San Mateo County Parks has been working on "reimagining" Flood County Park since 2015. It is now in the "realize" stage, https://parks.smcgov.org/realize-flood-park, but you can still participate in the planning process by attending community meetings and/or sign the petition below.
There is a conflict developing because aspects of the reimaging require many trees to be removed.
Our concern arises -- not simply over removal of trees but -- because County Parks and many residents are unaware of the cultural and historic significance of the very old native valley oak, coast live oak, and bay trees in this County Park. Most of the valley floor between the San Francisco baylands and mountains was originally oak savanna and woodlands. Today they are ALL but gone with just a few acres left in San Jose at the Guadalupe Oak Grove Park and here at Flood Park making these remnants extremely scarce and irreplaceable.
Part of the awareness problem arises since San Mateo County has a very strict definition of "heritage" trees -- 48" diameter for a valley oak for example. A 48" valley oak could easily be 200 - 300 years old or more, predating the recognized "historic" adobe at the park, yet the trees are not included in the historic or cultural aspects of the park plan. Many of these trees, including trees slated for removal, predate the purchase of this property with the goldrush wealth by James Flood in about 1863. Planners have spoken to acknowledge these lands as once the place of indigenous peoples, yet the connection to the indigenous way of life that depended on these natural resources has so far been ignored.
Most of the desired upgrades for this park -- an inclusive playground and ball field improvements and expansion -- can still be implemented while protecting the oldest trees. The exception is a smaller secondary additional ball field.
Please support local residents' petition to save these irreplaceable trees at https://www.change.org/p/save-flood-park-native-trees?redirect=false.
Written by Dave Poeschel