Letter from the General Manager: May- June 2018

Robert E. Doyle New Public Access Projects on the Way Thanks to Community Support
A Message from General Manager Robert E. Doyle
May - June 2018

Thanks to community support, and voter-approved funding, the District has exciting new projects under way to improve public access, recreational opportunities, and educational services in your Regional Parks.

Park District Places No-Tax-Increase Measure CC Extension Measure on November Ballot
On June 5, 2018, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously placed an extension measure on the Nov. 2018 ballot to continue local, voter-approved funding in the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Alameda, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont - with no increase in taxes.

If approved by voters, the measure would simply continue existing Measure CC funding to protect against wildfires, restore natural areas, and maintain public access to Regional Parks in the Measure CC area.

Regional parks in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties are better today than they were in 2004 thanks to voter-approved Measure CC. Measure CC funding has helped remove flammable and hazardous material, improved public access to regional parks, and helped take care of the natural habitat that wildlife depends on. However, Measure CC is set to expire soon.

Safe and Healthy Forests/Wildfire Hazard Reduction
Wildfires are potentially devastating to our parks, homes, lives, and forests. Thanks to Measure CC over 500 acres of urban forests and brush along East Bay ridgelines have been thinned. Each year, the Park District spends over $1.6 million on fire hazard reduction – much of it thanks to Measure CC.
Additionally, with the help of the Civicorps youth job training program, the Park District recently treated 75 targeted sites in Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, Tilden Regional Park, Tilden Nature Area, Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, and Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve.

Better Public Access and Park Services
Thanks to Measure CC many regional parks, trails and open spaces in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties have been repaired and upgraded, including visitor centers, staging areas, trails, picnic tables, restrooms, and water fountains, among others – allowing for better park experiences and enhanced educational programs.

Enhanced Wildlife Habitat
Thanks to Measure CC, many natural areas in western Alameda and Contra Costa counties have been restored and preserved, including shorelines, marshes, wetlands, and urban creeks – helping protect habitat for endangered species.

Over the past year, the Park District has been evaluating park needs in the Measure CC area and engaging the community and stakeholders about a potential measure extension – with no change in the tax rate structure. For more information, visit ebparks.org/MeasureCC.

San Francisco Bay Trail Expansion (Pinole Shores to Bayfront Park)
In Pinole, a new 1/2-mile segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail is under construction, including a 1,100-foot gradually sloping bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The Park District project removes one of four remaining gaps in the San Francisco Bay Trail along the San Pablo Bay - with two of the other three in the design and permitting stages. The San Francisco Bay Trail is a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay.  The Pinole Shores project is expected to be complete in June 2018.

East Bay Gateway Regional Park
In Oakland, at the touchdown of the Bay Bridge lies the future East Bay Gateway Regional Park. The Park District recently signed a lease with Caltrans to operate the 24,000-square foot historic and newly renovated “Bridge Yard”  Building, which will serve as the recreational anchor for the park with interpretive and recreational programming, concessionaires for food, equipment rentals, and event space. Additionally, thanks to funding from the Bay Area Toll Authority, the last remaining pilings from the old Bay Bridge will also be reused to create a new shoreline public access observation platform.

Crown Memorial State Beach Expansion
In Alameda, land use planning efforts have begun for expansion of Crown Memorial State Beach to improve public access, educational services, recreational opportunities, including upgrading Crab Cove Visitor Center facilities and services. In 2015, a federal property adjacent to the Crab Cove Visitor Center was acquired by the Park District. The property was slated for housing but because of community efforts, it was changed to public park use. In 2017, Measure CC helped fund the demolition of two dilapidated buildings on the property – allowing land use planning to move forward.

Albany Beach Restoration and Public Access Improvements, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park
In Albany, construction will soon begin to improve habitat, public access, and the Bay Trail at the Albany Beach area of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. With funding from Measure CC and other voter-approved measures, new restrooms, parking, and other improvements will be added, as well as nearly one mile of new San Francisco Bay Trail. Construction is slated to begin in June 2018, with completion in January 2019.

I look forward to keeping you updated on these and other projects the Park District is working on to maintain and enhance your quality of life. See you in your Regional Parks!