Montclair Park is our local oasis, loved by many who hang out there. Easy Bay Dads appreciate the park because it “has a fenced-in tot lot as well as a bigger playground for bigger kids, plus grass to run on, fake horses to sit on, geese to get bitten by, and a small lake to fall into.”
However you use the facilities, the reality is that Montclair Park needs additional resources to stay clean and green – which won’t be coming from city coffers anytime soon.
As you are aware, Oakland is under water financially and has already cut back on Parks and Recreation dollars this year. The department funds will likely get tapped again, to help close the $70+ million budget gap soon.
Cleaning Up The Park
Montclair Park’s trash situation is simmering since the staff cutbacks a few months ago. If you frequent the park, then you may see litter, graffiti and random vandalism of bathrooms. Something should be done here.
Remember those after-school kids who hang out at the park? Maybe they could be put to work for a nominal rate, via donations. Alternatively, a volunteer corp of kids might be assembled by kids (!) to clean up, on a scheduled basis.
Adding More Greenery
For plantings, the park is entering a fallow period too. We caught up with Jill Broadhurst, leader of Montclair SIC’s beautification team, who said that plantings are on hold but there’s still work to do:
We need money for new plants which the city does not have. Nothing has been planted. Right now, we need to focus on removing the reeds in the pond, the broom on the hillside and mulch all the beds. Planting is a few years away. We will eventually apply for larger grants to accomplish new plants selections.
She still enourages interested neighbors to offer their resources and elbow grease. Please reach her at gncmontclair-at-yahoo.com to find out what’s happening, and join the Montclair GreenNClean facebook group.
Who Cares Enough
We know that Montclarions have plenty of civic pride, and cherish their Montclair Park. Park Director Mark Zinns is also doing a nice job with his hands tied, and there are many activities and offerings underway for everyone.
However with some financial support and volunteerism by locals, it seems like we would keep the place spit-shined. In honor of the real Earth Day tomorrow, are there folks out there who can step up with resources and leadership?
2 thoughts on “Picking Up After Park-Goers”
I like that you are thinking about solving these problems with the park by using volunteer community resources. This is a much more effective way to get things done than by depending on local government which in so many ways can’t get anything done.
I am sure that there are resources on-line that will give you some guidelines for how to go about organizing your community so you can improve the park. It isn’t rocket science and you definitely can do it. Best of luck.
Trash pick up at parks is limited – once a week I was once told. With that in mind, “pack it in, pack it out” should be the plan when going to the park. The alternative is over flowing trash cans.