Hikers, joggers, bicyclists and even dogs now have a place to rest and enjoy fresh drinking water on a popular Contra Costa County trail, thanks to a donation from an avid outdoorsman and former Lafayette resident who died in 2007.
John “Mountain Jack” Ingram, who passed away in December, 2007 at age 81, left $50,000 to the Regional Parks Foundation as a tribute to his parents, Stuart and Venita Ingram, who were longtime Lafayette residents.
In honor of Ingram and his parents, the Regional Parks Foundation and East Bay Regional Park District dedicated a bench under a shady tree, a water fountain for humans and dogs, and a plaque embedded in a rock at the Olympic Boulevard Staging Area of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail near downtown Lafayette.
The dedication, which drew park officials as well as Ingram family and friends from throughout the East Bay and as far away as Oregon, occurred March 13 at the Olympic staging area, which is the northern end of the picturesque, winding 7.6-mile paved trail.
Ingram grew up in Lafayette and was in one of the first classes to graduate from Acalanes High School. He served in the Navy on two aircraft carriers in the South Pacific, and worked for many years for Auto Week magazine.
He loved skiing and hiking, leading hundreds on mountain adventures in the East Bay and Sierra Nevada. Among his many contributions to Northern California outdoor life, he helped establish the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which so far includes more than 350 miles of stunning vistas and challenging terrain across the Bay Area’s hilltops.
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 119,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.