March 6, 2015

Parks Make Healthy Communities

I'M PLEASED TO report that the County's 91-year tradition of maintaining large-scale regional parks and trails is about to change. Supervisor Don Horsley and I represent districts with communities that want and need smaller neighborhood parks and green spaces to promote health and well-being. We asked the Parks Department and the Parks Commission to see what might be feasible for the County.

On April 9, the Board of Supervisors will consider a proposed Mini-Parks Policy for the unincorporated areas. If adopted, the policy will authorize the parks Department to create and maintain mini-parks in the unincorporated areas of the county. It will support the County's strategic goal of building "Healthy Communities" as well. Mini-parks like the FOBA Pocket Park and Friendship Park in North Fair Oaks as well as Quarry Park, the Moss Beach Park and the Clipper Ride Community Park on the coast will now have a legitimate "home" in our family of parks and fall under the Parks Department's mission.

Kudos to the Parks Commission Subcommittee who drafted this policy. Special thanks to Park and Recreation Commissioners Neil Merrilees and Meda Okelo, Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council member Nic Erridge, Midcoast Community Council Member Chris Johnson, North Fair Oaks Community Council member Linda Lopez, and Fair Oaks Beautification Association member Laura Caplan along with North Fair Oaks Forward Outreach consultant Patricia Brown and Margy Kahn, an interested resident of North Fair Oaks. I also want to give a shout out to our amazing Parks Director, Marlene Finley, who worked with the Parks Commission Subcommittee to develop this policy for our consideration.

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