Appreciation For Montclair Park

When I drive by Montclair Park, I pretty much take it for granted.  It’s the place where villagers gather for large events, kids play sports or hang out, and various recreational programs are offered.

Sometimes our local park can seem magical.  Last month, a flickr photographer snapped this shot and was able to clarify the colors using HDR (high dynamic range) techniques.  The trees and carriage/horses look like they were painted in this image.

Another artist, Jason Quisenberry, created this nice charcoal sketch of the park: “I would have drawn more, but a girls softball team started to play nearby and I decided to move.  I just didn’t want to be hit in the back of the head with a ball.”  The work seems complete to me, as an almost-abstract landscape.

With these odes to Montclair Park, I’m wondering what will happen to the place.  This year, we were able to bid for improvements to the park.  Additionally, the park has scheduled a full slate of programs, classes and activities for our kids.

However, Oakland is dealing with financial crises and all budgets are at risk.  Like all city-supported services, there’s going to be cutbacks soon.  Is it time to “queue up” the local philanthropists?

2 thoughts on “Appreciation For Montclair Park

  1. Yes it’s true that Montclair Recreation Center and Park is facing some serious cut-backs because of the city’s financial crisis. As the supervisor of this wonderful place, I can tell you that the community involvement and long history of great programs is what sets Montclair Park as a true gem of the east bay.

    Cuts for right now include the following:
    Less gardening and maintenance support
    15% cut of recreation staff

    Likely cuts in the next 2 months:
    Closing of the Recreation Center every Friday through June 09
    Reduction of Gardener to 1 or 2 days a week
    Lay off of maintenance, gardening and recreation staff

    Possible cuts if prop 00 passes:
    Office of Parks and Recreation losing over $10,000,000 from it’s $14,700,000 yearly budget.

  2. In a few weeks the work being done at the park should be completed. This will include newly paved pathwys (for wheelchair and stroller access), a new backetball court and a new patio adjecent to the Recreation Center. Also, recent upgrades to the Recreation Center have brought new life to the facility.

    Our programs are for ages 2-99 and we continue a 60+ year tradition of offering, dance, sports, arts, day camps and senior programs.

    Did you know that most of the park paths, stone walls and Recreation Center were created by the WPA in 1939-40? There are pacques in several places thoughout the park.

    Mark Zinns
    Recreation Supervisor

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