On Jan. 18th, the King Field Turf Project Steering Committee held their first meeting to discuss the landscape redesign project. San Mateo City has been grappling with a deficit of athletic space, and in 2012 a city-wide study reviewed all 10 athletic fields to determine where there are opportunities. In 2015, Los Prados Park was the first to convert from natural grass to turf, and in 2017 the Council contracted with Callander Associates to evaluate the King Field.
The Steering Committee includes North Central residents, athletic league members and Parks & Recreation staff. Mark Slichter a Principal at Callander Associates and a San Mateo resident reiterated the project goal is to meet the needs of the surrounding community and improve the park for athletic use. In his words, the King Field has been “loved to death.” The existing natural grass field, which is irrigated with well-water, lacks adequate drainage and is closed for months out of the year to re-seed and re-sod which limits both neighborhood and athletic use. The opportunity to convert to turf will increase the number of athletic playing hours on the field from 900/year to 1,600-2,000/year (plus informal use).
Callander Associates presented initial design ideas for feedback. North Central residents shared ideas about lighting upgrades to reduce spill-over, additional seating and picnic tables, adding a bike/walking path, ways to preserve a natural grass area, and emphasized the need to update the dilapidated basketball court. Two public meetings are planned for March, dates to be determined. HANCSM requested simultaneous-translation for Spanish speakers at the public meetings, and we hope for an active and significant turnout from our North Central neighbors!