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Tips for a Safe Halloween

October 28, 2015

Updated with new info for 2015!

If you grew up listening to your parents tell you that every apple would have a razor blade inside, some of these helpful tips will sound OBVIOUS to you. If you are more the type to take candy from a stranger (which we will all be doing on Halloween night), then read on! We have put together a great list of safety tips over the years with help from our Redwood City Police Department to help all of us – adults and children alike, even your pets- have a safe and candyriffic Halloween night!

  • Welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights on.
  • Remove any outdoor obstructions that could pose a threat to people walking onto your property. (toys, hoses, gardening equipment)
  • Patrol your street occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and crimes against children.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police department immediately.   Call  9-1-1.
  • Do not give homemade or unwrapped treats to children.


  • Exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle.  Be on the alert for excited youngsters, whose vision may be obscured by masks, darting out into traffic.
  • Leave yourself plenty of travel time. Drive slower than usual. It’s one night. Being late is a better option.
Make sure your kids dress up safely
  • Make sure costumes are flame retardant so children aren’t in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns.
  • Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.
  • Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable, and they can obstruct a child’s vision, a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
  • Make sure kids wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
  • Wear comfortable, safe shoes.
Make trick-or-treating trouble free
  • Create a map of a safe trick-or treating route and set a time limit for your children to “trick-or-treat.” Your neighborhood Nextdoor group now has a candy map which can help you to create your safe-route!
  • Make sure older kids trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so you will know where they are going. Tell them to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on and be very clear about your expectations for the evening.
  • Trick-or-treaters should always be in groups so they aren’t a tempting target for real-life goblins. Parents should accompany young children.
  • Try to get your kids to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well-lighted streets.
  • Do not go inside anyone’s home. Remain on the porch at all times.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Remind kids to keep a safe distance from moving cars.
  • Cross only at street corners, NEVER between parked cars, and never diagonally across an intersection.
  • Look in all directions before crossing the street, and obey all traffic signals. Walk, never run, across the street, and use sidewalks, not the street, for walking.
  • Do not take shortcuts through back yards, alleys or parks.
  • Do not eat any treats until parents have inspected them.
  • Discard any homemade or unwrapped treats.
Check all treats before eating
  • It’s hard for kids to hold back from eating their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while they’re still out is to feed them a meal or a snack beforehand.
  • Check out all candy in a well-lighted place when your trick-or-treater gets home.
  • What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means remind kids not to eat everything at once or they’ll be feeling pretty ghoulish for while!
  • Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and kids alike–if everybody remembers the tricks and treats of playing it safe.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you suspect any tainted candy.

Just Like July 4th, Halloween can pose stressful for your animals as well as deadly.

  • Keep your pets away from the door. Dogs are especially territorial and this night can bring out the worst in them. A comfortable secure room in your home will keep your pet happy and they will be very thankful.
  • Tell your child if they see an animal, even one they know, to remember that they are in costume and may be extra scary to their 4-legged friend.
  • Two things that are DEADLY to dogs are Chocolate and the chemical, Xylitol. Xylitol can be found in sugar-free gum, candy, breath mints and baked goods– which we already told you not to hand out. ;-)
  • PETMD says to keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. “Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents.”
  • Decorations and the excessive number of extension cords can pose harmful.
  • Make sure your animals are properly tagged in case they escape.
  • Check out for more pet safety tips.

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New Main Street Dog Agility Park Opens Saturday, May 30th!

May 28, 2015

main street dog park

What do you get when you have a dilapidated park, new development funds, and a vision? Well, let’s start from the beginning…

About the Space

This space, otherwise known as the “triangle grassy patch next to Redwood Roller Rink” was a small underused pocket park that was in dire need of a repurpose. Coupled with the need to renovate the adjacent street and dilapidated sidewalks, our department had a project on their hands. Simultaneously, we were searching for a space for dogs to play, as that has been a community request for quite some time. Since new open space is at a minimum for a project like this, these two issues seemed easy to marry into a solution.

Enter Landscape Architect, Claudia Olalla. Claudia wanted to create a usable space that would also breathe some life and color into this otherwise dreary location. After a number of meetings, it was decided that a dog agility park would be a fun way to liven up this space and clean up not only the park area, but the street and cul-de-sac as well. Several other projects surrounding street improvement and pedestrian safety were also addressed.

The newly renovated stretch of Main Street now boasts:

  • Two new crosswalks
  • New sidewalks, curb, gutter and plants
  • New pedestrian-scale street lights along the entire block, plus two in the park itself!
  • The Beech Street Dead End is now closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Street trees – where there were no trees prior.
  • New trees were planted inside the park to replace the sick Walnut trees that needed to be removed. In addition, the rare American Elm tree received some much-needed love and is accentuated with uplights to make it a specimen tree.

About the Dog Park

Due to the awkward nature of the park’s footprint and proximity to the railroad tracks, finding an appropriate use for this land was definitely a challenge. We needed to come up with a more creative way for dogs and their humans to enjoy the new park. The closing of the Beech Street cul-de-sac would provide an extension to the park and an additional place for folks to gather. Claudia envisioned a “living room” look and feel, and the street now features a hand painted dog-themed rug with industrial block seating surrounding it.

Painted Dog Rug

Dog rug painted by Lesley Van Dalsem and her team from Big League Printing in Redwood City

It was quickly realized that the shape and small square footage of the space were not conducive for a typical dog park. Unlike most dog parks that commonly function as large dog runs, this small triangular park will be utilized more for agility practice
and socialization of dogs (and their humans). Dogs will be challenged by the park agility course, which includes hurdles, weave poles, a tunnel, ramp and stepping pods- both which have been treated with a gritty seal.

It is also important to note that the surface of the play area consists entirely of decomposed granite as opposed to artificial turf or natural grass. Not only is the park drought tolerant, but we have greatly reduced the water usage in the area and graded the slope so that there is sufficient drainage from the flat area into the new plantings along the track line.

Claudia’s style inspiration was “Rustic Industrial meets Urban Philadelphia.” There is heavy duty hardware, thick slabs of honey colored wood, repurposed pipes and fittings as well as black accents surrounding the park. This attention to detail not only can hold up to a lot of wear and tear, but also contributes to a cool and modern vibe.

How did we pay for this?

We saved the best for last! This park has been entirely funded by developers through the City’s park impact fees!  No City General Fund dollars were used.  When a new residential development is built, a fee per unit is assessed to help pay for park and recreation area and amenities.  This is the first of many new park improvements to be made throughout the City!

Park Information

Address: 1295 Main Street, Redwood City
Hours: sunrise to 10:30pm, year-round
Agility Course: hurdles, weave poles, tunnel, ramp and stepping pods


Grand Opening Celebration
Saturday, May 30, 2015
(park open until 10:30pm)
Main Street Dog Agility Park, 1295 Main Street, Redwood City 94063

Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 11am
Dog Agility Demonstrations
Food Cart
Dog Community Group Booths
and a whole lot of FUN!

Parking is limited and dogs must be leashed during the opening ceremony and agility demonstrations.


Please take lots of photos of your pet enjoying our park and make sure to share them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #MainStreetDogsRWC so we can enjoy them and share!

Kids Can TEACH!

January 30, 2015


Children love to share what they know. It’s clear. My children are constantly excited to tell me things they have learned every single day. Sometimes it goes on, and on, and on… “One time in Minecraft…”

What if we could channel this excitement to share, into a classroom experience where your child could build on these story-telling skills. In our new class, Kids Teach, we will do just that! Kids will take an idea, passion, or skill and find a way to outline how to teach someone else how to do it! In return, your child will learn how to create outlines, organize their thoughts, gain public speaking confidence, and how to effectively communicate! At the end of the class, your child will teach a class to their fellow classmates and also have the option to run a small workshop that is free and open to the community!

Maybe your child wants to be the next Rachel Ray, YouTube sensation Evan, or just have a platform to gain confidence while sharing what they are excited about! Whatever the case may be, this unique enrichment opportunity can help foster your child’s love for learning while giving them valuable real world tools in a fun and supportive environment.

The class will be taught by Adnan Iftekhar, founder of our exciting new RWCEA – Redwood City Entrepreneurial Academy.

Here are the deets!

Kids Teach
Age 10-13
Thursdays, February 5 to April 9, 2015
4:00 – 5:30pm
at the Community Activities Building, 1400 Roosevelt Ave, Redwood City
Register Now! Space is limited to 10 students

Take Part in the First Redwood City Teen Entrepreneurial Academy – Guest Blog

September 15, 2014


We are extremely excited about this!!!

How many teens get the opportunity to start their own business, learn the ins and outs of social media (in a good way) and set a foundation of entrepreneurship that they can use in practice for the rest of their lives? Please help us welcome, Adnan Iftekhar, the man who may singlehandedly help to cultivate the next innovator of the century! (you never know, right?)

Why Choose Actionable Entrepreneurship?

by Adnan Iftekhar

One of the major buzzwords in schools and education these days is, 21st Century Skills. We’re already fourteen years into the 21st century, and in my humble opinion, that buzzword should already be retired. What we really should be focusing on is 22nd Century Skills; we have 84 years to get those right!

