Walk through the vibrant neighborhood blocks of North Fair Oaks near Redwood City and you will stumble upon a small, recreational park equipped with a colorful playground featuring all the bells and whistles — slides, ladders, monkey bars, a small rock-climbing wall, bike racks and more. With bilingual (English and Spanish) signage, picnic tables, water fountains and a secure fence surrounding the playground, Friendship Park is a great place for parents and kids to get out and mix-and-mingle with neighbors.
While half of this park is dedicated to playground space, the other half features a gorgeous urban garden with more than 30 raised garden beds full of corn, tomatoes and the like. Educational signage is on the premise to educate families about composting and a wooden fence along the park’s perimeter features a lineup of artistic butterflies that were painted by neighborhood children, giving the park a special local charm.
Right in the middle of a neighborhood block, Friendship Park provides a convenient getaway that is close to home for North Fair Oaks residents. Plenty of trees line the park, so visitors sitting at the picnic tables experience a nice, cool shade and breeze while enjoying a snack or watching kids play on the slides. The playground is covered in soft wood chips.
In addition to vegetables and fruit, the urban garden plots include colorful flowers. Visually, these provide bright pops of pink, purple and magenta to contrast the urban green space.
The County of San Mateo is dedicated to providing small urban parks in unincorporated communities, like North Fair Oaks, to encourage residents to connect with each other and the outdoors. Research shows that mini-parks, like Friendship Park, have significant positive impacts on physical and mental health.
Less than an acre in size, Friendship Park sits along the Hetch Hetchy waterline easement and is managed by San Mateo County Parks. It was developed in 2014 with help from the North Fair Oaks community and many partners including the Sheriff’s Activities League (SAL), the San Mateo County Health System, KaBOOM! and Shutterfly Foundation.