Have you heard What’s Up with the Orinda Community Park? As a beloved space that features prominently in our Downtown, WUDO has been closely following the developments surrounding a proposed park renovation. We are excited, and hope you are too, at the prospect of the City working to make our park even better!
It started as a task to upgrade the existing bathrooms and gazebo, but the Parks & Rec Commission quickly realized that other parts of the park needed attention as well. A landscape architecture firm, Callander Associates has been retained to design a new and improved space incorporating the ideas put forth by the Commission and the Community. A few of the ideas currently circulating at the meetings include:
- new bocce ball courts
- a naturalistic playground that promotes imaginative play (see inspirational photo above!)
- a newly-designed bandstand to feature prominently at the center of the open grassy area
- space for food trucks and outdoor events
- better integration and use of our fabulous amphitheater
- new bathrooms (high five for this!)
- tot and 'big-kid' play spaces that are linked together (What? You mean no more head-on-a-swivel-trying-to-watch-kids-on-two-opposite-playgrounds quandary?!)
- improved visitor access
- bringing the ramp leading into the Community Center up to code
The Director of Parks & Recreation, Todd Trimble wrote in last week’s Orinda Outlook that fundraising, led by the Orinda Parks & Rec Foundation (OPR Foundation), is currently the sole source of funding for the project cost. He also states that it is possible to complete this project in phases if need be. For now, the next step is for the Parks & Rec Department and the OPR Foundation to seek approval of the proposed renovation.
There are so many things that we love about the Orinda Community Park; concerts, sports, watching our children climb and swing, taking laps around the path, picnicking with friends after the Farmers’ Market or just sitting on a bench taking it all in. A few of us even grew up playing at the “Tot Lot” decades ago - remember the huge metal slide down the hill?!?! Regardless of our memories, we can all agree that a revitalized park will create new experiences for many generations to come and we remain hopeful that the City can set the bar high for future downtown revitalization.
A beautiful park, linked with our iconic Community Center and fabulous library will further present Orinda as the gem we all know it to be. To share your thoughts regarding the potential for a park renovation, please contact the City Council.