County Parks:               Parks Department (3900B)

Program Outcome Statement

Ensure access to open space and park facilities and manage natural and cultural resources

Program Services

  • Strategic/Master Parks Planning
  • Administration and Support
  • Operations and Maintenance


The San Mateo County Parks Department is expecting over three million visitors across its 22 parks in FY 2018-19. Visitors have come to picnic, camp, use meeting facilities, tour three historic sites, visit two education centers, hike, bike, and ride horses on 196 miles of trails.

Number of Annual Volunteer Hours Exceeding Target

Percent of Customer Survey Respondents Rating Services Good or Better Exceeding Target

Number of Annual Park Visits Exceeding Target

Total Acreage of Fire Fuel Reduced Exceeding Target

FY 2018-19 Mid-Year Story Behind Performance

Number of Volunteer Hours

As of December 31, 2018, there have been about 18,500 volunteer hours provided to the Parks Department. This amount is slightly lower than this same time last year as a result of several large service events scheduled for PG&E being canceled due to the recent wildfires. Still, it is projected that 37,000 hours will be provided to the Parks Department in FY 2018-19. Approximately 50 percent of volunteer hours can be attributed to park partner groups (i.e., friends, Volunteer Horse Patrol, and California Native Plant Society). The balance of service hours are accomplished by Parks staff, including Natural Resource Management staff, working with community groups (i.e., corporate, schools, and scouts) to complete service projects. The demand for service projects in parks continues to grow. The current dollar value for the actual volunteer hours to date equates to over $456,000 based on the independent sector's hourly volunteer rate of $24.69 (as of April 2018 for California).

Number of Annual Park Visitors

Parks has already welcomed over 1.5 million visitors in FY 2018-19; visitors have enjoyed the park system's 22 parks and 196 miles of trails. Parks is expecting to exceed the target of three million for FY 2018-19. Improved weather conditions, park improvements, and improved data collection methods, including adding more electronic counters at parks are the main reasons for Parks projecting to exceed the FY 2018-19 target. 

Percent of Customer Survey Respondents Rating Services Good or Better

Customer satisfaction results are projected to exceed 90 percent due to park improvements and exceptional customer service. The Department added the ability to send customer satisfaction surveys via its reservations system so that all customers receive a survey after they complete their reservation. The Department expects a higher response rate as a result. 
Total Acreage of Fire Fuel Reduced
Parks has prioritized a fire fuel reduction program throughout the parks system. The number of acres reduced by fire fuel reduction is reported by each individual parks district. A combination of contractors, CDC crews (53 days department-wide), and Parks staff have already reduced 92 acres.

Future Priorities

Visitor Experience
  • Increase the diversity - age, ethnicity and home community - of park visitors
  • Expand availability of parks information in multiple languages
  • Continue to offer a variety of educational and fun events at all parks both sponsored by the parks department and in collaboration with other partners
Natural Resource Stewardship
  • Increase vegetation management to provide safe, clear and clean trails for park users
  • Increase hazardous tree management and fuel reduction programs in all parks
  • Continue restoration of native habitats in all parks by removing invasive species, planting native species, and improving wildlife habitat
  • Continue to refine and develop GIS data for vegetation communities, sensitive habitats, federal and state listed species and areas needing fuel load reductions
Park Facilities
  • Coordinate more closely with Public Works on Parks capital projects
  • Develop and implement a master plan to be completed by the 100th anniversary of Memorial Park the includes water and wastewater system replacement, new visitor amenities and improvements to the ranger station and the visitor center

Author: Peggy Jensen, Interim Parks Director    Contact Email:    Last Updated: 01/25/2019