sign for William D. Wood Park
photo from Our Oakland

William D. Wood Park is a park located at 2920 McKillop Road in the Reservoir Hill / Sausal Creek neighborhood. Sausal Creek runs along its east side.

This park is a hidden gem, though still a bit of a diamond in the rough. It’s located on a dead-end street where Sheffield and E. 29th Street meet, and you wouldn’t really think to go there. The neighbors clearly take great care of it. A sign says that gardening takes place at “Wood Park” the 3rd Saturday of every month from 9-noon, under the guidance of 2012 Mother of the Year winner Lisa Lemus.


Most city parks are planned. This one, however, was not. It just happened, after decades of land movements destabilized the hillside. Major slumps occurred between 1935 and 1952, sending a large section of McKillop Road (formerly a loop, now two dead ends) downhill toward Sausal Creek despite repeated efforts by the city to halt the damage. The Army Corps of Engineers drove piles to try to stabilize what remained of the hillside, but it was too late for a dozen or so homes. Because not enough hillside remained on which to safely rebuild, the affected area was turned into a park and dedicated in September 1976. The park was created with contributions from the William D. Wood estate and Ogawa Nursery.

William D. Wood ran an auto dealership in Fruitvale, and was on the Oakland Park Commission from 1953 to 1956. When he died in 1968, he left $29,736.33 to the city for capital improvements in the parks. When it was decided to create the park a few years later in 1973, the park was named for him. 1,2

The landslides in the area have continued on the park's downstream side. In 2006 at least two more houses faced demolition (one collapsed all by itself) after they began to slide further. The Jehovah’s Witness Meeting Hall on the corner also remains abandoned after it was declared unsafe during the last bout of slide activity. Several lawsuits were combined into a jury trial in 2012, which found against the plaintiffs. Nevertheless the sliding remains a sore spot for many neighbors on that street (and behind/below it).

Wood Park
photo from Our Oakland
dedication plaque
photo from Our Oakland
CC SA-BY Our Oakland

A portion of the middle section of this park was owned by Levi Stevens in the late 1800s, according to the 1877 map available at the Old Oakland map site.


  • Tire Swing
  • Two swings
  • de facto dog park usage
  • Tree Facts next to each new tree
  • Beautiful view
  • Large grassy area
  • Sausal Creek

360 view of the park by greenkozi

sample tree fact (bad example- where’s the tree!?) photo by greenkozide facto dog park users tell us that group of neighbors make sure dog poop is cleaned. photo by greenkozitire swing, surrounded by fennel. photo by greenkozimake WOOD Park even more beautiful! photo by greenkozi

Phone: (510) 238-PARK

Links and References

  1. City Parks $29,736 Willed Oakland Tribune September 4, 1968
  2. City Rescinds Approval of Hill Complex Oakland Tribune June 27, 1973