Action Group Gathering: Bay Meadows Community Development
On a picturesque Tuesday in early May, members of the Live and Work, Recreate, and Connect Action Groups gathered together to learn about a brand new community development in San Mateo called Bay Meadows. Described as “a charming urban village…Bay Meadows combines the communal feeling of the suburbs with cultural aspects of the city.” With amenities ranging from urban gardening to bocce ball, to yoga in a park, we were eager to see for ourselves exactly what made Bay Meadows such a special development.
Briefly after gathering in Landing Green Park, our group got the chance to speak to a Bay Meadows representative about the current state of the development. She explained to us that Bay Meadows provides an array of single family homes that are either nestled within mixed-use development along Deleware Street (which is currently under construction) or overlooking one of Bay Meadow’s numerous parks. She also explained that she and others coordinate events like movies in Bay Meadows Park, Zumba classes, and social media giveaways.
We then took to touring the impressive development with a map in hand and a wide-eyed curiosity. Landing Green Park caught the eyes of our plant experts Pierre and Brenna in particular, and with good reason. The linear park’s plant palette skillfully mixed texture and color while still maintaining a drought tolerant status. Punctuated with a statement sculptural piece by Chuck Ginnever, it is easy to imagine a full day spent playing bocce ball, appreciating art, and taking a deep breath in the gardens of Landing Green Park, but alas we had plenty left to see.
Immediately after our Landing Green Park daydream we moseyed over to arguably the most remarkable piece of the Bay Meadows expanse, Persimmon Park. Flanked by cozy townhomes, Persimmon Park holds 99 gardening beds providing members of the community an opportunity to cultivate their green thumb. For those who are not quite as horticulturally savvy, there is a resident gardener who frequently provides insight and classes. Persimmon Park is more than just a space for gardening, though. An incredible 30’ community table and adjacent barbecues offer community members a unique dining opportunity; and with a nature play area anchoring Persimmon Park, it would not be a surprise if all children living in Bay Meadows quickly stopped being so finicky with their vegetables.
There is little doubt that Bay Meadows serves as an exciting precedent for comprehensive community developments throughout Northern California in the future. What makes Bay Meadows particularly interesting is the commitment to both thoughtful space and thoughtful programming. These principle’s serve as important reminders to the Callander team and to all Landscape Architects that our spaces serve as more than just beautiful backdrops, but also as an active space for people to live their lives.
Tom Martin is a Designer in our Rancho Cordova Office and member of our Connect & Sustain Action Groups!