Some of the biggest challenges the children growing up will face are those of a more global economy. There are some jobs that will just not be applicable to the US anymore, like taxes. Did you know that in 2013, 2 million Americans had their taxes done in India, whether they knew it or not? Or basic graphic design. Just take a look at a site like where you can get a logo, business card, illustration, even a website design for just $5. Yes, the quality may not be as good as that of a professional graphic designer based in the US these days, but then again, passable may be just what you need to at least get you started and on the road to creating awesome content. Comparing $5 to $25/hour (low-end hourly rate of a graphic designer) is not something to scoff at, especially as many of the designers on these sites have pretty high reviews and actually have very decent designs. I’m not saying Accountants and Designers will be obsolete in the next decade, but the climate is changing, and students need to learn to be resourceful and flexible with their goals.

teen_ideaComing back to the Entrepreneurship class, the real focus is to create quality, meaningful content that can be shared and delivered to an audience that will find value in it. This class will give students the opportunity to find the resources they need to create a simple online business. More importantly, it will give them an avenue to implement all that they learn (most of the learning will be in their own time) into concrete action. The “class” time will be focused on the actual doing of the work, rather than the theory of it. As one example, I will give a blueprint of how I gained 6000 followers on Twitter in three months. Students may choose to follow that blueprint, or create their own. Twitter may not be the audience and their business ideas may be focused on some totally different strategy. I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I guide students where to find them.

In addition to the concrete creation of a business, the process that they will go through will leave them some multidisciplinary skills that are not being taught in any schools – at least not “formally”. One of the most important ones will be that of effective communication- in person and via internet. I cannot stress the importance of communicating with people who offer products and services all around the world and the value that they can add to a small budding business. Having to hire your first professional freelancer, whether it be a virtual assistant or a graphic designer is something that every student will go through. How many high school graduates can say that they have hired (and/or fired) someone? Figuring out how to clearly communicate ideas, whether it’s by Skype, Google Hangout, email or commenting on a blog post will be a major focus in the class. Also, as these students apply for college, will they stand out if they have on their resume “Founder of an online business”?

The ideas, although important, are really not the ultimate goal for the class – it’s the choosing of one idea that resonates and that you are passionate about and putting it into action. And that idea may not be the best one, but that’s okay – once you have learned to implement one idea, moving on to the second one will be a lot easier. The growth and learning experienced in this class will be unlike anything these students have experienced before. That is a money back guarantee – I will personally give you your money back if you are not 100% satisfied by the end of this course.

So, what are you waiting for?

Registration Information:

Redwood City Teen Entrepreneurial Academy
Age 13-17

Meets Thursdays 5:30-7:00pm
September 25 – December 4, 2014
Community Activities Building

Click this link to view course information & requirements
Follow Redwood City Entrepreneurial Academy: Twitter &  Facebook

428945_10150511889067816_1808340469_nWho is Adnan Iftekhar?
Adnan has founded a non-profit, four businesses (two of which were profitable from day one) and a school. He has studied and taught biology, french, math, dance, yoga, design, acrobatics and productivity on three continents to students ranging from age 2 – 82. He speaks 5 languages and still strives to make sense of the vagaries of the english language. Most importantly, he wants to transform the way we educate our children and redefine the words learning, educating, teaching and school. Questions? Email:, Follow @adnanedtech

Dear Parents, We Need Your Feedback!

August 15, 2014



Camp High 5 Boy

We cannot believe another Summer is almost over and our 2014 camp season will soon be banked forever into a memory vault full of fond experiences (only 1 week left!). Roughly 3500 smiles have entered our buildings, run across our fields, hiked through our parks, traveled across the greater Peninsula and made new friends as well as rekindled old ones from summers past. We also provided a wealth of job experiences to over 70 staff, 34 Leaders in Training and 47 Junior Lifeguards, and that doesn’t even include the 40 contracted businesses that ran many of the specialty, enrichment and sports camps your kids enjoyed!

campersWe are so very grateful for your participation this summer! We have also TREMENDOUSLY appreciated the attention you have given to our weekly email surveys. Some of your comments resulted in some really helpful suggestions that our staff took immediate action on and made changes for the following sessions. FUN is our business and we take it seriously!

If you have not already done so this summer, please take a moment to fill out all of the applicable surveys for any camps your child has attended, listed below.

Our wish is that your child had an extraordinary and memorable summer camp experience! We hope that it will continue to manifest itself in your household or carpools in the form of stories, camp songs and wonderment about blue monkey sightings.


