Redwood City launched a pilot program that enlists residents and businesses to help maintain city-owned parks on a volunteer basis. 

The Park Champions pilot program began in June and it’s meant to “encourage neighbors to work together, support civic pride and community building and not augment city services,” said city spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan.

“There has been great community feedback so far,” Horrigan said. 

The pilot will be implemented in phases at three parks in the city and Horrigan said the expectation is to eventually expand to more of them.

The program is now underway at Stulsaft Park, located at 3737 Farm Hill Blvd. That park features barbecues, hiking trails, a grass area, playground and off-leash dog area. 

In July, the program will also be implemented at Andrew Spinas park, home to a basketball court, grass area, playground, picnic tables and tennis court at 3003 Bay Road; and at Sandpiper Park, which has a baseball diamond, grass area, basketball court, playground and soccer field at 525 Jetty Way. 

At each of the pilot parks the city will install a shed stocked with maintenance equipment for the volunteers, who will perform tasks such as picking up litter, pulling weeds and other beautification work and also potentially host events, Horrigan said. Volunteers will also be asked to report issues such as needed repairs in the parks.

The pilot was the idea of the city’s Parks and Recreation and Community Services Commission, Horrigan said. 

“The Parks and Recreation Commission is thrilled to launch this program and a full work plan that seeks to further the city’s mission of ‘building a great community together’ and enhance the city’s strategic initiative focused on ‘a community for all ages,’” Marcella Padilla, chair of the commission, said in a statement. “Parks make life better and the Park Champions program empowers community members to take ownership of their park and to encourage their neighbors to reconnect with each other through taking care of the park or simply enjoying it together. The goal is to expand this program over the long term so all parks in Redwood City can benefit.” 

Redwood City is home to 30 parks ranging from quarter of an acre ones to multi-use parks spanning 40 acres as well as off-leash dog parks and a skate park.

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