In April of 2003, the Berkeley Unified School District initiated a public process to move the Berkeley Adult School from University Avenue to the empty Franklin Elementary School site between San Pablo and Curtis and Francisco and Virginia. As part of that public process, in August 2004, the Berkeley School Board approved the layout for Schoolhouse Creek Common and a budgetary allocation of $135,000 for site preparation, installation of utilities, irrigation, and fencing. Upgrading and maintaining the site following initial site preparation was and continues to be the responsibility of neighbors. At the end of 2010, over $14,000 has been raised from neighbors of the Adult School. An additional $15,000 in grants has been awarded to Schoolhouse Creek Common from the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund.
Neighbors gather to work in the park from 10 AM to noon on the second Saturday of the month, with a rain day the following Saturday, but neighbors can be found working in the Common at any time. On several occasions, Cal students from Cal Corp and The Berkeley Project have greatly assisted us with projects, planting, and weeding. Everyone is welcome to stop by, even if just to say hello and get a tour of the Common.
The vision for the park includes native California plants, an orchard, a play area for young children, benches and picnic tables, and a space for meetings. Much of this vision has already been accomplished. Many drought-tolerant plants from throughout California have been planted. A fruit orchard can be found on the north side of the Common. A play area that includes a tire swing and sand box is located on the south side of the Common. Two of the four benches were donated by neighbors and one of the two picnic tables was donated by the Adult School. A space for small meetings has been constructed from boulders on the east side of the Common. Schoolhouse Creek Common has become an integral part of the Adult School, from classes that include the study of native California plants to a place to eat lunch or study.