The San Mateo Arboretum Society has donated $7,000 to help fund a redesigned sign entrance and garden near the Ninth Avenue entrance of San Mateo Central Park.

The donation will cover the improvements to the sign, along with new plants in the garden around the sign and labor costs. In addition to helping fund the sign’s refurbishment, the San Mateo Arboretum Society will also maintain the garden space surrounding the sign throughout the year. It also helps with the upkeep of the Central Park rose and butterfly gardens. The organization is a local nonprofit educating the community on sustainable horticulture and preserving that heritage of San Mateo.

Carol Callison, San Mateo Arboretum Society president, said her organization collaborates with the city on horticulture projects throughout the year to improve gardens and landscapes around parks. It felt a refurbished sign was a priority for the park.

“If we do make a little extra money, we feel it’s our obligation to collaborate with the city and do something with them, and that’s what we did this year,” Callison.

The organization partnered with the San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department to complete the project. The $7,000 donation funded part of it, and the city funded the rest.

“We wanted to do a small expansion, and we gave them a design and a plan, and the city took that and expanded upon it,” Callison said.

Work took about three months to complete after the society approached the city with proposed changes earlier in the year. Callison said the city refurbished the sign and made improvements after volunteers noticed the city emblem was peeling off and the surrounding garden area needed work. The city moved a sundial forgotten about in the garden to a more prominent location, expanded the garden and planted native, drought-tolerant plants. It also repainted the sign and added a powder-coated finish, which helps extend the paint’s life, protects it from sun damage and creates a better finish.

“The sign didn’t look very good. What the city wants to do is make the entrance to the iconic Central Park more inviting for people,” Callison said.

In addition to its work at Central Park, the San Mateo Arboretum Society puts on workshops throughout the community and various horticulture projects in public gardens throughout the city. Founded in 1974, it also has a nursery that helps fund most of its work.

Callison said her organization is talking with the city about future collaborations next year for improvements to other entrances at the park along Laurel Avenue near the Japanese Garden. The San Mateo Arboretum Society will have a small, socially distanced presentation to recognize the donation to the city in the future when COVID-19 restrictions lift.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

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(1) comment


Thank you to the Arboretum Society for this neighborly gesture!

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