership plans.

Make sure you register for Bay Bikes today! It’s the easiest choice for moving around town. Watch the video for further introduction to this great program!


Citywide Yard Sale
Community Events

July in San Mateo: Weekly Event Round Up

July in San Mateo is keeping everyone busy. With weekly free concerts, farmers markets, and various other events happening around town, there is so much for you to choose from to keep your summer calendar full. Keep reading for a round-up of events happening this week!

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Citywide Yard Sale — Registration NOW OPEN!July in San Mateo

Back by popular demand, the citywide yard sale will be happening again come August 27th! Host your own yard sale in front of your residence, maybe partnering with neighbors or fundraising with a local organization, or shop around finding great bargains and meeting your neighbors — this is going to be a great community event!

Free registration for the yard sale opened on Monday:

Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to:


Central Park Music Series: Tito Garcia – Latin

July in San MateoCome get your dose of FREE live music at the weekly central park music series. This week, Tito Garcia will be playing Salsa in the traditional format, plus a little West Coast “tinge,” while you relax and enjoy friends, family, and food from the vendors there. This is a weekly event, every Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm through August 18th. Come check it out! More information here:

99.7 NOW! Topless Summer

99.7 NOW! is bringing Topless Summer back to Hillsdale. Enter for a chance to win a brand new 2016 Jeep Cherokee! DJ Strawberry and the 99.7 NOW! team will be on site. Don’t miss your chance to win one of three new Jeeps! Saturday, July 23; 1:00pm-3:00pm; Hillsdale Shopping Center, Sixty 31st Avenue;

25th Avenue Farmer’s Market

July in San MateoRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, July 26: 4:00pm-7:30pm; Hacienda St. at W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403;


Protect the Bay!

Pollution & Water Conservation

Last week we provided San Mateo residents with information and tips about water pollution prevention and conservation in San Mateo County. Keeping clean water on the mind, protecting the San Francisco Bay is crucial to maintaining the beauty and health of the Bay Area. Read more to learn about how you can help protect the Bay and conserve water in San Mateo.

What Pollutes the Bay?

It’s hard to keep track of what you should throw away, flush, recycle, compost, sell, etc — it seems like anything could harm the environment in one way or another. But, it doesn’t need to be too confusing; there are just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to protecting the Bay and saving the environment. For more information, visit for all of your pollution and conservation questions.


Protect the Bay

Bay Front Clean Up

Trash is one of the biggest visible culprits of damaging the environment. Many pieces of trash harm wildlife like seals, birds, and turtles when they become entangled in it. Trash can end up in the Bay when it ends up in storm drains or Bay Area creeks.

How Can You Help?

The easiest solution = don’t litter! And if you see trash on your daily walk or in parking lots, etc., pick it up and dispose of it correctly. You can also participate in many Bay Area cleanups that are hosted by various organizations, and reduce your own waste by bringing your own cloth bags to grocery stores and your own coffee cups to coffee shops.

Car Pollutants

Every car, whether it be hybrid or not, discharges harmful pollutants like oil and metal particles like lead, zinc, and copper into the environment. When you wash your car or

Protect the Bay

Bay Bikes: San Mateo’s convenient bike share program

when it rains, these pollutants wash off and into storm drains which lead to creeks which eventually lead to the Bay.  Although the pollutants are somewhat unavoidable with cars, it is possible to prevent the pollutants from entering and contaminating the Bay.

How Can You Help?

Instead of washing your car at home, take it to one of many car washes (and quite a few are eco-conscious!) in town. Car washes treat the polluted water that comes from your car before letting it wash away to the Bay. Be sure to also take your car in for regular maintenance to ensure everything is working correctly and nothing is discharging unnecessarily. If you change your oil yourself, make sure none of the oil washes into the storm drains and remember to never dump your oil!

Of course, the easiest way to avoid car-related pollution is to not drive at all. San Mateo offers a myriad of public transit options. Check out this article for more information about Connect San Mateo — the easiest way to figure out the best public transportation options for you.


Protect the Bay

Bay Front Clean Up

Mercury doesn’t immediately come to mind when thinking of pollution and all you can do to prevent it, but it is a problem that is easy to eradicate. There are large amounts of this toxic liquid metal left over in the Bay Area from the gold-mining era. This makes it extremely important to eliminate any new sources of mercury from entering the Bay. Mercury is dangerous to any person, bird, or fish who eat Bay fish as they are at risk of mercury poisoning. By doing your part, you are drastically reducing this risk!

How Can You Help?

First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that throwing away any items that contains mercury is against the law. If you have a mercury thermometer, it is possible to exchange it for a non-toxic one. Check out this site for more tips on how to dispose of toxic household items. You can also bring these mercury thermometers, or toxic fluorescent light bulbs, to your local hazardous waste facility. To find the closest facility, check


If you have left over prescription drugs, or just regular over-the-counter painkillers, be sure you know how to dispose of them properly. Flushed pharmaceuticals and leaky landfills are leading to more

Protect the Bay

Watershed into the San Francisco Bay

and more of these toxic products found in the Bay, which can harm wildlife and prevent fish from reproducing.

How Can You Help?

Do not flush OR throw away your unwanted pharmaceuticals. Take these pollutants to your local hazardous waste facility (, or head to a local pharmacy that accepts medication for proper disposal. To find one such pharmacy, look here.

Pet Waste

Protect the Bay

Bring a bag to pick up your pet’s waste on every walk!

Although it seems like pet waste is natural, organic, and compostable, it’s not! Pet waste contains bacteria that is harmful to humans and other wildlife alike. By not picking up your pet’s waste when on a walk, the waste can flow into storm drains, then creeks, then the Bay.

How Can You Help?

Always, always, always pick up your pet’s waste, even if it is in your own backyard. Never compost pet waste, especially your cat’s waste. Some cat feces carry a common parasite that has been found to be harmful to sea otters. Throw all bagged waste into the trash!

Check out this article to learn more about receiving a free pet waste container, and more about how pet waste can be harmful to the Bay.

Water Conservation Efforts

We shared many tips about water conservation in last week’s article, and we want to show you that San Mateo residents’ efforts are paying off!

When comparing the first five months of this year to the first five months of 2013, San Mateo has seen a reduction of 20.2%, which exceeds the state mandate of 16% reduction. Also, in 2013, the gallons per day per capita averaged 61.4. In 2016, the new average of gallons per day per capita is 50.4, which is tremendous. Way to go San Mateo!

Community, Parks and Recreation

Play Area to Re-Open in Beresford Park

The play area at Beresford Park, one of the major community parks in San Mateo and a favorite of residents, has been given a facelift. The grand opening of the renovated play area will be at noon this Saturday, July 23. Be sure to stop by and give the new play area some use!

Having been constructed in 1987, the park’s playground and surrounding area was due for a major renovation that updated the playground and better met many of today’s safety and accessibility standards. The Parks and Recreation department began an extensive multi-year design review process involving the community and the Park and Recreation Commission to update the play area and make it a great place for children again.

Designs for the new play area created with help from elementary school students.

“This involved public outreach and feedback through online engagement starting in October 2013,” said Valerie Vijil, an Administrative Technician in the Parks and Recreation department. “The following spring, we worked with children from Beresford Elementary School who provided information as to what they would like to see in the new playground.” With that information from the elementary school students, the department developed construction documents, and the project was put out to bid in June 2015. The construction then began in September 2015, and should be completed by July 23, 2016.

San Mateo residents are excited for the re-opening. “Many families are anxiously awaiting the grand re-opening of the playground. The children have greatly missed gong to Beresford playground and are eager to try out the new play equipment and see the new layout,” Vijil said.

Designs for the new play area created with help from elementary school students

The playground wasn’t the only thing being renovated during this process. The project also focused on upgrading the adjacent picnic areas, surrounding pathways, storm drains, park lighting, site furniture, and landscaping. Brand new adult fitness equipment has also been installed in Beresford Park.

To make these upgrades special, the San Mateo City Parks and Recreation Foundation, in collaboration with the Parks and Recreation staff, coordinated a commemorative brick and play amenity campaign to help raise additional money for the play area renovation. Phase one of the brick and play amenity campaign is over, but it’s not too late to donate now that the park is open. The phase one bricks will be unveiled at the grand re-opening ceremony on July 23, but if anyone missed the deadline and would still like a brick at the new and improved playground, there will be a second installation later in the year.

The new Beresford Park playground and surrounding areas have been carefully planned and executed to make sure all San Mateo residents enjoy it to the fullest. Be sure to head over to the park around noon on Saturday to see what many people have been working hard to make perfect for you and your kids!

Community, Sustainability

Water Pollution Prevention in San Mateo

The San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP) has been working hard county of small summer to make sure San Mateo residents know their options when it comes to doing their part for water conservation. This is the hottest and driest summer on record for California, and it’s important to keep water conservation in mind while doing every day activities. Below you’ll find incetives from SMCWPPP to conserve water, as well as other tips and tricks to keep your life water-waste-free.

Car Wash Program

In all this dry heat, dust seems to be coating all the cars on the peninsula. Car washes are great, and so satisfying, but did you know that there are hazardous pollutants that come from washing cars? In an effort to have residents take their cars to eco-friendly car washes throughout San Mateo County, SMCWPPP is offering a 20% off coupon to 11 participating eco-friendly car washes!

To sign up for the coupon, text “carwash” to 38470, or visit This coupon will not be available after August 31st, so be sure to sign up today!

Pet Waste Bag Container Giveaway

Walking your dogs in the park, or seeing all the dogs being walked, can be so fun and rewarding — they’re always so happy to be out and about! When you’re heading out the door, sometimes it’s difficultdogbag to remember to grab some plastic bags to pick up  your pet’s waste while on the walk. Just leaving the waste can be harmful to the community, but also to local waters if the waste is washed away.

SMCWPPP is encouraging residents to continue to pick up after pets by giving away free pet waste bag containers that can be easily clipped to a leash or harness so you never forget to bring some bags! To request a canister, visit These containers are only available while supplies last.

Other Water Conservation Tips & Tricks

There are many aspects of our lives that can be adjusted to save more water. The obvious ones, like showering and washing dishes or doing laundry, are important to keep in mind. However, there are so many other things you can be doing to conserve water, too! This website provides a large list of tips for
IMGL6822resizedwater conservation, check it out and see what you can incorporate into your daily life.


Landscaping is a big source of water use and it can be difficult to think of ways to reduce water waste. To start, check out this Watering by the Numbers guide to help you determine how much and what you should be watering. There are also plenty of options when it comes to how to landscape, like xeriscape landscaping to reduce your impact.

Indoor Tips

From simple tricks, like throwing a dropped ice cube into a plant’s pot instead of in the sink, or to big adjustments made after calculating your daily water use, there are many things that you can do to reduce your use of water inside your home. There is also a handy calculator where you can see how you’re using the most water and where you need to cut back: click here. Be sure to also check for leaky faucets and pipes and tightening them as needed — this can make a huge difference!

Teach Your Kids!

It’s important that kids know how to conserve water too. Be sure to be teaching your children water IMGL7342 resizedconservation habits — like short showers, turning off the faucet when brushing teeth or washing hands, etc. — so that they form the habits early and carry them into their adult lives.


Water conservation is something all residents of California should be thinking about, and SMCWPPP is a great resource for San Mateo County residents to use. Check out their website for more tips, tricks, and helpful information about how you can help save water.