BPFP Supports Berkeley Measure F

Berkeley Partners for Parks urges a “yes” vote on Berkeley’s Measure F, a modest (16.7%) increase in Berkeley’s parks tax, passed in 1997 and based on square footage. The average Berkeley home of about 1900 square feet will pay about $40 to help support our 52 parks, 30 park buildings, 100+ pathways, and 35,000 trees. A real bargain!

For information from supporters, or to donate or volunteer, go to http://www.healthyberkeleyparks.com/.

Grant opportunities for neighborhood — UC partnerships

UC Berkeley has launched the 2015-16 cycle of Chancellor’s Community Partnership Grants, offering up to $260,000 to innovative campus-Berkeley community partnerships for projects beginning in the summer or early fall of 2015.

The Fund supports projects in arts and culture, community safety, economic development, environmental stewardship and education. Since its establishment in 2006, in partial settlement of a lawsuit by the City of Berkeley, the fund has awarded nearly $2 million to more than 120 neighborhood-improvement and community-service programs, including many park projects.

Pre-applications are due Dec. 8. About 20-25 of these applicants will be asked to submit detailed proposals, due Mar. 2. Awards will be announced in May, with funds available in last summer or fall, 2015. A “mixer” with opportunities to learn more about the grants and meet potential UC partners is set for 4-6 PM Wed., Oct. 22, at the Berkeley Skydeck, 2150 Shattuck Ave., penthouse level.

Information including forms and guidelines is here or at 510/643-5299 or calpartnershipfund@berkeley.edu.

Happy 100th Birthday to Live Oak Park

Happy 100th Birthday to Live Oak Park, Berkeley’s first “nature park,” bought by the city in 1914. Neighbors are celebrating with an old-fashioned picnic. One, Susan Schwartz (also head of Friends of Five Creeks, vice-president of the vanished Friends of Live Oak, and a BPFP board member) wrote this history. Corrections welcome at www.fivecreeks.org; the responsibility for errors is entirely Susan’s.

City of Berkeley celebrates park volunteers, seeks more

Berkeley’s Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront Department kick off a new effort to recruit and recognize volunteers with a Community Parks Day, 9 AM – 2 PM Sat., Sept. 27, at San Pablo Park. Volunteers can work with city staff planting trees and more, enjoy a BBQ lunch, and meet citizens who have volunteered many hours over the years. For kids, there’s a carnival including rock climbing and more. Info including upcoming volunteer opportunities here.

Sept. 28: Celebrate our 20th birthday with bike tour, walk, garden party!

The Berkeley City Council has declared Sunday, Sept. 28, “Berkeley Partners for Parks Day,” honoring our 20 years of volunteering for parks and green spaces. Enjoy a full day celebrating urban greening!

Starting at 10 AM, the Hidden Gems of Berkeley Tour returns as a celebration of Grassroots Greening! Join a bicycle tour of unique, community-based parks, greenway features, and community gardens around Berkeley, showcasing the “grassroots-greening” projects of Berkeley Partners for Parks’ (BPFP) and its affiliates. Covering about five miles of gentle terrain, visit the Santa Fe ROW, Halcyon Commons, Ohlone Greenway, Edible School yard, Schoolhouse Creek Commons, Marin Circle Fountain, Northside Garden, and more! Leaders will be John Steere (President, BPFP), and Linda Currie and Shawna McCarroll (Chairs respectively of the Transportation and Lane Use Working Groups of the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition).

Bring water and lunch and meet at Halcyon Commons, Halcyon Court between Prince and Webster, just west of Telegraph. Info at 510-849-1969.

Prefer a walk? Join Berkeley Path Wanderers’ Charlie Bowen on an easy, level, 4.5 mile loop on the Ohlone Greenway/Santa Fe Right of Way, now open to Bancroft Way. Visit murals, public art, gardens, and more. Meet at noon at Peralta and Hopkins, Berkeley.

Bike tour and walk end at 2 PM at the annual Garden Party at Westbrae Community Gardens, on the Ohlone Greenway between Peralta and Gilman. Food and live music until 5 PM are part of the open house at these gardens founded by Karl Linn, also one of the founders of BPFP. This year’s gathering celebrates BPFP’s 20 years of grassroots greening. Hope to see you there!