This is a petition by the residents of Menlo Park, California to prevent the six week closure of Nealon Park each summer. Keeping Nealon Park open during the Summers will enable families in need of athletic space and communal space to use Nealon Park all Summer, together with their children and neighbors, while school is not in session.
For the past several years, Nealon Park has been closed for six weeks by the Parks and Recreation Department of Menlo Park, locking out residents, their families and children who wish to use the park while school is not in session. The lengthy closure takes place during the Summer when the weather is nicest and when the need for field space is greatest among those families who live in high density areas near downtown.Nealon Park also serves as an off-leash area.
The off-leash gatherings in Menlo Park have rapidly become one of Menlo Park's strongest and most inclusive community activities.Each weekday morning 80-100 people with dogs congregate in Nealon Park between 8am and 10am, making the morning run Menlo Park's largest regular weekday activity. These families with dogs set aside preciousweekday morningtime to go to Nealon Park because they enjoy the community atmosphere and because they desperately need year round access to large fenced areas.
Furthermore, for the past several years, the Nealon Park closure to "rest the field" has been acomplete and total failure.After each lock-out, Nealon Park has re-opened in a worse condition than prior to the closure. Each of the past few years, Nealon Park has re-opened with deep and wide ruts in the grass from trucks and machinery that have been driven on wet fields, mud patches that have resulted from the combination of these ruts and improper watering, and large burn marks in the grass. Each year, residents whichinclude baseball players, softballplayers, soccerplayers, dog owners and local families in need of recreational and athletic space during school closures have returned to a field in poorer health than before they were locked out.
1. This petition recommends allowing Nealon Park to remain open all Summer.
2. This petition recommends that the Parks Department of Menlo Park initiate meetings with representatives from Nealon Park'suser groupsto determine an optimal and shorter closure period during the winter, if in fact a closure is actually needed at all, that will best serve the Menlo Park community's users.
We request that the City Council of Menlo Park please keep Nealon Park open to its residents, as prescribed above, so that we may use our parks during the Summer, together, further strengthening the community.