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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Open Letter to Menlo Park's Park Manager: 4th of July Foul Up or What?

When the Fourth of July rolls around, that brings many things to mind.  It brings the thought of freedom, of independence, of fireworks and a long weekend away from work.

Additionally, these long weekends involve getting together with family and friends and doing things outdoor-ish.  Like camping, backyard barbeques and hitting up your local parks to play a fun game of volleyball or what ever else one might think up.

That is, of course, unless you live in Menlo Park.

Here in Menlo Park, someone decided to "refurbish" multiple parks around town.

What refurbishing really is, is that they do some maintenance to the grass of a park, then put up a big orange warning fence around the perimeter of the grass and let it recuperate from public usage, taking approximately six weeks (That's what two different employees said it would take) for this process to occur.

I think it's a good idea, but the implementation and timing of it was pretty unfortunate.

For one... one of their bigger parks, they shut off about 90% of it.  The other 10% was always being watered, mowed or a city service (day camp) hoarded the region.

For another, having many parks locked off from public use for a grand holiday seemed poor judgement... or at least, not caring about what folks might want to do on this special weekend.

This reminded me of when the city shut down one of its dog parks, and put a sign on the gate that directed people/dog pairs to the other dog park in the city.  Yes, the other one that was also shut down.  Both parks pointed to the other location as an alternate destination.  Brilliance folks!  Pure brilliance.
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But to be fair, I don't run a city or city parks.  I don't know the demanding pressures put upon anyone to run a park, to schedule watering times during the day when people are in the park or to schedule park closures during holidays. 

I'm only speaking from my perspective as the frustrated end-user.  The last time I used the park was sometime just before June 1st.  Me, I have to head over to Stanford for some grass space.

psst: As of July 18th, 2013, the parks are all still closed off to use.  That "six weeks" is getting pretty dang close!  If Menlo Park were a business, I'd take my business elsewhere.  But since the flub of politics is in command here, it doesn't matter to them who they tick off it seems.


-Bruce
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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... I like the additional input. - Bruce