Splash Pad News – September 2002

Editor’s Note: This edition of the Splash Pad News was recovered from a back-up drive and the link to the original URL is no longer functional.

The Splash Pad Fountain fundraising campaign is shifting into high gear with the addition of several new members to our steering committee. Current receipts total about $8000 with lots more in the pipeline, but still well short of our $50,000 to $60,000 goal. The latter amount is being sought in the hopes of establishing a reserve account that could be used for long-term maintenance, if necessary.We have also established tiered levels of recognition that will allow us to appropriately acknowledge donations in excess of $500.  Gordon Shell, a long-time park advocate and Grand Avenue booster, got the ball rolling with a very generous $1000 contribution.While we are counting on additional, large contributions, the bulk of our funding is expected to come from the Names in Lights feature. Lou Grantham, one of our most enthusiastic and effective members, has played a key role in that portion of the campaign.  She drafted the folder and illustration that have become essential to our efforts and is also our chief liaison to the Grand Avenue merchants who are responding very favorably with Names in Lights subscriptions. The merchants on Lakeshore Avenue are doing likewise. Maxine O’Guinn is our most recent inspiration having just turned in over $500 in Names in Lights orders from friends, family and neighbors.  Her example is one that many others will have to follow if this campaign is to be ultimately successful. Please, if you haven’t already donated…do so either for a t-shirt (which also helps us publicize our efforts) or for a Names in Lights listing at $75 per line or, if you’re financially able, for a large sum donation. If you’re in need of chiropractic care, please also keep in mind the Upaya Center’s offer to provide $150 in services in return for a $25 to $50 donation to the Fountain Fund. This offer applies only to September 8th and 15th and requires advance reservations. Their phone number is 444-8729. Whether you have or have not donated, please help spread the word…staffing a table, making phone calls or distributing literature. We can train you as an effective spokesperson with one easy,  5 minute orientation. If you do decide to donate or volunteer, please reply by email or visit us at the Farmers Market every Saturday.  Also, to keep abreast of latest developments or to order online, visit our web site: www.geocities.com/splashpad.


As a matter of policy, we have used this email list almost exclusively as a Splash Pad forum.  We’re going to stretch that rule slightly for two very important issues that directly impact the areas immediately surrounding the park: Inspired by their success with the traffic island across from the Grand Lake Theatre, the Grand Lake Beautification Project ( AKA The Grime Busters ) is working with the City and with Caltrans on plans to clean, re-landscape and regularly maintain all of the heavily blighted freeway ramps surrounding the Splash Pad.That project, coordinated by Mary Ellen Navas, debuts on Saturday, September 21st as they begin cleaning and weeding the Grand Avenue, east bound off ramp. On October 19th, they will return to landscape the same area.  This is a huge undertaking with the potential to totally revitalize the on and off ramps that constitute the first and last impressions visitors to our neighborhood receive. If you can volunteer or need additional information, please contact Chuck Johnston, our Neighborhood Services Coordinator.

The second issue is Measure DD, the Oakland Trust for Clean Water, Safe Parks.  This bond measure stands to benefit many of Oakland’s most valuable resources and is absolutely critical to the restoration and improvement of Lake Merritt of which the Splash Pad was once a part.  If you’re interested in volunteering and are willing to walk precincts and distribute lawn signs, plan on attending their kick-off event from 10 to 11 on the morning of Saturday, September 14th at the S.E.I.U. office, 560 – 20th St. near Telegraph. For more information or to volunteer, email Leslie Ottaviano or Jennie Gerard.  If you’re unable to volunteer but are willing to post a lawn sign, please email either Leslie or Jennie with a statement to that effect and your address.

Although I personally would love to list The Splash Pad Neighborhood Forum as one of the organizations endorsing Measure DD, I’m hesitant to do so since we are not currently meeting as a group.  Can we develop a meaningful consensus on this question via an email discussion?  I would very much appreciate your input.