For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Virginia Aiello, Parks Department, (510) 981-5158

100 YEARS OF BERKELEY PARKS CELEBRATIONS
Three months of activities to mark the rich variety of Berkeley parks and open space

Berkeley, California (Thursday, August 23, 2007) - Berkeley is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its parks.  Our open space system was born in 1907 with the establishment of San Pablo Park, and now includes dozens of parks and mini-parks, plazas, paths and greenways, community gardens, creeks, public pools, fields, and even a labyrinth. They evoke the unique sense of place and community that characterizes Berkeley.   

The parks' centennial season is from August 25 to November 17 and includes a variety of events for all ages and interests, sponsored by a variety of organizations working together as Berkeley Partners for Parks (BPFP). 

August 25,  Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 
San Pablo Park, 2800 Park Street between Russell and Ward Streets
The City of Berkeley is celebrating the centennial of San Pablo Park!   Highlights of the day include a knock-out performance by Pete Escovedo, an array of food vendors, and presentation of the much anticipated community mural and plaque reflecting an oral history of neighborhood leaders by renowned Berkeley artist/historian, Donna Graves.  

August 25 & 26, Sat. and Sun., 1:30 p.m. - Music, 2:00 - Showtime (to 3:30) 
Willard Park, Derby and Hillegass Ave

The SF Mime Troupe in Willard Park
The Mime troupe has delivered political musical satire in Berkeley’s parks since 1961. This year’s acclaimed production is “Making a Killing.” All performances are free.  Bring stadium seating and a picnic. Willard park neighbors are hosting a Block Party before and after the show on the 26th – All welcome!  For further info:
 http://sfmt.org/schedule/index.shtml 

September 2, Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.  
Poetry Garden on the corner of Milvia and Lincoln at Berkeley Arts Magnet School

Come meet the plants, creatures, rocks and soil that will stir poetry from your soul. We will have an open mike for poetry performance and paper and pencils for on the spot poetic inspiration. Children especially welcome!   Contact: Kate Obenour 510-548-1707 or mccoatty@hotmail.com 

September 4, Tuesday, 7:45 to 9 p.m.  
Introduction to International Folk Dance  
Live Oak Park, 1201 Shattuck Avenue, Live Oak Park Center

Kick off the new beginning folk dance class with easy couple, non-partner, and set dances everyone can do and enjoy. The class will continue for 8 weeks on Tuesday evenings with this first time free.  Berkeley Folk Dancers has been in operation for 66 years and currently meets five nights a week in Live Oak Park.   Contact: Bill and Louis Lidicker, 510-528-9168, dancebfd@aol.com, or www.berkeleyfolkdancers.yahoo.org.

September 5, Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon  
Stone Pillars of Northbrae Walking Tour  
Meet in front of North Berkeley Library, on the Alameda near Hopkins St.

Learn about the history of one of Berkeley’s most park-full neighborhoods through its scores of stone pillars.  Contact: Barbara Robben at 510 524-2383. Further info:  http://www.berkeleypaths.org/events/wedwalks.htm 

September 8, Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon 
Rocks, Parks and Residential Neighborhoods of North Berkeley

Co-sponsored by the Berkeley Historical Society and Led by local historian and author Susan Cerny.

Visit Indian Rock Park, Mortar Park, and Grotto Park in Northbrae and John Hinkel Park, all treasures of Berkeley's public open space.  They contain native oaks, winding footpaths, and large stone outcroppings.  Surrounding the parks are early 20th century residential neighborhoods with picturesque homes.  Contact:  Reserve a space by calling (510) 848-0181, between 1 pm and 4 pm on Thursday or Friday before the tour; or go to http://www.cityofberkeley.info/histsoc/#EVENTS 

September 16, Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Musical Block Party at Peralta Community Garden – hosted by the Friends of Westbrae Commons
Meet at 1400 Peralta Avenue, by the corner of Hopkins

Celebration of 3 Community Gardens. Peralta Community Garden, Karl Linn, and Northside plus Ohlone Greenway and Berkeley Eco House. Afternoon will include a workshop on traffic management at Peralta/Hopkins intersection, plus food and music.  Contact: Neil Collier 510-524-2671 or nacollier@pacbell.net 

September 23, Sunday, 12 to 3 p.m.  
East Bay Labyrinth Project –Walk the future labyrinth at the Marina 
East Lawn just south of University Avenue past the Marina Blvd.

The East Bay Labyrinth Project will be holding a facilitated walk on a temporary labyrinth laid at the Marina site where a permanent stone labyrinth in the sparkling beauty of a waterside location and learn about plans for permanent installation. Come anytime between 12 and 3 pm.   Contact: Nina Ham at nina@eastbaylabyrinthproject.org or visit us at www.eastbaylabyrinthproject.org 

September 30, Sunday, 5 to 7:30 p.m.  
Halcyon Commons - Community Potluck with Live Music   
Halcyon Court at Prince St.

Come celebrate 15th Anniversary of Halcyon Neighborhood Association, as well as the life in and around the newest park in the City’s park system (dedicated in 1996) – and the only one designed and built and maintained by the neighborhood around it.  Bring food and drink to share with others.  Lively musical offerings by “Rodeo Victory” – an acoustic folk band and Foreal Foreal, a Cajun-jazz fusion group. Come share in the good vibes and vittles. Contact John Steere for more information: 510-849-1969;  jsteere@igc.org 

October 13, Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon School House Creek Commons-Fall Clean Up and Sowing of Wild Flower Seeds 
At Virginia and Curtis Streets-Eastern end of the Berkeley Adult School

We will be having our fall clean-up and sowing of native wildflower seeds. If the weather has cooled enough, we also hope to be planting a slope of a hill with plugs of native grasses. These are all big projects, so come one, come all and enjoy one of the city’s newest open spaces and explore the native plants and orchard. There’s a play area for kids, and coffee and snacks will be served.

Contact: Jamie Day at 510-559-8368 or day7715@sbcglobal.net 

November 3, Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon 
Lower Codornices Creek: From Rails to Restoration

Co-sponsored by the Berkeley Historical Society and Led by Susan Schwartz with Drew Goetting & Richard Register.  Explore lower Codornices Creek and its varied history, from early rails and industry through World War II worker housing and shipyard railway to recent nature restoration. 2.5-mile walk is level, but two blocks of trail are not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs.  Contact: Reserve a space by calling (510) 848-0181, between 1 pm and 4 pm on Thursday or Friday before the tour; or go to http://www.cityofberkeley.info/histsoc/#EVENTS 

November 17, Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon 
Berkeley’s Downtown Parks: Real, Envisioned, and Vanished.

Co-sponsored by the Berkeley Historical Society and led by Steve Finacom & Linda Perry.  Downtown Berkeley is a commercial, transportation, and civic hub, with a hidden history of open space.  Learn of Civic Center Park and the vanished park in Shattuck Square, and fountains that once ran down the center of Shattuck Avenue.  In celebration of the Centennial of Berkeley’s public park system, we’ll visit all these sites, as well as sites of proposed open spaces that never were.  Contact: Reserve a space by calling (510) 848-0181, between 1 pm and 4 pm on Thursday or Friday before the tour; or go to http://www.cityofberkeley.info/histsoc/#EVENTS  
For more information, contact Virginia Aiello at the City of Berkeley Parks Department (510-981-5158) or Berkeley Partners for Parks at 510-847-0575.

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