Until Next Summer…


Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services


Stafford Park Concerts Start Tonight! Gentle Reminders… updated for 2015

June 18, 2014

All photos by Joel Wade Photography

Updated for 2015

It really starts to feel like Summer when Music in the Park begins! That magical day has come! Tonight, from 6:00-8:00 pm, folks can enjoy a family-friendly event, visiting with neighbors and friends, listening to great live music, eating a picnic dinner, and relaxing in the beautiful atmosphere of one of Redwood City’s most popular Parks. What could be better?
Here are some gentle reminders to help make Music in the Park enjoyable for the entire community:

  • ride your bikeParking. Please remember that this concert takes place in a neighborhood park. Please drive slowly, pay close attention to pedestrians – especially the little ones, and take great care to not block driveways when parking your car. Better yet? Try riding your bikes, scooters or walking to the event!
  • Picnic Areas. The park is mostly lawn with a few picnic benches scattered about. Picnic Areas are first come first serve. There are some BBQs permanently affixed to some of the sites and are NOT PERMITTED for use during the concert.  In addition, you MAY NOT bring portable grills for use in the park.
  • Seating. Some folks like to get to the park early to set up their area well before the show starts. We ask that you please take into account the height of your picnic chairs and try to not impede the line of site for the majority of folks who will be sitting in low chairs or on picnic blankets. We ask that higher seating stay to the perimeter of the crowd or towards the back of the park. Please, no umbrellas.
  • Pets Many people ask if Dogs are allowed. Leashed dogs are always welcome, but we would like for you to consider a few things before bringing your pet. Concerts can become crowded and many dogs are likely to become agitated and scared by the enormity of the crowd and the volume of the music. Your beloved pet might be happier at home, but you know your pet best. Dogs must be on leash at all times.
  • Food. There will be a concession tent selling hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips and drinks, graciously operated and donated by the Optimist Club of Redwood City. All proceeds benefit the Save the Music program in Redwood City Schools. Again, we would like to remind you that portable grills are not allowed.
  • Alcohol. Beer and Wine are okay to bring during this event in the park. Please drink responsibly.
  • Trees & Plants. Our landscape staff works very hard to maintain the beautiful plants and trees in our parks. Please be aware that we have some smaller trees that are just not strong enough to support children climbing them. Please help us to keep these delicate small trees healthy.

Lastly, we have plenty of trash and recycling receptacles around the park. Please do your part to help us keep our park clean.

stafford-park-concert_kids_800xMusic in the Park runs June 24-August 19, 2015 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Stafford Park, located at the corner of King St. and Hopkins Ave. in Redwood City(Map). The concerts couldn’t happen without the support of our generous sponsors: The Port of Redwood City, The Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission, Bird in the Nest, Bay Area Breastfeeding, WAVE, Kaiser Permanente, Brian Ayer – Realtor, and Redwood City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services.

To keep up with all of the wonderful FREE events happening in Redwood City, subscribe to our weekly event news, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

It’s the End of Week One. Here’s What We’ve Learned.

March 14, 2014


WOW! It’s been a great first week of Summer Camp Registration! Here are some FUN observations and THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW moving forward! We are constantly learning around here and want to share some of our findings with you.

First, Fun Observations…

  • Parents love discounts!  (Ok, we knew this) This week, most of you took advantage of our 10% camp discount! Register soon! You have until April 15th to claim it!
  • We had a record high this week of enrollment into Camp High-5 (AM, PM and Full Day options for 4-6 year olds). If you are planning on signing up for this camp, we suggest you do it sooner than later.
  • Over 80% of all first week registrations happened online.
  • American Express was our second highest used credit card type. We used to only accept Visa and Mastercard, but have since added Amex and Discover to our list!

Things you should know…

  • If you are using the “Wish list” functionality on our online registration page, we found that it only works once online registration has begun. We are very sorry if you were effected by this. If you haven’t tried it, wish lists are great to use for camp planning. You can save your ideas and then place them into your cart later when you are ready to register!
  • OOPS! We did not add the “Bridge” graphic to the Afternoon Camps that qualify for Bridge Care in our Activity Guide. If the Camp is from 1-4pm and is at Red Morton or the Community Activities Building, it likely qualifies. We will make sure to mark them on our summer camp website which will be posted very soon.
  • If you click on the Camp Instructor listed under each activity code, there is a dynamic link that has a bio and a link to their website. We are still populating this information, so some may still be blank, but check back with us soon if you want more info about a specific provider. Try it! Click the “Instructor” link for “Mad Science” on this page here.
  • Lastly, have we told you lately how much we appreciate you? WE DO!

Once again, we thank you for your patience while we all adjust to our new registration program.

That’s it! Have a great weekend, everyone! Remember, you can register for camps online 24/7!


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