Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The public meeting to decide the future of the park and the wonderful community garden is November 30th from 7-9 p.m. at the North Oakland Senior Center.
If you cannot attend, but would still like to contribute your thoughts you can!
Click on the link below, it will take you to a survey where you can leave your input.
We want to hear from everyone!

You can find the entire text of the proposed general plan in the previous entry on the blog.

Thanks for making your voice count!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Dover Park Neighborhood Group and
Phat Beets Produce
5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Parking available.
Baby Sitting available, bring your kids toys or books; light refreshments will be served
.....to discuss a general plan for the Dover Street Park and its community garden.
Make your voice heard in deciding the future of our beloved park and its wonderful garden!
Below is the Vision part of the proposed general plan. If you would like to read the entire document go to


We are working to establish a safe and inviting community space through a community garden within Dover Street Park, where youth and their families can learn about nutrition and have access to fresh foods. From these immediate benefits, we hope to have deeper effects in our community, including: increased food stability for families, employment opportunities for at-risk youth; decreased incidence of diet-related disease, including obesity and related chronic conditions; and not least the knitting together of the community through joint action in creating a shared public place in which community members feel safe and welcome.

Sustainable Food Practices

Children and youth in Oakland are especially at risk of developing diet-related chronic diseases as a result of poor diets and inadequate physical activity. A staggering one-third of students in Oakland Unified School District are at risk of developing diabetes. The unprecedented risks that Oakland youth face in developing chronic diseases illustrates the need for programs that positively influence their attitudes and behaviors towards healthy eating.

Program Objectives:

  1. Establish a space for Healthy Hearts patients and neighbors of Children's Hospital Oakland to grow pesticide-free fresh fruits and vegetables.
  2. Provide educational support to patients and their families and our Surrounding community to grow their own food.
  3. Create interactive models that engage young people and their families in healthy eating through experiential learning.
  4. Engage youth affected by diet-related diseases in exercise and making healthy lifestyle choices.
  5. Contribute to the park's upkeep and maintenance in the face of city-wide budget cuts and maintenance staff reductions.

Creating a Welcoming Park Environment for Neighborhood Children and Adults

Oakland was the fifth most violent city in the United States in 2010, in part due to a lack of safe public spaces.

Beyond the food-related benefits outlined above, a park in which nearby residents are involved has great benefit to the involved residents and the neighborhood as a whole. It fosters feelings of stakeholding, ownership, safety, connection, and community. It is an explicit goal of this plan that through the acts of creating and utilizing the physical improvements described herein, these community benefits will be realized.


Whether parent, city council person, pediatrician, or neighbor, we all have a civic duty to respond to the need for safe public spaces and the need for healthier foods in our communities. The Dover Street Park community garden and its related activities (planting, harvesting, watering, weeding) are the fulfillment of that duty, by the neighbors of the Park. The community garden is this ideal made real, through the hard work of the community.

Neighbors want a clean, safe, inclusive place for their families. The garden has galvanized multi-generational community involvement in the park, and created many more stakeholders who want to help maintain the park as a vibrant, healthy community asset. This type of volunteer project is exactly what the city of Oakland needs in the face of drastic budgetary cutbacks. Together, we can work towards positive change with a united front.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breakfast and workday this Sunday, Nov. 6th!

Hello Dover Park friends and supporters!

I hope you are all enjoying the best weather of the year! Join us this Sunday, November 6th for the monthly Sunday workday at Dover Park. Come and enjoy more of the beautiful weather and burn off some of that Halloween candy!

This Sunday we will have a social gathering from 10 to 11 a.m. We will have coffee, tea and pastries! Bring a mug, meet your neighbors, enjoy the park and help us keep it thriving.

Monday, July 11, 2011

If you are interested in Urban Agriculture and food security issues in Oakland check out this video as well as the work Bay Localize is doing.
Community groups and concerned residents are coming together to build a healthy, resilient, and socially just food system in Oakland. Join the movement for urban agriculture today! Visit: http://www.baylocalize.org

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Petition in Support of Dover Park

Two months ago two individuals who live in the neighborhood presented a complaint to Councilmember Jane Brunner's office and to the office of Parks and Recreation. They objected to the vegetable garden, the fruit trees and the mural that was painted during the successful Cesar Chavez Celebration at the park on April 3rd which was attended by over two hundred people including Oakland's new mayor: Jean Quan and Children's Hospital CEO Bert Lubin.

