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Saturday: Portola Valley town picnic

Event marks 10th anniversary of Town Center opening

The Portola Valley town picnic happens Saturday, Sept. 8, and will include a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Town Center.

The picnic takes place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Town Center at 765 Portola Road and includes live music, children's activities and two food trucks, along with the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by the local Boy Scout troop.

Music will be by the Whiskey Hill Billies, according to a town statement. The scheduled food trucks are Sam's Chowdermobile and Curry Up Now, with beer and wine available for adults.

For children, the town plans to have face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, a photo booth and Zorb balls – the large transparent plastic balls that allow kids to roll along inside while staying upright.

Click here for more on the picnic.

The anniversary celebrates the three-building complex at Town Center – the Town Hall, the Community Hall and the library. The complex is distinctive in that about $17 million of the $20 million needed to build it came in the form of donations from the community.

The complex is also notable in that when it opened in 2008, it was rare as a set of public buildings intentionally built to have a minimal impact on the environment. The U.S. Green Building Association gave the project its highest honor: a platinum designation.

Factors that figured in the platinum award include:

• The wood trim on some windows is recycled from packing crates that had contained the metal roof panels.

• The wooden floor in the main room of the Community Hall came from local eucalyptus trees that were felled as part of a fire management plan.

• The town bought redwood siding salvaged from old bridge timbers and already cut logs.

• Some 280 feet of Sausal Creek, a seasonal waterway that had been buried in a culvert for many decades, is now open to the air.

• The project included the hiring of a resource efficiency coordinator, sponsorship of lectures on green topics, and a computerized display in the library at which visitors can watch real-time use of water and energy in the Town Center complex.

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