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De-Pave Park Slated to Receive Planning Grant

Alameda’s proposed De-Pave Park project has made the short list for this year’s grant funding from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. The Restoration Authority Board will hear staff recommendations and provide input at its Feb. 25, 2022, meeting, with authorization coming at its April meeting.

Of this year’s 18 applicants, six have been selected for funding. The recommended award for De-Pave Park is $800,000. This amount is expected to cover the cost of developing a master plan, as well as the first level of construction drawings.

Alameda Post - De-Pave Park
View of the Seaplane Lagoon at Alameda Point, looking toward San Francisco, with planned De-Pave Park in the background adjacent to VA wetland. Photo Richard Bangert.

“When fully designed and constructed, the project will create approximately 18 acres of habitats, including subtidal areas, tidal wetlands, and uplands,” the staff report states. “The park will be designed to evolve with sea level rise to include a growing amount of baylands with continued public access from a raised boardwalk. Staff anticipates proposing to provide partial funding, which would support the City of Alameda in conducting a master plan process and developing 30% design plans over the next two years,” the report states.

The De-Pave Park tidal wetland at Alameda Point will integrate with the adjacent wetland on the Veterans Affairs (VA) property that is currently undergoing expansion and restoration.

This is the second attempt by Amy Wooldridge, the city’s Recreation and Park Director, to secure a planning grant from the restoration authority. Prior to submitting a grant application in the Fall of 2020, the city enlisted the help of landscape design company CMG to help bolster the application with more details on how the wetland park may look. The vision plan drafted by CMG explores how the existing concrete and shoreline boulders could be repurposed onsite, possible trails and observation points, and calculations on the carbon sequestration benefits.

The Restoration Authority disburses funds annually to projects around San Francisco Bay through a grant program. The funds come from Measure AA, the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure. It was a revenue generating measure placed on the June 2016 ballots of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area by the Restoration Authority. The measure proposed a 20-year, $12 parcel tax to raise approximately $25 million annually, or $500 million over twenty years, to fund restoration projects in the Bay. It passed with 70 percent approval across the region and went into effect in 2017.

The city’s De-Pave Park grant application requested $1.12 million, which would have covered the state and federal permitting process. The governing board may, at its discretion, direct staff to modify the grant awards.

Alameda Post - De-Pave Park rendering
Conceptual artist rendering of De-Pave Park prepared by CMG Landscape Design in 2020 for inclusion in the City of Alameda grant application. Illustration shows how the currently paved tarmac could be transformed into a wetland that connects with the adjacent VA wetland and adds habitat jetties in the Seaplane Lagoon using repurposed existing riprap boulders. Image courtesy CMG Landscape Design and City of Alameda Recreation and Park Department.

Members of the public may appeal to the board to increase Alameda’s funding to the full amount by sending comments to: [email protected]. Email comments received by 5 p.m. the day before the meeting will be read aloud during the meeting. Please include “Agenda Item 13. Grant Round 5 Overview” in your email.

More details about De-Pave Park can be found on the Alameda Point Environmental Report blog https://alamedapointenviro.com/2020/09/24/city-to-seek-funding-for-wetland-park-at-alameda-point/

Contributing writer Richard Bangert posts stories and photos about environmental issues on his blog Alameda Point Environmental Reporthttps://alamedapointenviro.com/.

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