Those of us who volunteer at the park started a petition asking for community support. We posted the petition on-line here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/doverstreetparkcommunitygarden/ PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY!
We walked the neighborhood and knocked on doors talking with residents about our efforts at the park and about the complaint. The response has been overwhelming! We now have 400 signatures in support of the work taking place at Dover park.

Here are some of the amazing comments in support of our work:

  • "As a 6 year resident of this neighborhood, community gardens and parks are a key to continuing to make this neighborhood one of the best in northern Oakland. I strongly support this project"
  • "Until Dover St. park was adopted by the surrounding residents, the only reports the NCPC received about it were complaints about loitering, drug dealing, graffiti, physical threats and intimidation of parents and children by young street ruffians, and minimal use by the public. The adoption of the park by nearby residents and Childrens Hospital has transformed the park into a community asset that is largely maintained by the nearby community. It has become a vibrant nexus for people in the area and has built community based on shared values and shared activities that are healthy for that area of Beat 11. Dover St. Park has gone from a blight for the area to being a community jewel and desirable meeting place for residents and other community interests. Its positive effect on the area is a model of how neighborhoods and community are built and nourished."
  • "Although I live several blocks from Dover Street Park, I enjoy the space with my children and visit the neighborhood specifically for the park. I appreciate all of the community activities that happen there and support the ongoing work to make it a great and versatile community space."
  • "This is an absolutely essential public space for a community that needs more opportunities for people to gather and celebrate safely. Tremendous effort has gone into making this garden a friendly, accessible, safe place for all to enjoy and it is an absolute asset for the neighborhood"
  • "How could someone possibly be opposed to the great community effort going into this park! I am shocked!! Stunned. I will Whole heartily support this park and believe it is the key to this neighborhoods rise. This park to me represents the type of community giving and support that Oakland is in desperate need of. The best part is the residence are not asking for city funds but instead are creating a positive space through donated time.
  • "I love seeing it when I walk my dog in the neighborhood, and I love knowing that this good food is being used by families that don't have easy access to healthy vegetables and fruit!"
  • "The Dover street park improvements and community are very important to my family and me. Having this in the neighborhood is a great amenity.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A tanka poem

Rainy Sunday

earth opens before

me. It gives way to shovel’s

weight. Wounded, cold, dark

bare. Young fruit tree goes in

neighbors injure earth, sow hope

dig, plant, root! above all stay.

Claudia Castro Luna

Summer is almost here!

It looks like the rains have finally given way to the sun. We are gearing up for another summer of harvest and fun events at the park: movie nights and a repeat of last year's highly attended Night Out barbecue.
These photos from last year give an idea of what to look forward to!

Keep Oakland Beautiful Mini Grant

Last summer we applied to a Keep Oakland Beautiful grant to build 3 raised beds.
The purpose in building the beds is to increase community participation in the garden.
Seniors and less-abled persons in the neighborhood can now come and join us on Wednesday afternoons and on the first Sunday of every month. We are in conversation with a teacher at a local school to see if this fall we can start an intergenerational (children and seniors) gardening project using the raised beds.

Above are a few photos showing the first phase of the construction! Jeremy and Sean were our lead carpenters and Amalia and Steven the main helpers, but many more folks came together to lend a hand.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hard to believe how time flies!
Tomorrow is May First and the day coincides with the First Sunday of the month clean-up at the park.
The First Sunday meetings started in February 2007. This Sunday will mark our 40th clean-up!

Here below are photos of the Daffodil Planting on the first Sunday in November 2007. Our dedicated neighbor Margaret Crayton (in the blue shirt) was stalwart picking up the bulbs for our park each fall...back in the days when the city had money for such efforts. The two top photos show how over the years, pockets of daffodils have naturalized along the fence. Take a close look at how barren either side of the fence looked four years ago, before neighbors beautified the front of the park with drought tolerant plantings!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Breaking Ground on June 6th, 2010

Here is a short film about the day we broke ground on the vegetable garden and how the story was covered by Oakland Local.