East Bay Regional Park District’s planning for the Eastshore State Park, renovations at Lake Temescal in Oakland, and other major parkland projects are included in the 2000-2001 state budget just signed on June 30th by Gov. Gray Davis.
Altogether the state budget provides funding for a dozen specific key projects in which the Park District is either the lead agency or a partner. Obtained with the support of the East Bay’s entire state legislative delegation, the funds will enhance public outdoor recreation throughout the region.
The funds are not usable for routine operations and maintenance. They are intended for park facility construction, land acquisition, and major rehabilitation projects.
The allocation for the Eastshore State Park totals $2.8 million for planning, design and environmental review.
“I would like to say kudos to the legislators,” said Park District Director John Sutter of Oakland. “Certainly Dion Aroner was involved in the Eastshore State Park efforts. This moves us ahead several years in the planning and development of the Eastshore State Park.”
Sutter also thanked State Senator Don Perata for his support of the project at Lake Temescal. It is a $275,000 allocation for refurbishment of a building originally constructed in the late 1930s by CCC and WPA workers. It will become a facility for community meetings.
The Eastshore State Park site extends for eight miles along the shore of San Francisco Bay between Emeryville and Richmond. Acting as agent for the State of California, East Bay Regional Park District has purchased some 1,800 acres that will comprise the park. The next step, now under way, is planning for parkland facilities, including shoreline trails and picnic areas.
These are the other Park District or district-related projects approved in the state budget, for a total expense of $16,840,000. Many of these projects come from the Coastal Conservancy’s allocation from Prop. 12, the State Park Bond Act:
Black Diamond Historical Mine development: $500,000. Funds will be used to develop a larger, permanent underground visitor center at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near Antioch, with an auditorium and restored coal mine.
Historic Merry-Go-Round renovations: $200,000. The merry-go-round at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1911, it has hand-carved carousel animals.
Ferry Point Renovations: $500,000. The allocation is for rehabilitation and extension of the ferry slip, located at Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline in Richmond. The slip once was the terminus of the transcontinental railroad. Benefits will include deep water access for fishing, historic interpretation, and other enhancements. ‘I’m particularly grateful to Dion for her support on this project,” said Park Director Jean Siri, who represents the area, “because I think it will be one of the best fishing piers around.”
Rose Hill Cemetery renovations: $30,000. The historic cemetery contains the graves of many miners who worked the Black Diamond coalfields. The allocation will fund tombstone restoration, vandalism repair and general refurbishing.
Camp Ohlone: $330,000. The camp is a disabled accessible overnight facility in Sunol Regional Wilderness. The allocation will help to fund conversion of a barn into a shelter and interpretive facility, expansion of the trail system, and remodeling of a site manager residence.
Completion of bike trail in Concord: $945,000. This will enable extension of the Iron Horse Regional Trail in the Concord area, with links to other regional trails.
Completion of Iron Horse Regional Trail: $260,000. Extension of the Iron Horse Regional Trail farther south in Alameda County.
Delta Science Center: $2 million. The proposed Delta Science Center in Brentwood will be a major facility for hands-on educational programs about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Park District is one of several partners in the project.
Clayton Ranch acquisition: $250,000. The Park District is partnering with Save Mt. Diablo in the purchase of this 1,000-acre wildlife corridor between Mt. Diablo and Black Diamond Mines.
Purchase of conservation easement for Save Mt. Diablo: $250,000. This allocation to the Park District is for purchase of a conservation easement at Diablo Foothills Regional Park.
Per capita allocation: $8.5 million. Gov. Davis also used the budget surplus to fund the entire per capita allocation to all local and regional agencies that was authorized by passage of Prop. 12. The Park District’s share, $8.5 million, is based on the District’s population. It is expected that the State Department of Parks and Recreation will administer the program, receiving applications from agencies for funding of specific individual projects.
In addition to the allocations just mentioned, totaling $16,840,000, the city of Oakland is receiving $850,000 from the budget for development of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center at King Regional Shoreline in Oakland. The Park District is a partner in this project. The center will emphasize the teachings of Dr. King, with programs on non-violence, conflict resolution, services for inner-city youth and environmental education.