If you are looking for the Splash Pad Newsletter, look no further!
Splash Pad Park, located in Oakland, California, was formerly a part of Eastshore Park, until the MacArthur Freeway bisected the area and cut it off circa 1960. At the time Caltrans made a number of improvements including installation of a large number of Canary Date Palms and a deep concrete-lined pond that allegedly was shaped like Lake Merritt. Several water jets sprayed water high into the air that came down with a big splash -- giving the park its signature name. Illuminated at night, it was supposedly quite attractive -- but few residents remember it ever working.
The park was designed specifically with aesthetics in mind and not for any practical use. It was uneven terrain. There were no benches and no walkways that provided entry. The closest it ever came to be used was at Christmastime when the city of Oakland used to install a crèche with live animals provided by the Oakland Zoo.
With the water jets non-functioning and the pond empty, the park became very overgrown and blighted. Then Councilmember John Russo began talking about leasing the space for a retail complex -- allegedly Trader Joe's. Caroline Kim founded a group called the Eastshore Park Preservation Association that eventually collected some 7,000 signatures on petitions opposing the loss of park space. Caroline also coordinated the debut of the Grand Lake Farmers ' Market that for the first five or so years was held under the freeway.
In late 1999, the Splash Pad Neighborhood Forum began talking about saving the park AND making it more of an asset to the community. The report that SPNF provided to the city formed the basis for the Request for Proposals (RFP) that led to the hiring of Oakland-based Walter Hood as the project's Landscape Architect; recently, Hood was honored as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum's Landscape Architect of the Year. The vastly-reconfigured park had its Grand Opening on October 20, 2003, and a gala 10th anniversary celebration on October 20, 2013, featuring nine Oakland-based bands and many other neighborhood and community supporters.
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Splash Pad Park is located at Grand Avenue & Lake Park, Oakland, CA, 94610
Park and Recreation Department phone: (510) 238-PARK
External Link: http://www.splashpad.org.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SplashPadPark.