The East Bay Regional Park District is working with Bay Area non-profit organization Civicorps to reduce flammable plant materials and do other important maintenance work in the parks. The Park District had hired Civicorps crews to work alongside Park District staff in the past. This year the Park District increased the training, equipment and scope of the work with Civicorps, thanks to $600,000 in federal stimulus funding, secured by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Jerry McNerney. The US Department of Labor, Education and Training Administration provided the grant.
Training began in spring 2011, led by Park District Fire Captain Brian Cordeiro. Crews were trained in fuels management and fire suppression techniques. They are equipped to fight fires, and to work on prescribed burns and other park conservation projects.
The Civicorps crew has assisted with managing fuels in Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve (Oakland), Wildcat Canyon Regional Park (Richmond), Sibley Regional Volcanic Preserve (Oakland), and Leona Canyon Regional Preserve (Oakland), among other East Bay locations. Civicorps is a non-profit organization providing opportunities and education to urban youths.