The Memorial Park Project revitalizes a community space in Cupertino

Sabrina Jiang

Cupertino city organizers held a Zoom event on Feb. 9 to explain their future plans to improve Memorial Park and to get more feedback from community members regarding the proposed plans.

Memorial Park Specific Planning Project is a group of city council members spearheading these changes. Project leader Casy Chase explained what the main objectives were to the event’s attendees.  

“The purpose for this meeting is to present three park concepts to revitalize Memorial Park,” Chase said. “We also aim to hear from the community to create a single preferred concept.”

More than 2,300 community members engaged in the first round of outreach conducted by the group, which included one community survey, three pop-up booths, one webinar and six focus group interviews. 

From this data, the group determined that the community desired a multi-faceted park that embodied three identity scenarios: a civic event space, community gathering space and a natural site. 

Chase said that although turning Memorial Park into a natural site was the most popular option, the group wanted to incorporate all three elements. 

“(This) will improve the site and determine how to best meet the future needs of Cupertino,” Chase said. “Expanding civic event and community gathering spaces and enhancing natural site and park features are our plans.”

Memorial Park is Cupertino’s largest and most-used park and currently serves as a venue for community events because of its lawns, gazebo, amphitheater, and well-lit areas for softball and tennis. 

The city’s government is undertaking two immediate renovation projects for the park: removing the pond and improving the technology of the amphitheater. Chase said that the plan will enhance Memorial Park’s unique identity and achieve a balance between manmade structures and natural surroundings.

The meeting then allowed time for public comments regarding these plans. Cupertino resident Kent Vincent explained his vision for the park. 

“Memorial Park is really Cupertino’s Central Park – it is where the community comes together and does things,” Vincent said. “I think making a baseball field is a fabulous idea. I am a baseball coach (and) since the park only has a softball field, I have to coach baseball on a softball field, which is confusing because the distance is different and the field is slightly different.”

The project’s planning group also learned that community members most desired new water play amenities, more trees to add shade, new recreation amenities, an upgraded amphitheater and bike connectivity.

Cupertino resident Jennifer xxxx, who did not provide her last name, pointed to some of the features she would like to see in the park.

“I love having any type of lawn area next to the senior center and along Stevens Creek Boulevard because it is very inviting to me,” Jennifer said. “I think the ball court in the back is really important. I have three brothers, and they spend a lot of time playing ball.”

The Memorial Park Specific Planning Project will come up with a schematic design to report by Summer 2023 and get an environmental assessment by Fall 2023.