On Sunday, July 23, 2017 the East Bay Regional Park District participated in National Public Radio’s (NPR) Generation Listen event focused on discussing the conflict between nature and people. The event topic was Pandemics “where they come from, how they start, how they spread” with a natural link to destruction of habitat, especially rain forests.
“We are honored to be selected as one of the NPR Generation Listen locations,” said East Bay Regional Parks District General Manager Robert Doyle. “It’s great recognition of the Park District’s role as a national leader for environmental conservation and park legislative advocacy.”
Dr. Ana M. Alvarez, Deputy General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District welcomed attendees to Redwood Regional Park and added a local perspective, as well as provided the District’s take on the challenge of balancing people and nature, and why it matters.
“We are so proud to have participated in the NPR event and are honored that they chose Redwood Regional Park for their program, one of the Park District’s very first parks,” said Alvarez. “As the largest park district in the nation we have a responsibility to carefully balance the need for public access with the need to protect the environment.”
Over 50 people attended the event to offer their thoughts and experiences, mostly millennials who NPR and local sister station KQED asked to attend. The one-hour long discussion ranged from the physical process of virus collection in rain forest to the need to maintain government supported scientific research.
The challenges do not stop there though. Alvarez also discussed climate change, the ultimate balancing act between people and the environment.
“The East Bay Regional Park District is already seeing the impact of climate change,” said Alvarez. “With sea levels already rising and expected to rise further, we can’t ignore our climate future.”
According to Alvarez, the District is taking bold steps to plan for climate change including constructing new trails and park facilities like parking lots, bathrooms and picnic areas at elevations above anticipated 2080 sea levels.
“The East Bay Regional Park District is aiming to maximize its natural green infrastructure to help manage climate change impacts,” said Alvarez. “It is environmentally responsible and fiscally prudent to take climate change into account in all of our decisions so we are prepared as a district for our climate future.”
“As a large land manager with over 121,000 acres of open space and 55 miles of shoreline, the Park District is well-positioned to be part of the solution to the impacts of climate change,” added Alvarez.
For more on the event, visit www.nprgenlisten.tumblr.com/post/163376683091/listening-on-location-redwood-regional-park.
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 120,000 acres in 65 parks including over1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.
Dr Ana M Alvarez
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor