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.