Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area -- the 266-acre park on Stanley Boulevard in east Pleasanton -- just keeps getting better. Water enthusiasts enjoy swimming, boating, fishing and beaches at the 80-acre lake. The park's variety of trails are frequented by hikers, bikers and horses.
Now, the East Bay Regional Park District is planning an interpretive pavilion near the entrance to the park, and Nancy and Gary Harrington of the Harrington Art Partnership not only championed the project but donated $50,000 toward its design. The Harringtons, generous art benefactors in Pleasanton, also have pledged another $150,000 in matching funds for the project.
"We've been working with East Bay Regional Parks for four-plus years and finally have a draft plan," Nancy Harrington said.
The pavilion will be an inviting gateway to welcome visitors, which the Harringtons see as the finishing touch on a park that has been gradually developed as a community project. It is the site of a former quarry and became a public park in 1971, donated to East Bay Parks by Kaiser Sand and Gravel.
This project has been part of the park's land-use plan for some time, said Regional Parks Foundation development director Juliana Schirmer.
"What revitalized this for us was the enthusiasm of Nancy and Gary Harrington, who are lifelong educators and members of the community," she said.
When facing the park from its entrance on Stanley Boulevard, the popular lake is to the left. The parking lot, with solar panels that offset power usage for the entire park system, is to the right, as are the hiking and biking paths.
"That side of the park is the wild and beautiful side, and we have found that a lot of people don't know it is there," Schirmer said. "We thought it would be great to have a staging area -- when groups use the park, they can learn its history."
The vision, she explained, is to have the pavilion in a prominent spot, with interpretive panels.
"It will have informational panels to talk about the natural history of the site," she added, "and the philanthropy of the site."
The goal is to also have interpretive panels along the trails with information about the wildlife.
People who contribute more than $1,000 will have their names on a donor exhibit at the pavilion. Individuals or corporations can sponsor an exhibit or give to the overall construction of the project.
"They can talk to us about what they are interested in doing, if there is a specific element they are interested in," Schirmer said.
The district is capping the project at $950,000, which will include the hardscape, softscape, construction, interpretive panels, ADA access and landscaping.
"Our goal is to get the majority of funds in hand this spring, engage an architect for the next round of design, and break ground in the fall," Schirmer said.
Shadow Cliffs offers naturalist programs free to schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, which are expected to increase when the pavilion is completed.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Shadow Cliffs Interpretive Pavilion should call Schirmer at 510-544-2212, or email email@example.com. Checks can be sent to East Bay Regional Park Foundation, P.O. Box 21074, Crestmont Station, Oakland, CA 94620.