Note: On Saturday July 1 the Conservancy will have a booth in the southeast corner of the park (near the corner of Marina Boulevard and Spinnaker Way) to distribute a brochure based on the recent post “Let’s Stop the Plan That Would Destroy Our Park.” We will also be collecting signatures with a focus on residents in City Council District 1 (Kesarwani) because the park is located in that district. If you would like to help, just show up between 11 am and 3 pm on Saturday.
Also, from July 1 until Labor Day, this blog is on summer schedule. The regular schedule of a new blog post every day at 5 pm will be relaxed and posts may appear less frequently.
Letter from Janet S. Cobb, Executive Officer, California Wildlife Foundation
Honorable Mayor and Members of City Council, Parks and Recreation Department
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We object to efforts to turn Berkeley’s critical open space and habitat into another Disney World.
The original purpose of Cesar Chavez Park, its trails and habitat, should be maintained for the thousands of people who use it every year, and for the plants and wildlife that call it home.
When the City of Berkeley proves that it can maintain and upgrade properties within its current area of responsibility, only then should it consider adding anything new.
When HS LORDSHIPS area is producing revenue, when currentMarina customers can safely walk on docks and secure their boats; when the harbor is dredged; when there is a proper traffic plan for emergency exising — perhaps that would be a better time to adventure into new business.
People appreciate the open areas that are not plentiful in such an already crowded city. We are hoping that leaders will pay attention to taxpayers who fund the parks, rather than chasing after out-of-towners.
Thank you for your consideration,
Janet S. Cobb
From Stefani Berger
To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing to you about the proposed plan to develop Cesar Chavez Park.
My name is Stefani and I am 70 years old. I have used the park since it was originally
created in 1997. My daughter and I used to hunt for Fairies in the overhanging groves
and now my granddaughter and I put stones on the shadow of the solar calendar to
watch in amazement as time moves on.
Every evening I walk my dogs in the off-leash area to find solace from this broken world
of ours. As a teacher of 40 plus years I need to refresh my soul so that my students can
get the very best from my teaching. I picnic with family and friends, watch sunsets and
find time to sit at a picnic bench just to feel the nature around me.
This park is a quiet refuge, people are always kind and caring, and those young and old
can ride their bikes, push their wheelchairs, go for a run or just a walk with friends
around the park.
With your plan, parking will be impossible and prohibitive for those of us who want to
visit the park. This planned development would be an environmental disaster. The
burrowing owls, and wildlife sanctuaries would be destroyed. The park would be treated
destructively as we all know how crowds of people discard their trash. Should there be
an emergency, there is only one road out of the marina to seek safety. Earthquakes,
Tsunamis (as we had recently seen) or a fire would be a disaster and would endanger
the lives of many. People wouldn’t be able to get out of the park and ambulances and
fire trucks would not be able to get in.
The park is the largest natural area on the water in the Bay. This park needs to be used
as it was originally intended, as a refuge for people and wildlife alike. I implore you to
consider how valuable this park is right now. We don’t want it developed because the
the very tranquil beauty of it will be destroyed.
Should you like to contact me further my email is:
From Santiago Casal, Founder and Curator of the Chavez/Huerta Solar Calendar
I’m sending along this excellent article on the Plan To Destroy Chávez Park. Martin Nicolaus and The Chávez Park Conservancy put it together. If you have not already, I urge you to send send a few lines to our Councilmembers and Park & Waterfront Commission. The article lists easy ways to do this. The Plan is an insult to the legacy of César and Dolores, and to Silvia McLaughlin who fought with others to preserve the waterfront from commercial development.
The Plan is contrary to everything we have been trying to do with the Solar Calendar – Tribute to César Chávez & Dolores Huerta as well as in the upcoming Mobile Tour, and it is an insult to those of us who see the park as a respite from the stresses of an urban environment. As Landscape Architect, John Roberts, articulated in his critique “They (the developers) just don’t get it.”
Please take a few minutes to send along your support for saving the park. I’ve been moved by the reverential feelings expressed by Chávez Park users.
Santiago Casal, Founder & Director,
The Solar Calendar – Tribute to César Chávez & Dolores Huerta
The Mobile Tour – Giving César Chávez Park A Voice (Coming soon)