Splash Pad Park Update – August 2022

We’re thrilled to report that a Public Works crew completed the re-installation of the Ipe decking in the Splash Pad Plaza on Thursday. That said, some additional work will be needed to resolve a major tripping hazard where a section of the adjacent concrete has lifted — most likely due to roots from the nearby Canary Palm. In addition, the decking where Anfilo Coffee sets up also needs new ledgers and that work has not yet been scheduled. As I think we’ve mentioned before, the repairs are taking an extremely long time due largely to short-staffing throughout the Public Works Department. This has been issue for decades and it’s why the Splash Pad Neighborhood Forum lobbied for a community garden twenty years ago when the construction plans were being finalized. If the City of Oakland progressive tax passes in November, we’re hoping that some of the new funding can be used to increase Public Works staffing.

Speaking of the community garden, twelve volunteers (three not in photo) showed up for the fourth Sunday workday in July — which was the largest turnout in well over two years. In addition to the long time regulars, a special shout-out to the Lake Park Starbucks’ Store Manager, Jing Diaz and her friend, Alexandra. We were also super pleased to have two hard-core gardeners, Peter Suchecki and his wife, Lauri Twitchell, join the Crew. The amount of work that got done (ten bags full plus a pile of branches) makes us far more optimistic about the prospects for getting the California Native Garden in tip-top shape for the park’s 20th Anniversary in October of next year.

At the next work day, volunteers will be pruning, weeding, picking up litter and best of all, will be installing some new California Native plants which are going into areas that have just been thoroughly weeded. Date is Sunday, August 28 from 9:00am–noon. Tools, gloves and kneeling pads are provided but bring your own if you prefer.

Editor’s Note: Ken Katz founded the Splash Pad Neighborhood Forum in late 1999 and, in his role as Chair, coordinated the community efforts to lobby for a new park and subsequently served as a liaison to the City of Oakland and to Walter Hood’s office during the planning process. The first Splash Pad Newsletters were emailed beginning circa 2006. Currently, he acts as a contributor to—and publisher of—the monthly Splash Pad News. Keila Diehl proofreads all the copy, filters content as needed, and makes everyone involved look good.