Open Boronda Lake to nonresidents
A Palo Alto friend told us their city is again considering the pros and cons of opening Boronda Lake to nonresidents. Palo Alto editorial websites have mostly expressed the sentiment that Los Altos residents long ago lost their opportunity and should live without access or pay a substantial sum to gain it.
I’m familiar with the history of how this came to be a “closed” park, but I’m also aware of how underutilized the resource is. We live near the lake and seldom see more than a handful of people in the park.
Perhaps this has been proposed before, but can we not find a win-win compromise? Westwind Community Barn, Byrne Preserve and Hidden Villa are all within proximity to Boronda Lake, Foothills Park and the city of Palo Alto. With imaginative planning and limited investment, these combined resources could become invaluable to the citizens of Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
For example, Westwind Barn sees narrow use as a horse boarding and training facility. Its glorious views and historic charm should be shared for expanded use as a facility for meetings, weddings and town gatherings. Hidden Villa depends on volunteer help, rental of on-site venues, etc., but could be so much more for teaching schoolchildren and hosting larger events. Much of the farm acreage is actually untouched. Existing buildings on both of these parks are aging and will need focused preservation.
Los Altos and Palo Alto could agree to a combined use and cost-sharing plan.
Boronda Lake should always belong to Palo Alto, but shared, as is virtually every other city park in the Bay Area, including those in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
Los Altos Hills
Glew talked sense on environment
The Town Crier’s “Crowded field in the running for State Senate seat” article (Jan. 22) provided a useful summary of candidates’ positions on a variety of issues.
I want to call readers’ attention to the California Senate District 13 Climate and Environment Forum Jan. 15, sponsored by an impressive array of environmental organizations. All of the candidates participated.
One of my biggest takeaways was that Alex Glew, a GOP candidate, was talking sense on how we can address the climate crisis. How refreshing! He upstaged his Democratic peers.
Don’t sacrifice space for dog park
Let’s protect the limited open space that we have in Los Altos for all to enjoy.
Fenced-in dog parks are unsanitary for pets and for humans. The excess water needed to hose them down will harm our heritage oaks and redwood trees. And the cost of building a fenced-in dog park would be better spent on repairs and maintenance at our Parks and Recreation properties.
Removing playground structures and trees at McKenzie Park does not serve Los Altos residents. Patients and staff at the Los Altos Sub-Acute and Rehabilitation Center will suffer if their nearby oasis in McKenzie Park is sacrificed for a fenced-in dog park.
To everyone in Los Altos, let’s protect our precious open space for future generations and for mixed use now by all creatures two-legged or four.