WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG for La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, California. LPM has been an active Marin pétanque club since 1972 and affiliated with the Fédération of Pétanque USA, since 1975. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and nationalities to come and enjoy pétanque with us.

The Pierre Joske Courts are located on Civic Center drive in San Rafael. (click for directions). Casual games are played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from about 1 pm. Tournament play is usually held on the second Sunday of every month.

Please consult the links on the sidebar to the right for more information on clubs in the bay area, nationally and world wide.

If you would like to play but haven't any boules, please contact our President, Christine Cragg, or Ken Lee. They can bring some for you to use, as well as introduce you to the basic skills and techniques of pétanque. In addition, if you are looking to purchase boules but are unsure as to which size and weight are right for you, we have a range of different examples from which to choose.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

mcinnis park master plan

Jennifer Upshaw
Oct 03, 2008

Planners are dusting off long-term blueprints for north San Rafael's John F. McInnis County Park, envisioning a future that includes a new dog park, all-weather playing fields, pétanque courts, a huge picnic area and a children's playground. Built in the 1970s at the end of Smith Ranch Road, the 358-acre park, of which 75 acres are developed, boasts a 25,000-square-foot skatepark, two softball fields, two soccer fields, a canoe launch, four tennis courts, a group picnic area and nature trails. It is the largest county park, although 283 acres are protected wetlands.
The park is home to the McInnis Park Golf Center, a nine-hole executive golf course with a driving range, miniature golf, batting cages, clubhouse, pro shop and restaurant.
"This is something we had kind of in the workings for awhile," said Steve Petterle, principal park planner, who said the project mostly amounts to "tweaking" a handful of specifics in the park's long-term planning document, last updated in 2001.
"I think it's always a bit of looking at where we are and where we're going," said Sharon McNamee, director of parks and open space. Possible changes to McInnis include relocating a planned dog park away from the creek, moving a future children's playground to a larger area away from the batting cages and planning for new petanque courts and the dog park, assuming a proposed public safety building at the Civic Center displaces existing facilities. A large group picnic area is planned as well.
Also examined will be the installation of environmentally friendly synthetic turf to allow year-round soccer and softball, sports that pack the park in the summer.
"We're looking at how people use the park and how we can improve interaction between different groups by providing facilities that meet everyone's needs from as basic as shade to as sophisticated as artificial turf," said Cordelia Hill, principal of the Mill Valley landscape architecture firm Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey, the group hired to help the county plan the project.
Sustainable features such as permeable pavements, bio-swales to clean storm runoff and protect water quality, alternative energy sources and building materials that reduce the park's "carbon footprint" all will be considered, Hill said. Designs will reflect social needs too, she said.
"Part of sustainability is creating spaces people want to be in and support their needs so that it works for the community," Hill said. Beyond broad concepts, details such as where the new additions would be located are open for discussion, planners said. After spending the summer meeting with community groups, homeowners, dog owners and sports leagues, county officials held a workshop last week to gain direction. A second meeting to exchange ideas is set for November. Final plans will go to the Parks and Open Space Commission in December. The Board of Supervisors is expected to review the changes in January.
No funding exists yet for the improvements,
although the county hopes to build the dog park and pétanque courts in 2010.
Thursday's meeting, the first public workshop on the proposed ideas, drew dog lovers and sports enthusiasts, among others. Soccer field access for adults was on Alberto Godoy's mind.
"We've been playing here at McInnis for a number of years," said Godoy, assistant to the president of the soccer league Liga Latina. "Year round we're very limited in soccer fields in Marin," he said. "It's hard for adults - kids get priority."
Plans to build an enclosed dog park drew Santa Venetia resident Roger Kolodny to the workshop. He said he liked the idea, as long as the rest of the park stayed open to dogs as well.
"We need to make sure the regulations stay the same," he said. "There's a real need."
Bart Zachofsky, a signmaker and engraver from Mill Valley, and Verena Rytter of Novato, who is retired from a career in accounting, are avid petanque players. The two said the courts across from the Marin Civic Center are threatened by plans for a new public safety building, and should be saved. They said they didn't know if replacement facilities at McInnis would suffice.
"Will it be adequate? Will it be equal to what we have?" Zachofsky said. "We don't know yet - we have to negotiate."

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