parks

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, city leaders gathered to break ground at Estuary Park, eight acres of land that will become a sports haven on the city’s West End. This project includes a youth baseball field, a synthetic regulation-size athletic field, as well as restrooms, a concession building and group picnic areas. 

If you haven’t been outside to play, explore, or just be, for a long time it can seem a little daunting. Where do I go? What do I need to take? What will I do? These are all very legitimate questions. 

The Alameda Recreation and Parks Department park monitors patrol Alameda’s parks on weekends to ensure facilities are clean, greet park users, provide information and assistance and enforce park rules. They also ensure picnic and field reservations are in place. 

To report an issue at an Alameda park, voice a concern, or give a compliment during the weekend, the public may call the park monitors directly at 747-7542.

Robert R. Thompson moved to Alameda with his family in 1877. A steamboat captain, Thompson found wealth navigating the Columbia River. 

Before plying the Columbia,  Thompson had cashed in on the California gold rush. Now he intended to do the same in Oregon by mining a new breed of gold miners on their way north. 

Native Americans made Europeans aware of gold on the Fraser River in 1857. Word spread beyond this British Columbia outpost, setting off a gold rush and raising demand for travel on the Columbia River. 

Captain Robert R. Thompson once lived in a stately mansion in today’s Lincoln Park. Before coming to Alameda he made his fortune as a principal shareholder of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. Thompson came overland to Oregon in 1846 on an emigrant wagon train.  

His wife, Harriet, and their three daughters, Eliza, Sarah and Mary made the trip with him. Historian T.C. Eliot tells us in the Oregon Historical Society quarterly that Thompson eked out a living his first two years “doing odd jobs at blacksmithing and tinkering of all sorts.”  

This summer Franklin Park will host four free concerts featuring classical music by The Alameda Music Project that are open to the public.

The Alameda String Academy will present three Saturday lunchtime concerts, featuring music from Dvorak, Mozart, Vivaldi and Boccherini, along with pre-concert musical crafts and an opportunity for children and adults to try their hands at playing a stringed instrument.

Ship captain James D. Farwell arrived in San Francisco in the spring of 1850. He had safely captained the steamboat Tehama from Panama. Farwell, who hailed from Maine, opened a chandlery on Clay Street in San Francisco. As a chandler he supplied the ships in port with their wares.

Save the Bench, a newly formed group founded by Park Avenue residents and their neighbors, has begun circulating a petition. 

The group hopes to ensure that one of Alameda’s beloved landmarks, the Isabelle Clark Memorial Bench in Jackson Park south of San Jose Avenue, is repaired and restored rather than demolished. 

She had the bench inscribed “In Memory of My Dumb Friends,” a reference to her love of animals. Isabelle Clark paid for the design and installation of the bench in 1920 as a memorial to her late husband, George B. Clark. 

The Alameda Friends of the Park Foundation will be holding the 2014 edition of the Play for the Parks Tournament Monday, Sept. 15 at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex.

Proceeds of the event will help finance citywide projects. The Friends of the Parks Foundation support the preservation, knowledge and awareness of our natural resources through sponsoring community programs and projects in cooperation with the Alameda community and the Department of Recreation and Parks.

With the extreme drought conditions taking hold in California, the City of Alameda is doing its part to reach the 20 percent reductions in water use requested by the Governor. All Alameda parks will be watered 20 percent less. This may result in green grass turning brown. Submit questions online at the city website or call the Parks Maintenance Line at 747-7572.