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 ---

6.23.08: Meeting with Darlene Lee

"The teenagers need something, a place, a mural, or something, that will give them a voice and identity at the park."

--- needs : 2008-06-23 ---

5.29.08: Meeting with Gilbert Gong

"We need more green space and more clean-up awareness. Kids should know to leave the park as clean as they found it. Some kids outside of the neighborhood don't do this."

--- needs : 2008-05-29 ---

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