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Landscaping project transforms an eyesore median on Woodside Road

It may not look like much yet, but plants in the newly landscaped median on Woodside Road near the Interstate 280 overpass are expected to mature into "a mosaic of color" in the next few years. Courtesy Kate Daly.

After about a decade of dreaming and discussing, Woodside has a more welcoming appearance near the Interstate 280 overpass, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the town, community organizations, residents and hired experts.

For years, the median across from the Caltrans Park & Ride lot on Woodside Road has been an eyesore, filled with weeds and litter. Now, after many, many meetings and nearly $165,000 spent, the 97-foot long patch of dirt has been landscaped.

So far it looks like some piles of rocks and a little greenery. But according to Woodside Landscape Committee member Peggie MacLeod, who has been involved in the planning process all along, “It can take a couple of years before you get what the designer wanted … a mosaic of color.”

Kikuchi & Kankel Design Group went with low maintenance, drought-tolerant native plant choices that could grow up to several feet in height. MacLeod says they include emerald carpet manzanitas, frangula and brilliant white cistus that are being irrigated underground by a new “state-of-the-art, water-wise” drip system.

She identifies several challenges: there was no water at the site, “mountains of soil” needed to be removed and added, plus Caltrans required the work be done at night so it wouldn’t disrupt traffic as much. The latter added greatly to the expense.

The Woodside Community Foundation helped raise funds from dozens of individual donors and groups such as the Woodside-Atherton Garden Club for the Woodside Beautification and Safety Project. The foundation teamed up with the Town of Woodside to cover the extra nighttime labor costs.

The town is responsible for the median’s upkeep, which is estimated to run between $1,000 to $3,000 a month, according to foundation President Marsha BonDurant.

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