5.08.09: The Future of Oakland's Parks


We brought our work cart downtown to the Friend’s annual Taste of Spring Fundraiser to greet the revelers and gather more park stories. The gala event was held at the elegant Rotunda Building; the domed space buzzed with conversation, music and laughter. The evening’s entertainment featured an amazing aerial and acrobatic performance. Given the general economic climate of the state and city, it was reassuring to see so many people coming out to support our parks.

"This is our most important fundraising event of the year," said Kathy Raymond, executive director of FOPR. "We use the money raised from the Taste of Spring to fund grants and scholarships for children to participate in Oakland's varied recreational programs and to provide funding for capital improvement projects for parks and recreational facilities."

The role of Friends is vital, now more than ever, as the city will be implementing drastic cuts in many areas, including Public Works. That means many parks will no longer receive ANY on-going maintenance. Take a look here: www.oaklandparkscoalition.org to download the City’s park priority list to see how parks in your area will be impacted:

“Because of this extreme level of reduction [in PW staff], it was necessary to determine the ‘priority’ locations for continued routine maintenance and the locations that would be ‘no-routine, complaint driven’ locations. There are 104 ‘priority’ locations and 212 ‘no routine’ maintenance locations.”

What will be the fate of these parks and how will the community respond? Time will tell… Let us know what you think!

The event was also a farewell toast to Kathy, who, after seven years as the director of Friends, will be leaving her post. She has been a wonderful partner and ally in the development of 10,000 Steps. Thanks, Kathy! We’ll miss you…


--- needs : 2009-05-08 ---

7.26.08: FIELD DAY

“It is a chicken and egg kind of thing: how do you design the park when you don’t know who the users are and what their needs are?”

“I would like to see safety gates to keep animals and kids inside the park.”

“I want to have more social gatherings to get more people to frequent the park. And we need to do something to make it more attractive: it needs flowers!”

“We need to put in a basketball court, tennis wall or court and sound wall on the Jefferson side of the park so they would get more usage. Ping pong and pool tables would be good too. A sound wall next to the freeway would be nice.”

“The Jefferson Street side of the park should have an open feeling; it would be helpful to trim the trees.”

“Better lighting for safety would be great!”

“Though the park is getting used, it is currently no configured for the best potential. More people would use the park if it were open on the Jefferson Street side instead of the side that faces the freeway.”

“More benches and seating!”

“We need a big, cool dog park with a lot of benches, tennis courts instead of the baseball field and a bigger club house for parties! More plants and elegant landscaping would really help.”

“Three words to describe the park: air, peace, green.”

--- needs : 2008-07-26 ---


"We need more garbage and recycling bins on the streets especially for the Farmers’ Market. Compost bins would also be great, like the ones they have in Berkeley."

"What do I want for the parks? ‘Clean and green!’"

--- needs : 2008-07-11 ---

6.06.2008: Art Murmur Explorations

"We need some maps in downtown showing the parks; we don't know where they are!"

--- needs : 2008-06-12 ---


"We need to have some parties in the park. Used to be, when I was a kid, Parks would have these fun parties in the summertime, with three-legged races and other things for the kids."

--- needs : 2008-04-20 ---

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