The Alameda Recreation and Parks Department (ARPD) provides advice, coordination, and guidance on parks and recreational facilities in the city of Alameda. One of the activities they conduct is called Alameda Walks where they invite Alameda residents to lace up their walking shoes, bring family, friends, and neighbors and join them on an hour-long walk on the 1st and 2nd Saturday mornings of each month, May through October. For those who are new to Alameda or have lived there for decades, this is a great way to begin a Saturday morning exploring neighborhoods and learning about the history of Alameda. The walks begin at 9:00 a.m. and last approximately one hour.
On Saturday, October 7, I attended a walk that started near Estuary Park. The walk was scheduled long ago with the anticipation that the park would be open to the public. Unfortunately, the rainy seasons for the last 2 years has delayed the project. The park's design was created by Verde Design, and the general contractor is Goodland Landscape Construction.
Estuary Park is eight acres located at Singleton AVE and Mosley AVE on the Oakland/Alameda Estuary in Alameda. The park is located in a part of the city that was originally part of the old Alameda Naval Air Station. The area was previously used by the U.S. Navy as athletic fields, but it has been dormant and unused for many years. The adjacent property includes government housing for Coast Guard members and a site that has recently been awarded for housing development. It's rare for a park to be in place before housing, but Alameda is leading the way in this regard.
Our guide for the walk for Patrick Russi, ARPD Recreation Manager. Many Alamedans refer to Patrick as the "hardest working man in public service." By the way, ARPD is "Alameda Recreation and Parks," unlike the television show, Parks and Recreation, because Alameda had recreation long before it had any parks. Long ago, Alameda and Oakland were two of the first cities in America to prototype the concept of local neighborhood parks.
The park is being constructed in phases. Phase 1 includes the athletic fields. Phase 2 will include the park area.
Phase 1 is nearly complete as the workers are adding the final touches like vegetation and irrigation.
Drought tolerant and native plants adorn the areas around the athletic fields.
To reduce water usage and have a consistent competitive surface, the fields are artificial turf. Patrick noted that the type of turf installed is not the type that has been linked to an increase in cancer rates among soccer goalies.
The field is marked for football, soccer, lacrosse, and rugby.
This is one of few public fields that has outdoor lighting.
Patrick noted that the new type of lighting will light the field while minimizing light pollution to neighboring homes.
There is only one set of bleachers. ARPD is looking for sponsors to add more seating.
Let's Play Ball
There is a dedicated baseball field adjacent to the multiple sport field.
The baseball field has the same artificial turf with drought tolerant vegetation just past the fence.
There are two shiny new dugout areas.
There are grills and picnic tables between the 2 fields to accommodate families. Strong batters may be able to put one over the fence and into someone's potato salad.
The picnic area is also well lit.
The park has typical amenities like drinking fountains and bicycle racks. A bathroom will be added as part of a later phase. ARPD is waiting for the developer of the adjacent housing to put in the necessary infrastructure.
Though it's artificial turf, the fields need some time to settle. ARPD expects the fields to be put into action after the winter. It was great to get a sneak peek at the work in progress. Our tax dollars are being well spent.
Walking is alive in the lab.