Message from the General Manager: May - June 2019

Robert E. Doyle

A Park District Is Born

In 1928, a movement to create a grand park in the East Bay hills was launched by a group of conservationists and community leaders, including such notable members as Robert Sibley, president of the UC Berkeley Alumni Association; Aurelia Reinhardt, president of Mills College; Ansel Hall of the National Park Service; and East Bay real estate tycoon Duncan McDuffie. Thanks to the vision and determination of these leaders, we are celebrating the East Bay Regional Park District’s 85th Anniversary this year.

At the commission of these hopeful leaders, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. of the Olmsted Brothers, the first landscape architecture firm in the nation, came to the East Bay to assess park needs and survey potential parkland. In 1930, with the co-authorship of Ansel Hall of the National Parks Service, Proposed Park Reservations for East Bay Cities, also known as the Olmsted-Hall Report, was published. The report called for a “sizable park for open space preservation and recreation.”

Within four years, the Regional Park Proposal, a measure to establish the East Bay Regional Park District with an assessment of five cents per $100 of assessed property value, was placed on the ballot. On November 6, 1934, with the rallying cry “Parks for the People,” the proposal passed with 71% of the vote. East Bay residents had decided, during the depths of the Great Depression, to tax themselves for parks.

Thank you for your trust and support. Today, the East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park agency in the country with over 122,000 acres protected in perpetuity, and is a national model for land use preservation, recreation, climate adaptation, parkland management, and connecting people with nature.

Join us in celebrating the Park District’s 85th Anniversary and thanking the visionary leaders who helped create this beautiful park system for all of us to enjoy.

See you in your Regional Parks!