On May 19th, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted the Mini-Parks Policy amending the Parks Department Strategic Plan. It was a policy change that Supervisor Horsley and I had asked our Parks Director Marlene Finley to develop, if it was feasible. With the help of the Parks Commission Subcommittee and community members, the new policy was created, approved by the Parks Commission, and unanimously approved by our Board.
This is a much needed change in direction and a significant departure in the 91-year history of the Parks and Recreation Department. Until now, our Parks Department has acquired, developed and maintained large, regional parks and trails in undeveloped areas in the County. Recreation has generally been confined to picnicing, camping and hiking. With the adoption of this policy, our Board will have the opportunity to add small parks to the county parks system to serve the recreational needs of County residents who live in urban unincorporated areas like North Fair Oaks.
The newest addition to the park system is Friendship Park in North Fair Oaks. It is a perfect example of this type of park--it's less than an acre in size, provides the neighborhood a recreational space for kids and a community garden space for families. It was developed with community partners and would not even be possible without the permission of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the park's property owners. And despite its small size, Friendship Park is having a positively wonderful effect on the neighborhood.
Special thanks to Marlene Finley, our Parks Director and to my Parks Commissioner, Meda Okela, and to everyone who helped draft this policy!