BPFP Works to Expand Informal Recreation for Youth


BPFP has taken a leading role in advocating for and contributing sweat equity to new playgrounds for our younger children. We also realize the need for increased informal recreational opportunities for our older youth (ages 8-18). Recreation trends change and our parks don’t always keep up. The City also recognizes this need, and the new Berkeley Skate Park is a huge step in this direction.

We should also look at opportunities for better youth recreation facilities in our neighborhood parks. BPFPs Board of Directors has offered to put $5,000 toward a small beginner skate park at Cedar/Rose park if the City matches it with a $3,500 mini-grant. Neighbors have been generally supportive of the idea. The proposal will be brought back to the Parks & Recreation Commission within the next six months, after further study.

Rock climbing/bouldering is another sport that is just now being taken into parks. BPFP applied for and received Community Development Block Grant money for a playground climbing wall for San Pablo Park, which will be installed sometime in 2003. The wall is low enough to be safe, but still challenging for kids 6-14. If the concept works well at San Pablo, it could be used elsewhere. There are even “playground” climbing sculptures that are challenging for teens and adults.

BMX bicycling is another newer sport with few places for kids to go in the dense inner East Bay. There is currently an informal bmx dirt jump area near the waterfront that will be removed with the creation of the Eastshore State Park. BPFP President Stephen Swanson is working to find BMXers a new place to practice their sport.

Contact: Stephen Swanson, 649-9874