“Parks Make Life Better!” …and San Mateo has over 200 acres of parks

At Bay Meadows we are all about building community, living green, and celebrating a healthy – active lifestyle. We recently caught up with Marcus Clarke at the City of San Mateo to ask him a few questions about our favorite kind of green, the kind that allows us to live life in motion. That’s right, our parks. Marcus gives us the scoop on two very exciting park upgrades, and some insider tips – including where to take a hike, favorite park events and what he’d pack on a picnic.

We’ve heard there will be games and prizes to win in Bay Meadows Park on April 12th. Describe your role in the upcoming Peace, Love and Green event: As Economic Development Manager, I support activities that expose and promote the wonderful assets of San Mateo. This event is one of them. The City of San Mateo Parks and Rec will be playing host to a series of lawn games at San Mateo’s newest park  - Bay Meadows Park. They’ll be lawn checkers, cornhole and table tennis,  and guests will have a chance to win prizes. Be sure to raise a glass for a good cause: 10% of proceeds from the Beer and Wine Garden will be donated to the City of San Mateo Parks and Rec.

In what ways does the City of San Mateo (and the Parks and Rec Dept) participate in creating a more sustainable life for its residents?   The motto of our Parks and Rec Dept. is “Parks Make Life Better!” and we truly believe that.  As our society becomes more and more “connected” to technology, our parks and recreation activities allow us to be more “connected” to our bodies, our natural environment and one another.  The City is committed to developing a sustainable community as demonstrated by just appointing our FIRST Sustainability Commission, and we continue to make nationally-recognized strides in the Sustainable Streets movement, Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects, and Pedestrian & Bicycle Planning.

How many parks currently exist within the City of San Mateo?   Which is your personal favorite and why?
The City of San Mateo operates about 200 acres of parks (over 20 parks) and 6 community centers with 2 pools, over 900 athletic and fitness classes and more than 500 creative classes.

My personal favorite is Sugarloaf.  Once you hike to the top of it, if offers one of the best views in the entire Bay Area.

What new activities, events or park features should we look forward to in 2014-2015?   Two very exciting park upgrades are in the planning process – one for our beloved Beresford Park and the other for our already incomparable Central Park.  See the updates and find out how you can be involved!   And of course you can’t forget our great seasonal events like Eggstravaganza and the Central Park Music Series!

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3 “Insider Tips” for park visitors:

One of our hidden treasures right off of the Downtown is Bay Tree Park.  When you find it, you won’t want to leave.

When you need to work off all of that great food from one of San Mateo’s great restaurants (Rand McNally’s Best Small Town for Food!) don’t forget Ryder Park.  Simply amazing!

And, if you haven’t seen the living wall right here at Bay Meadows, you’re missing out!

Just for Fun
Favorite annual parks event:  Central Park Music Series
The band or group I’d most like to see play at Central Park Music Series:  Julius Papp
Best park to play a round of bocce:  Beresford Park
If I got to select a “Movie in the Park”, it’d be:  Any Surf Movie
Best park for adrenaline junkies:  Sugarloaf
Best park for a picnic:  Laurelwood Park
In my picnic basket you’d find:  Fruit from Trag’s, Cheese from Drager’s, Chocolates from Sharona’s
Best park to take Fido:  Seal Point
3 words I’d use to describe Bay Meadows are:  Fresh, Exciting, Green.

Fame x Frame Photo Contest
As we develop community, we want to see how you live or play at Bay Meadows. Share your fun lifestyle photos with our community by using #baymeadowslife. You could WIN $50 or our Grand Prize of $500 at the end of 2014 and be featured in a live pop-up gallery exhibit event.

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