Letter from the General Manager: March - April 2018

Robert E. Doyle 2018 Big Year For Parks

A Message from General Manager Robert E. Doyle
March – April 2018

State Bond Addressing Parks on June 2018 Ballot

On December 21, 2017 the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors approved the 2018 budget aimed at enhancing public access, connecting people with nature, improving public safety services, and planning for our climate future.

From park services to new park projects, 2018 is set to be a big year with many projects and initiatives moving forward.

Projects and initiatives include:

  • Completing new park facilities such as staging areas, trails, and expansions.
  • Continuing wildfire prevention efforts in the East Bay Hills.
  • Continuing to leverage local park funds to obtain additional state and federal resources.
  • Evaluating continuation of voter-approved funding, specifically Measure CC in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
  • Accessing the District’s vulnerability to a changing climate.
  • Adding a new mobile visitor center vehicle to help people connect with nature.

Additionally, on October 15, 2017, after a long, multi-year effort by California legislators, the Park District, and other park agencies, Governor Brown signed SB 5 placing a statewide bond for natural infrastructure on the June 5, 2018 ballot for voters’ consideration. State parks have an estimated $25 billion backlog of infrastructure and maintenance needs. It has been 15 years since the last statewide measure addressing park needs was on the ballot.

The measure, if approved by voters, would provide $4.1 billion for parks, open space preservation, water resources, and flood protection throughout California. Specifically, the bond measure would provide $2.83 billion for parks and natural resources, $720 million for water resources, and $550 million for flood protection.

A significant portion of the funding would be provided through project grants to local agencies such as the East Bay Regional Park District. The Park District should be well positioned to receive funds given its ability to leverage voter-approved local revenues from Measure WW and Measure CC.

Additionally, the East Bay Regional Park District operates three local state parks that would likely receive funding for improvements – Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda, Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore, and McLaughlin Eastshore State Park along the shoreline from Oakland to Richmond. Crown Memorial State Beach and Del Valle Regional Park are both over 60 years old and McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, which covers over 9 miles along the San Francisco Bay, is prone to flooding and under threat of sea level rise.

For more information about the state bond, visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures.