Bay Meadows marks first anniversary 

click to enlarge Bay Meadows
  • courtesy GARRY BELINSKY
  • A living wall is among the attractions in Bay Meadows, a San Mateo County community built on the site of a racetrack that closed in 2008 after more than 70 years of racing.
Bay Meadows, the housing development, is celebrating its first year with a big party.

On April 12, the San Mateo community, located where one of California’s oldest racetracks once stood, presents “Peace, Love & Green,” an early Earth Day festival featuring music, food, crafts, exhibits and family-friendly activities.

The event also marks the one-year anniversary of the living wall, an 86-foot-long green structure, and tourist attraction of sorts, at the community’s welcome center.

“In addition to being a stunning sight to behold, Bay Meadows’ living wall is a statement of values and commitment to sustainability worthy of celebrating,” says Janice Thacher, partner at Wilson Meany, developers of the site, which includes more than 1,100 units of housing, 1.5 million square feet of office space and 18 acres of parks.

The wall, created by designer David Brenner, founder of Habitat Horticulture, is planted with edible lavender, coral bells, wild strawberries, mint and yerba buena to attract butterflies and pollinators. It also includes grasslike species that move in the wind.

Plants in the wall grow out of two layers of material made from recycled plastic water bottles, and they get their nutrients from a fortified watering system.

Yet the wall doesn’t simply have environmental benefits. “These installations are good for mental well-being,” Brenner says. “They definitely have a stress-relieving, restorative effect.”

Brenner will be on hand at the festival, mixing up “moss milkshakes” that visitors may take home and paint onto vertical surfaces to make living walls of their own.

The party also features live music by World Hood, Candelaria and the Shabang! Steel Drum Band; snacks provided by Passione Pizza, Nob Hill Foods, Gertie’s Organic Granola and Crazy Daisy’s Sweets and Treats; and, of course, birthday cake.


Peace, Love & Green

Where: Bay Meadows Park & Welcome Center, 380 E. 28th Ave., San Mateo

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12

Admission: $5 general, free for children under 18


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