One Redwood City park is going to the birds — at least, a bird bath.
Dipping into the Gene Robert Cress Birdbath Fund, established with more than $1 million bequeathed by the man to the city nine years ago, Redwood City officials are mixing his desire for watering stations with the plan for public art.
As part of renovating Jardin de Ninos Park, the city wants to design, build and install a community-based bath and plaza within the park. The .31-acre park sits at Middlefield Road and Chestnut Street.
The City Council approved a $155,600 contract with Interplay Design, Inc. in February and on Monday night will consider the proposed artist design.
Based on several community meetings, the fountain is meant to resemble those found in Michocan, Mexico, include mosaic tile work and have extra seating. The design will also have bird-themed tile art. The samples coming to the council show varying shades of blue, orange, yellow and green.
The council Monday will look at six drafts of the fountain and two designs of the bird. If the council isn’t fond of the designs, it can reject the proposal outright and direct the Public Art Task Force to try again.
The fountain is only part of the park renovation plan. Those construction drawings are nearly complete and will soon be out to bid. City officials hope to award the bid in winter and begin work in early spring.
The city tries to find appropriate locations for the bird baths as projects come up such as the Jardin de Ninos Park renovation, said Chris Beth, director of parks, recreation and community services.
Cress, who died in 2002, left his entire estate to Redwood City to build and maintain bird baths and feeders in city parks. When bequeathed, Cress’ estate was worth approximately $1.3 million which was used in 2004 to create the fund bearing his name per the request of his 1976 will.
If approved, the bird bath will be the city’s second installation. The first was the “Ray of Light” at the Redwood Shores Library, Beth said.
The fund has a current balance of $880,326.
The Redwood City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102