Workshop Thursday on Ford Field upgrade

There was a plan to rehabilitate the Little League baseball diamond at Ford Field in Portola Valley, but with the state's fiscal crisis, the town's $255,000 share of grant money has dried up.

But with $35,000 in earmarked grants from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the town can at least make a plan for upgrading the field.

To that end, town staff and the Parks & Recreation Committee have arranged evening workshops in June and July to gather comments and suggestions from members of the public as to how to improve the field.

The first workshop begins with a 7 p.m. walk-around at Ford Field at 3399 Alpine Road on Thursday, June 18, then continues the discussion at the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road at 7:30 p.m.

The second workshop is set for the Parks & Recreation Committee meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, in the Historic Schoolhouse.

Workshop participants will look at possibilities such as paving the parking lot, installing public restrooms and choosing a backstop that won't clash with the town's rural character or the adjoining open space, Assistant Town Manager Janet McDougall said.

To help with the design, the town will use about $16,000 from the ABAG grants for consulting services from San Mateo-based landscape architects Callander Associates, Ms. McDougall said.

Callander "rose to the top" out of seven proposals for rehabilitating the field, she said. "They're very good at taking public input and transferring it to design," she said.

Executing the plan will require money from somewhere, if not the state. Asked about that, Ms. McDougall said that a local fundraising campaign is likely.

The town is welcoming public comment through its Web site. Go to and choose "Comments and Feedback" from the About Portola Valley menu.

For more information, call Ms. McDougall at 851-1700, ext. 218.


Like this comment
Posted by Angela Hey
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm

An unpaved parking lot has been OK for years - so I don't think paving the parking lot is a good use of funds - there'll be drainage issues, etc. I'd much prefer to see the paving money going into paving the bike trail down the side of Alpine Road so that kids can take their bikes to baseball games and also making new town paved trails. The money could also be used for bike racks.

Put in WiFi so people can Twitter while they watch and send their photos in real time with Eye-Fi and video broadcast live using or or similar.

New restrooms would be a good idea. Even a shack with hot showers, drinks, ice cream and cups of tea!

Maybe a put in a batting cage area so people could practise. Is there room for a basketball hoop in a fenced-in area for people to practise. I am thinking what can be done for those who have to wait - either wait to play or wait to drive people home.

If you did pave the car park then maybe it should be a Park and Ride lot for PV and signed as such or a staging place for people to start bike rides.

A sign up board for people that would like to book the field would be good.

It would be good to have multiple uses for Ford Field other than electronics recycling and baseball.

You might want to check out an LED display technology for a sign for scores - is coming out with one. Type Displaire into Google to see what people have written about it as the company is in stealth mode.

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