A new outdoor pavilion has been installed in one of the East Bay Regional Park District's most visited recreational areas, Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton.
The new structure will provide a number of resources to guests, including information on local wildlife, native plants, and activities available at Shadow Cliffs.
On Dec. 14, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place in celebration of the pavilion's opening. Members of the EBRPD board, along with donors and park staff, gathered on site to welcome guests and share personal reflections.
The 1,000 square feet exhibit also features a staging area and educational exhibits on the cultural and historic aspects of Shadow Cliffs.
Funding for the project was provided through a California State Parks grant, the Regional Parks Foundation and a variety of other private sources and donors.
Two notable Pleasanton philanthropists, Nancy and Gary Harrington, offered a gift of $200,000 toward the pavilion installation. The Harringtons had initially formed the project idea in 2014. Nearly a decade later, their vision has come to fruition.
"Gary and I started on this project to bring an interpretive Pavilion to this site 8 years ago. We wanted something for children to learn more about their environment and where better to do it than in our backyard, Shadow Cliffs," Harrington told the Weekly. "The pavilion is beautiful, informational, child friendly and very sustainable. We think it will be the envy of many parks."
"The real benefit, we hope, will be for lots of children in the valley to visit Shadow Cliffs not just for swimming and to picnic but to walk through the interpretive center, learn what to look for, and take a walk through the nature area," she added.
Staff and park leadership also shared their reflections on the new installation.
"The nature pavilion is an important new facility that helps advance the Park District's mission of providing healthy recreational opportunities and environmental education," said Sabrina Landreth, park general manager. "We are proud to provide yet another improvement and enhanced experience for the community."
The EBRPD acts as a system of outdoor recreational areas for the public to enjoy. It comprises 73 parks and over 1,300 miles for hiking trails, horseback riding and other activities. Many park locations and visiting centers offer free activities or educational materials related to the local ecology and nature, as well as information on the nearby wildlife and sustainability.
November through February the Shadow Cliffs area is open to visitors from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. From May to Labor Day its hours change to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.