Rainy winter does damage to San Mateo County parks


After more than five years of drought, the rainy winter has been a welcome change for many Californians. But because the rain came in record amounts, it brought its own set of problems, including damage to parks throughout San Mateo County.

Parks Superintendent Scott Lombardi said the San Mateo County Department of Parks includes about 20 parks and regional trails, and all of them have been impacted by the deluge.

The county’s varied terrain means the parks department has “all kinds of weird stuff going on,” Lombardi said.

“On the coasts, we have the bluff erosion, which is just sandstone and stuff that’s eroding just rapidly,” he said. “And then it’s been very interesting, on the bay side, there’s been a lot of flooding. And the saturation has taken down a lot of big tress.”

“We have everything from mudslides to rockslides on Devil’s Slide … and fallen trees and blown culverts and failing roads. It keeps us busy.”

Coyote Point Recreation Area in San Mateo and Memorial Park in Loma Mar experienced flooding, while at heavily forested Wunderlich Park in Woodside, a mudslide took out a section of the Alambique Trail. Redwood City’s Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve has been spared from serious damage, but some of its trees have gone down.

Parks Department staff has scrambled to keep up with the problems, and Park Ranger Steve Kraemer said some of the repairs, such as on the Alambique Trail, will be long-term projects.