March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20

Creating accessible
parks and trails
across biologically
diverse lands and
shorelines takes
creativity and
investment.

ADVOCACY

Parks, Funding and the Communities
That Make Them Possible
By Erich Pfuehler and Lisa Baldinger

T

he East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, California, has a long
history of community engagement. Over the years, thanks to legislative action and voter support, the park district has grown from 115,000
acres to more than 125,000 acres, preserving significant acreage of natural habitat and serving more communities through park and trail access. The
park district currently manages nearly 200 miles of regional trails, serves 2.8 million residents and welcomes more than 25 million visitors a year.
Creating accessible parks and trails
across biologically diverse lands and
shorelines takes creativity and investment. The founding land survey,
Proposed Park Reservations for East
Bay Cities (tinyurl.com/1eavnsjt),
highlighted that preserving land
would be minimal cost, but maintaining, operating and developing
access to the land would require annual revenue. Revenue also would be
needed to expand services, such as
utilities, restrooms, picnic areas and

20	 Parks & Recreation

other amenities. This insight, unique
at the time, remains relevant today as
the park district continues its expansion of new park areas while maintaining existing assets: all new and
upgraded infrastructure need continued revenue and investment.
Over the past 30 years, the park
district has led four significant voterapproved tax measures. These measures seed acquisition, environmental education and infrastructure investments. This funding is used with

| M A R C H 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

local, state and federal grants, such
as those established by California
State Park Bonds and the Land and
Water Conservation Fund. A review of recently completed projects
found nearly 88 percent of the park
district's large infrastructure has
been funded by sources other than
the general fund.

Examining the Economic
and Social Impact
Wetland enhancements, trail connections and other infrastructure
projects now require multiple sources to fund in full. These projects no
longer cost thousands of dollars,
but often millions. Acknowledging
the increasingly significant level of
public investment, the park district
wanted to better understand the full


http://www.tinyurl.com/1eavnsjt

March 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2021 - Parks & Recreation

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March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com