Regional Parks in the Tri-Valley area of the East Bay will benefit from a recent $10,000 grant from outdoor gear and clothing company REI. The grant was presented October 27 to the Regional Parks Foundation, in conjunction with the opening of the new REI store in Dublin, California. The funds will support East Bay Regional Park District trail maintenance projects.
In Dublin, a trail maintenance project is planned for Dublin Regional Park. Under professional supervision, volunteers working with the East Bay Regional Park District's Ivan Dickson Volunteer Trail Maintenance program will use handtools to slope, groom, and brush portions on the Martin Canyon Creek Trail. The completed project will produce a new narrow and natural surface trail at the park, and provide access to the park from west Dublin. Volunteers will also work on a paved trail in the Dublin region; the specific project is yet be determined.€¨€¨ On September 24, employees of the Dublin REI store partnered with EBRPD staff on a trail maintenance project in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park to control run-off, remove obstructions, and prune poison oak from local trails. Funds from REI are used to cover staff costs, materials, lunch, and tools for the volunteer projects.
"The support from REI has a huge impact," stated East Bay Regional Park District Board President Beverly Lane. "When you bring out 60 volunteers in a day to work on a trail, it's work that would be nearly impossible for the park staff to address alone." The Park District has just three rangers for the area including Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, Dublin Regional Park, and the land banked areas of Vargas Plateau (Fremont hills) and Pleasanton Ridge - a total area of approximately 9,000 acres.
Ayn Wieskamp, the Board of Directors member representing Dublin and Pleasanton, remarked, "It's exciting to have REI local and involved, right here in the Tri-Valley. The trails are so important to everyone, and volunteers can really make a tremendous difference."
The Regional Parks Foundation celebrates a 19-year history of partnering with REI, including the four previously established East Bay stores in Berkeley, Brentwood, Concord, and Fremont. REI has sponsored trail and recreation events including the National Trails Day, the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council annual day of service, and REI employee workdays in the parks. Earlier this year REI awarded the foundation a $22,000 matching grant, offering opportunities for community engagement and outdoor stewardship of the parks throughout the year.