Downtown park renamed to honor Pleasanton Rotary clubs

Park at north end of Main Street bridge to become gateway to business district

The Pleasanton City Council Tuesday agreed to spend $420,000 to improve a relatively obscure public park at the end of Main Street and to rename it Rotary Park in celebration of the 50th anniversary next May of the chartering of the first of Pleasanton's three Rotary clubs.

The small three-quarter-acre park, now known as Main Street Green Park, is located at the corner of Vervais Avenue and Main Street at the Main Street bridge over the Arroyo del Valle. It was slightly expanded two years ago with the city's purchase of an old home on Vervais just east of Main Street.

Although several council members suggested keeping the Main Street Green name, Rotarian Bob Silva won out in his plea to keep the name simple and to honor Rotary.

The three Rotary clubs in Pleasanton will highlighted their anniversary with a banquet at Castlewood Country Club on May 8 next year to celebrate the original charter award establishing the Rotary Club of Pleasanton in May 1965, which took place at Castlewood.

Also to be recognized will be the chartering of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton North in 1987 and the Tri-Valley Evening Rotary Club in 2002. All three clubs are affiliated with Rotary District 5170 in San Jose, and with Rotary International, a global community service organization with 1.2 million members in 166 countries.

The clubs will pay the $25,000 cost of the distinctive Main Street clock with the city funding the additional $150,000 to install it and complete the park's plaza that will serve as a gateway to downtown Pleasanton. The remainder of the park, including landscaping, trees, two bocce courts, a barbecue pit and picnic tables, will be added next year, or after California's current emergency drought conditions end.

The clock will be mounted on a black granite base with medallions naming each club and the date it was chartered on three of the clock faces and a Rotary logo on the fourth face.

Mike Fulford, Pleasanton's landscape architect, said he and the city's Parks and Recreation Commission have long eyed improvements to the Vervais park and property just across Main Street as "gateway features" to the north end of the downtown district. The project has been part of the Downtown Specific Plan since 2002.

"I'm excited about this because it will give us a real gateway to our downtown while also honoring Rotary, which does so much for our community, provides scholarship to high school students and buys and delivers wheelchairs to those in need in other countries," said Councilwoman Kathy Narum.

The dozen or so Rotary Club members in the audience cheered in agreement as the council voted unanimously to start the project in time for its dedication next April, ahead of Rotary's anniversary celebration.


Like this comment
Posted by A Former Rotarian
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

Rotary is an organization that knows how, good job, another wonderful contribution to our great Downtown Pleasanton.

Like this comment
Posted by How Much?
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

What?! Looks like mayor and council candidates are giving away the store just to get elected.

If they are going to call if Rotary Park, then Rotary should pay for the $420,000 park and the clock! The city will give them the land, and they can pay for upgrades- then they can call it Rotary Park.

Like this comment
Posted by Jill
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jul 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

They are paying for the clock, read full story

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Posted by Shawn
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

@ HowMuch
No, it looks like the mayor and council are rightfully recognizing the rotary clubs, the members of which give selflessly to help this community in many, many ways and have been doing so for 50 years. You should put your head back in the sand where it belongs since you have no idea what you are talking about.

Like this comment
Posted by How much?
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

to Jill-
Big deal, Rotary is paying for the $25,000 clock, but who is paying the $420,000? The tax payers.

The ratio is 6% clock/Rotary and 94% taxpayers. Maybe we should have called it Tax Payer Park with a little Rotary.

Like this comment
Posted by Suzi
a resident of California Reflections
on Jul 18, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Why isn't rotary paying for the whole thing? The other park is called "Lions Wayside" park not just Lions park.

Like this comment
Posted by D. Wynn Goode
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm

HM, ya sourpuss -- think of it as being like "naming rights" -- O.Co didn't have to build or buy the entire Oakland Coliseum to get its name put on the stadium. And those revenues did defray costs that might otherwise be borne by the taxpayers.

Some folks have gone waaay overboard on this taxpayer theme. Their tea kettle boileth over.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

The Rotary Club does lots of Good Deeds and for that I say THANK YOU/GRACIAS!


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

Yes, in the spirit of Cholo's response,


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