Recently completed, the 5.3 acre Seven Seas Neighborhood Park is now open to the public. The heavily favored Ocean theme, a result of extensive community meetings, was ultimately chosen in no small part for its unifying nautical theme which relates the park to nearby Tasman Crossing’s own maritime theme. Designed to resemble a shipping port, the park’s playgrounds and splash pad contribute to the neighborhood’s nautical character and create a destination-type attraction. The play area has two raised docks, an ADA accessible boat structure, custom rock outcroppings, and boat masts with nautical flags for children to learn from. Additionally, shade canopies resembling boat sails provide protection from intense summer sun, allowing for community use year round.
Sustainability showcases prominently not only in the park’s design but also through sustainable maintenance and operation practices. LED pathway lighting with cut-off shields reduce energy consumption and minimize light pollution. Bioswales maximize water retention and reduce demands on public infrastructure. To conserve water, an ET controller irrigates limited lawn, drought tolerant native shrubs, and wildflower hydroseeded areas with re-used water from the splash pad via sub-surface irrigation. By providing bike racks at park access points, as well as convenient pedestrian connections to the Hetch-Hetchy Trail and adjacent neighborhood, Seven Seas Park also promotes alternative modes of travel.
In addition to immediate and more obvious benefits, Seven Seas Park has provided unforeseen advantages to the community and City. The success of the park raised resident awareness of exciting, positive outcomes resulting from participation in public outreach/workshops during city projects, encouraging more community involvement. Seven Seas Neighborhood Park has also set the gold standard for design, maintenance, and operational services in Sunnyvale. Using Seven Seas as a model, the City has begun replacing lawn in their parks and medians with wildflowers and native fescues to reduce water and operating costs. Seven Seas will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst to future parks and recreation projects in Sunnyvale, ensuring the park’s benefits will reach beyond the confines of just its neighborhood.
2016 - Project of the Year for Environments & Parks
American Public Works Association