Low water levels and algae blooms due to the statewide drought have canceled camping for the entire season at Memorial Park in Loma Mar.
The Parks Department announced earlier this month they were halting camping at the park for the rest of June and on Friday said it is extending the closure through the rest of the season.
The seasonwide stop at the 499-acre park through October will cost the county $350,000, according to Parks Department Director Marlene Finley.
Anyone with a camping reservation through July will be contacted with the chance to reschedule for the same dates and length of stay in 2015 or a full refund.
Pescadero Creek is the only water source to the park and while at the beginning of the season park staff 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. Both prompted the mid-June shut off of water to drinking fountains, showers and toilets.
Park department staff spent the next week monitoring the creek and looking at ways to get water into Memorial Park but ultimately concluded shutting down camping was the best answer to preserve levels for downstream wildlife and residents and keep visitors safe.
The month closure and now the season are the first in the 90-year history of the park known for its old-growth redwood trees.
The drought is also prompting park changes elsewhere. 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 but the youth campsites are now closed. Portable toilets with handwashing stations will be placed in the parking lot for day visitors.
All services will be available at Pescadero Creek Park including hike-in sites Shaw Flat Trail Camp and Tarwater Trail Camp. Campers must receive a permit from Memorial Park rangers prior to arrival.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102