ShopInBerkeley Highlights for February 2002
Ohlone Park
Ohlone Park is 9.8 acres of land stretching over a half mile on the north side of Hearst Street between Sacramento and Milvia. The open space was created when BART demolished houses to dig the tunnel for the subway between the Berkeley & North Berkeley stations. The land began its time as a park as "Peoples Park Annex" when UC fenced off Peoples Park and activists and community members set up an alternative location. The climbing structure/sculpture near McGee Street is one of the only remaining original structures from the Peoples Park movement. In the late 70's, Measure Y supported acquisition and construction of the park. It has continued to grow  and evolve through the years.

The park now provides recreation fields, kids' play areas, picnic areas, a dog park, community gardens, as well as plenty of fields and trees to relax on and under. Additional notes and links at the bottom of the page.

   Ohlone Park links:
Public transit to the park:
BART to North Berkeley station, then
walk across Sacramento St.
AC Transit lines 9, 15, 51, 52, 67, 88,
Gove of trees
There's lots of trees and grass
along the half-mile long park.
Mural plaque
Click on plaque for photos of each side
of The Ohlone Journey mural.
Kids play structure
A newly remodeled children's play area
with all the new fancy toys.
Community Gardens
Community Gardens. If you'd like one,
call the City to see if any are open.
Old climbing equipment
Climbing structure/sculpure from
the days of "Peoples Park Annex."
Dog Park
The Dog Park is always full of two and four legged people.
Users leave plenty of bags in case you forget yours.
Tots play area at Milvia
The tot play area at Milvia
Picnic area
Picnic area, with bin for "hot ash."
But you need to bring your own BBQer, none are provided.
An old slide
But isn't this old slide so much
classier than the new plastic ones?
Volleyball and basketball courts
Basketball & volleyball courts
(there's poles for grass volleyball as well!)
North Berkeley Senior Center
The North Berkeley Senior Center
is at Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Softball field
Softball field at Sacramento
(often used for soccer as well)
Skating though the park
Skaters wind their way along the trail
(but watch out for the pedestrians!)
Remnants of a Parcourse are
spread along the park.

Notes on the history of the park

Park developed on BART-owned property, along strip of land known as “Hearst Corridor,” when Berkeley decided to underground the BART tracks through City land. A citizen's committee, formed in 1974 to study possible uses of the BART property along Hearst Avenue, overwhelmingly preferred park development.
Informally called the “Hearst Strip Park,” residents disliked the name. Some support for “Everybody's Park,” but consensus formed around “Ohlone Park.” A portion of the strip west of McGee Avenue named “People’s Park Annex,” following demolition of People’s Park on University of California land.
Preliminary plans were completed and approved in November, 19[7]8. The park was formally dedicated on June 7, 1979. Measure Y funds were allocated for acquisition and development of the park.

Prime examples of how public pressures escalated the cost of the system are the Berkeley subway and the Ashby Station. After originally approving a combination aerial and subway line through Berkeley, that city later came to oppose the plan in favor of a subway-only line, which was much more expensive. The new plan necessitated redesign of the Ashby Station from an aerial to a subway facility. Extensive controversy and hearings ensued for the next 2 1/2 years, finally to be resolved by Berkeley residents voting to tax themselves additionally to finance the changes they wanted. Next, a Berkeley City Councilman filed a successful suit to redesign the Ashby Station, yet a second time, asserting the use of skylights in the original plans was not a true subway design.
The Berkeley situation resulted in a 2 1/2 year delay in subway construction, a 17-month delay in starting Ashby Station construction, and additional costs of $18 million.

Where else can you find a
working pay phone these days?
(McGee & Hearst)
© 2002, ShopInBerkeley