A severe lack of water in Pescadero Creek is prompting San Mateo County to cancel camping at Memorial Park for the remainder of June.
Pescadero Creek is the only water source to the 499-acre Loma Mar park and while park staff had thought it had a 20- to 30-day supply based on normal patterns, the recent hot weather dropped the level further. The hotter temperatures also caused algae to bloom.
Canceling all camping activity for June is necessary to preserve the water there and keep park visitors and area residents safe, according to Parks Director Marlene Finley.
Beginning Monday June 16, water will be shut off to drinking fountains, showers and toilets. Portable toilets with handwashing station will be placed in the parking lot.
Anyone with a camping reservation through June 30 will be contacted with the chance to reschedule for the same dates and length of stay in 2015 or a full refund.
Memorial Park, known for its old-growth redwood trees, dates back to 1924 when the county purchased the former logging sites and named it in memory of the San Mateo County men who died in World War I. The current closure is the first in its history.
Water concerns are also causing changes at another county park.
At Sam McDonald County Park, which receives water from Alpine Creek, the Jack Brook Horse Camp will be open but showers and horse wash areas will be closed. Drinking water and restrooms will be available and the youth campsites will remain open.
All services will be available at Pescadero Creek Park and campers must receive a permit from Memorial Park rangers prior to arrival.
Looking to the future, park rangers are monitoring Pescadero Creek and water quality on an ongoing basis to decide whether more closures will be needed.
Closing campgrounds for the rest of the season would cost the county $350,000, Finley said.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102