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June Edition I, 2019

Welcome to our community eNewsletter. Here you'll find information about upcoming activities, events, projects, initiatives and more! If you haven't already, tell a friend and visit our email notification page to sign up for future newsletters.

In This Edition

City News
Summertime in San Mateo
Community Corner
Infrastructure Updates

Strive San Mateo logo

Can You Imagine San Mateo in 20 Years?... Help us Plan!

Where and how should San Mateo change over the next 20 years? What parts of the city should remain the same? Join one of the most important conversations we can have about San Mateo’s future! We’re updating our General Plan and need YOUR ideas on what areas of the City should be evaluated for change or preservation. Join your community at an upcoming workshop to learn more and share your feedback. These meetings are the first step in a process to craft and analyze a range of alternative future scenarios. Can’t make it to a workshop? You can share your input online at
Content and format of each workshop is the same. Please RSVP:

  • Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to noon in the San Mateo Main Library Oak Room, 55. W. Third Ave. RSVP for free tickets.
  • Monday, June 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hillsdale High School, cafeteria, 3115 De Monte St. RSVP for free tickets.
San Mateo's City seal

Now Accepting Applications for City Services Academy

Learn about your City’s services and meet City leaders by signing up for the 2019 San Mateo City Services Academy. The free 12-week program is a comprehensive learning experience that gives participants the opportunity to interact with City staff and learn about the challenges facing municipal government today. Learn how the City of San Mateo is managed and operated. The Academy is open to anyone 18+ who works or resides in the City of San Mateo. Class meetings are held Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m., August 21-November 6, in different locations throughout the City. Note there is no class on October 9. Learn more and apply online today! Class is limited to 25 participants. Applications are accepted until we reach capacity or until August 6, whichever comes first. For questions or more information, please call Laurie Strange at (650) 522-7019.

We've Stopped Using Glyphosate (Roundup) 

Some of you may begin to notice our City-owned parks and landscaping are starting to look a little different. That’s because we’ve stopped using glyphosate on City-owned properties. This decision came following community concerns about the health implications of exposure to the herbicide commonly known as the brand name Roundup.
Over the years, our Parks and Recreation Department has significantly reduced the use of herbicides, and our staff always complies with all safety requirements. But now that City staff and our contractors are not using glyphosate, we must consider alternate weed-control methods for our municipal buildings, parks and medians within San Mateo’s right-of-way.
Many other cities and agencies are in a similar situation and experimenting with various approaches. Overall, staff anticipates alternative methods will likely be more costly and generally less effective.
We all want our landscaped areas to look beautiful for the public while maintaining a safe environment. As we continue to evaluate alternatives, we appreciate our community’s patience as our parks and landscaping will likely start to appear different.
Crows sitting on the grass during a concert at Central Park

Concerts Return to the Park 

Our premier summertime event is returning as we enliven Central Park with our annual concert series. The 2019 Central Park Music Series kicks off June 20 and brings free, live music to our downtown park every Thursday evening through Aug. 15. Whether you like rock, reggae, country, or salsa, we’ve got a concert for you! This family-friendly event runs 6-8 p.m. on the great lawn at Central Park. There will be food, prizes and tunes galore so be sure to join us this summer!

Picture of bay tree

Reproducing San Mateo's
140-Year-Old Bay Tree 

One of our oldest bay laurel trees will be contributing to the design of the new Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo. The New Zoo will feature a 40-feet tall recreation of a bay laurel tree, that kids can climb through and explore the canopy level via a tree house. In early June, representatives from the zoo created bark impressions from several areas along the trunk of San Mateo’s Bay Tree – but don’t worry the tree wasn’t harmed during the artistic process! These bark impressions will allow the museum to present the tree as scientifically accurate as possible. Want to see San Mateo’s tree in person? Visit our estimated 140-year old tree at Bay Tree Park, 150 Dartmouth Road.

View of San Mateo from atop Sugarloaf Mountain

Enjoy Sugarloaf this Summer

Our Parks and Recreation Department is consistently working to provide the community with wonderful opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Recently, crews completed repairs that deter erosion near the entrance from Laurelwood Park to Sugarloaf Mountain. This 218-acre preserve is the largest of our City parks and offers, a playground, picnic areas and trails leading to the top of the mountain where visitors can take in serene views of the Bay. We hope you enjoy San Mateo’s park and recreation system this summer! 

Cartoon of a child reading in the library

Summertime Reading Challenge

Take the 2019 Summer Learning Challenge from June 1-Aug. 31! All ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Weekly drawings and a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship are available for youth ages 18 and under. Register in person or online at: Our San Mateo Public Library is hosting a Summer Kickoff Party after-hours on Friday, June 21 from 6-7:30 p.m., with activities and crafts for all ages including teens and adults. Be on the lookout for special programs all summer long!

Into the woods poster

Abbott Drama Club Goes Into the Woods

The Abbott Middle School Drama Club will take to the stage with a production of "Into the Woods" for two weekends at Hillsdale High School. Students will perform this engaging and funny musical comedy that twists familiar fairy tales into a brand new story. Shows are at Hillsdale High School’s Little Theater beginning 7 p.m. June 7, 8 and 14; and matinees at 2 p.m. June 9, 15 and 16. Tickets are available online.

Congrats to Earth Day Photo Contest Winners

We’re pleased to announce winners of our first Earth Day Photo ?? Contest! Congrats to Amber, Jon and Shraddha for getting to take home a zero waste kit! The competition was tough, but their photos and captions about what sustainability means to them won us over! We'd also like to thank everyone who participated, and they'll be getting a small prize as well. You can see all the submissions in our Facebook Earth Day Photo Contest album

A child throwing away trash
A picture of a carrot plant
A picture of plants in a plastic container
Streetscape example of plants used to filter storm water

Green Infrastructure 

Did you know we’re installing green infrastructure wherever possible? Green infrastructure involves capturing, storing and treating rainwater where it falls, instead of letting it go into a storm drain. It often involves using special soils and plants that absorb and filter water to mimic a more natural water cycle. If you want to learn more, join us at the next Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission meeting beginning 7 p.m. June 12 at City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave. 

Rendering of a new electrified Caltrain

Transportation Improvements Planned in San Mateo

Did you know Caltrain has a Business Plan specifically for San Mateo? On June 17, the transit agency will present the long-range plans for the rail corridor to our City Council. You can view the Caltrain Business Plan for San Mateo online. Also on the docket for the next meeting, Caltrans will provide an update on the 101 Express Lanes project, expected to roll into San Mateo in the new year. The council meeting begins 7 p.m. at City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave.

Bicycle Master Plan at the Market 

We still want your feedback on the Bicycle Master Plan Update. Look for us at the College of San Mateo Farmer's Market at 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd. this Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again on Thursday, June 20 at the Central Park Music Series

Thank You for Your Patience on Hillsdale

You might have noticed night crews adding the final lane lines and finishing touches to the road work on E. Hillsdale Boulevard between Saratoga Drive and S. Norfolk Street. If all continues according to plan, the work should conclude around June 8. The road improvement project was funded by Senate Bill 1, a $54 billion legislative package to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California. Curious where the rest of the money is going throughout the state? Click here for the full rundown. Finally, thank you to our community and our neighbors in Foster City for being patient with the road work. 

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