Edgewood Park - What's it good for?
by Jack Hickey
As a resident of Ferndale Way in the hills west of Redwood City for the past 33 years, I feel qualified to speak about the evolution of the land which is now called Edgewood County Park a Natural Preserve controlled by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District(MROSD) under a Joint Powers Agreement with San Mateo County.
In 1965, I moved my family into our present residence at 243 Ferndale Way. There was a family living across the canyon in a 50 acre estate. It had fruit orchards which provided a beautiful view when blossoming. They still do, but are not maintained as well, under the new caretakers(MROSD). The district may consider these to be "non-indigenous", and therefore subject to removal. You'll likely find some Marijuana plants in the park also.
This is a view of Edgewood Park from above my home.
This is me and my wife, Jo Lene, with "Misty" our Pomeranian
"For more than twenty years, my family and I walked our dogs through what is now Edgewood Park. My sons rode bikes on its trails. I drove golf balls 200 yards across the canyon to the front yard of an abandoned estate. Today, "Misty" is not welcome, bikes are not welcome and golfers are not welcome!
"As your Director on the MROSD board, I will roll out the welcome mat!"
The park extends over to I-280, where PG&E powerlines spoil the view, and freeway noise invades the solitude. A golf course in that area would be a visual improvement for people traveling that route. It would provide ready wheel chair access to the vistas now enjoyed by a few. Properly placed trees could mitigate the freeway noise. It would provide a necessary firebreak for residents on the other side of the park.
The land now known as Edgewood Park, and surrounding open space(~467 acres) was acquired by the State as a site for a 4 year college. That never happened, and interest developed for a research park for solar energy. (Redwood City was a player in that scenario.) That didn't work out, so San Mateo County bought the land(Edgewood Park property was bought half by Federal funds(see Cecil D. Andrus letter)- which supported a golf course - and one fourth each by SMC and MROSD) with intentions of putting in an 18 hole golf course on 1/3 of the site.
In what amounted to a "taking" of the Edgewood Park land from its' rightful owners(taxpayers), radical leaders of environmental groups managed to obtain "endangered species" status for the "Checkerspot Butterfly". This made Edgewood Park, the only known remaining "habitat" for the species, off limits for all but minimal human activity(butterfly watching, etc.).
My advice to Paul Ehrlich and his elite band of bioligists at Stanford University, who managed to oversee the demise of another colony of "Checkerspot Butterflys" at Jasper Ridge and observe another colony destroyed when Canada College was built on "pristine" land, follows:
Gather up some butterfly remains from Jasper Ridge to collect their DNA for future "cloning" if:
1. a golf course at Edgewood Park destroys their last known habitat, and;
2. you have proof that they are one of 99% of all previous species(now extinct) which is indispensible!
On July 27, 1993, Robert Trent Jones Jr., President of the world reknowned ROBERT TRENT JONES II Golf Course Design and Recreational Planning organization, delivered a scathing letter to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in support of a golf course at Edgewood Park.
Editors note: A golf course at Edgewood Park would easily produce > $1 million dollars/yr in revenue which could be used for trail maintenance and environmental education.
This is a view of Edgewood Park from the "park-n-ride" lot at I280.
Home of the future "Checkerspot Meadows" Golf Course
Campaign promise from Jack Hickey
As a member of the MROSD Board of Directors, and a taxpayer's advocate, I will strive to make a revenue producing golf course at Edgewood Park a reality. In conjunction with "Serpentine Summit"(Pulgas Ridge), Gartersnake Gulch(Southern Watershed)and other suitable locations for revenue producing golf courses, this "environmentally correct" use of open space would provide funding for trail maintenance, create much needed firebreaks and "jumpstart" the implementation of Reclaimed Water Master Plans.
Proposed Golf Course at Edgewood Park
see Crystal Springs Golf Course as an example
(name proposed by Dave Collins)
from draft EIR(June 1982)
"Master Plan Report for Edgewood County Park" Prepared(in 1982) for the Division of Parks and Recreation San Mateo County - by CHNMB Associates. (excerpt)
"The clubhouse will provide both golfers as well as other park users with indoor and outdoor sanitation and food-serving facilities. Inside will be ... an educational display showing park ecology and endangered habitats... The site of the clubhouse will provide visitors with an attractive setting among natural vegetation and offer excellent views overlooking the park."
Location of Edgewood Park
1. Trailhead and Information station, parking and picnic area.
2. Climb to the meadows through oaks and madrones.
3. Left turn to the Sylvan Trail.
4. Trail levels out and dips into 3 small canyons.
5. High meadows, view of San Francisco watershed, sheep ranch fenceposts.
6. Ridgeview and Serpentine Trail crossroads. Wildflowers and grasses.
7. Edgewood Trail continues to Crystal Springs Trail under 280.
8. Deer country.
9. Bay Checkerspot Butterfly habitat.
10. View south to Santa Cruz mountains and Mt. Hamilton.
11. Hilltop Oak forest.
12. Old Volkswagen chassis in underbrush.
13. View north to San Francisco and Mt. Tamalpais.
14. Meadows, rocks and lizards.
15. Steep descent or ascent.
16. View east to San Francisco Bay and Mt. Diablo.
17. Headwaters of year-round spring. Many deer trails.
18. Cool canyon with stream and poison oak.
19. Sylvan Trail crosses spring-fed stream.
20. Palm tree growing in trail.
"I ran cattle all over that ridge" Francis Britschgi.
Relevant State Law - Public Resources Code
5563.5. Notwithstanding Sections 5540 and 5563, the Board of Directors of the Midpeninsula Regional Open-Space District may, and the Board of Directors of the East Bay Regional Park District with respect to the Alameda Creek Quarries located within the County of Alameda may, without obtaining the consent of the voters, lease real property for a term not exceeding 50 years. A lease entered into pursuant to this section shall be authorized by a resolution adopted by the affirmative votes of at least two-thirds of the members of the board, upon making an express finding that the purpose of the lease is for park or open-space purposes, or for an historic preservation, recreation, or agricultural purpose which is compatible with public use and enjoyment of the real property.
A land lease to construct a revenue producing golf course would be permissable under this section.
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