News

Interpretive pavilion planned for Shadow Cliffs

Harringtons donating $200,000, some in matching funds

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.

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"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."

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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 protected] Checks can be sent to East Bay Regional Park Foundation, P.O. Box 21074, Crestmont Station, Oakland, CA 94620.

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Interpretive pavilion planned for Shadow Cliffs

Harringtons donating $200,000, some in matching funds

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 12:42 pm

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 protected] Checks can be sent to East Bay Regional Park Foundation, P.O. Box 21074, Crestmont Station, Oakland, CA 94620.

Comments

Hansen Curious
Registered user
Del Prado
on Feb 21, 2018 at 8:10 am
Hansen Curious, Del Prado
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2018 at 8:10 am

Now we know who was behind the destruction of the much loved Shadowcliff's water slides. Although this seemingly generous donation is to fund an Interpretive Center to help educate on the history of the park, the donation could have been made to support and upgrade the water slides. The water slides were a local treasure, bringing jobs to our local teens and hours of summer fun for our kids. It was a low key place to hang out, enjoy the summer day, have an ice cream, and not have to fight the crowds and traffic at the larger water parks.

I ask what history this Interpretive Center will chronicle? That Shadowcliffs is a large hole in the ground formed after a quarry operation removed gravel to make concrete? Will this bring more value to the community than the water slides? I doubt my kids will really care. That portion of the park is a big dusty wasteland. It has very little value other than a place to let dogs run. There are piles of dangerous junk strewn around and weeds struggle to survive. There is simply nothing to "interpret" about this post-industrial landscape.


Negative Much?
Foxborough Estates
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:26 am
Negative Much?, Foxborough Estates
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:26 am

Wow Hansen Curious, how do you get through the day being so negative? I guess you don’t walk in the wild part of the park that is described in the article. Walk quietly and you will see bald eagles, fixes, river otters, and dozens of bird species.

This pavilion didn’t push out the water slides. The water slides needed to be brought up to safety codes, which the owner (not the park district) could not afford to do. When the owner couldn’t find anyone to buy his slide business, after tears of trying, he folded.


Hansen Curious
Registered user
Del Prado
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:09 am
Hansen Curious, Del Prado
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:09 am

@ Negative - Nope, try again. EBRPD placed unsubstantiated requirements on the operator of the water slides. He did have options to upgrade the slides to meet code, but the requirements set by the park district were unreasonable.

It was clear from day one there was a vocal minority that wanted the slides removed and return SC to "its native state". I suppose that group wanted the bulldozers and gravel trucks to return so SC could be "interpreted" in its original state.

Shadowcliffs is not a wild place. It is a re-purposed gravel quarry. Let's not pretend it is something else and spend money creating a Center very few people will visit.


Negative Much?
Foxborough Estates
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:28 am
Negative Much?, Foxborough Estates
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:28 am

You are the one who is misinformed. EBRPD does not set building and safety codes. Try again.

True the lake was a gravel quarry. Before that it was not. Just because you don’t like what the history is, doesn’t mean that it’s not history.

Anyway go for a walk and smell the almond blossoms, look for some birds, and enjoy your day. Go to the park or don’t, but those who do go will have a new pavilion to look at. You don’t have to look at it if you don’t want to.


Hansen Curious
Registered user
Del Prado
on Feb 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm
Hansen Curious, Del Prado
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2018 at 1:59 pm

@ Negative - You are correct, EBRPD does not set building and safety codes so that was why I stated the requirements were unsubstantiated and unreasonable. Wealthy donors wooed EBRPD into forcing the water slides out. It appears you live in the neighborhood just south of SC. From what I recall, there were homeowners in the area that objected to the sound of happy kids playing on the water slides and any improvements the water slide operator made would attract more kids and traffic.


Arroyo2
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Arroyo2, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm

If you put 200 children inside the gates of Shadow Cliffs and gave them the choice of going to the water slides or the Interpretive Center, guess where they would prefer to go.

Conversely, if you took 200 Senior Citizens and gave them the same choice they would opt to smell the wildflowers next to the "Interpretive Center," and then spend the next 30 minutes looking for where they parked their cars.

Too bad the people of Pleasanton (and the EBRPD) couldn't have found a way to help save the water slides.


Kellie
Las Positas
on Feb 21, 2018 at 5:50 pm
Kellie, Las Positas
on Feb 21, 2018 at 5:50 pm

But....East Bay parks didn’t own the slides.

From what I understand, the pavilion will not be an enclosed building, but a shade structure with information panels.


Shot at Shadow Cliffs 1982
Ruby Hill
on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:19 pm
Shot at Shadow Cliffs 1982, Ruby Hill
on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:19 pm

This is a sad story. Like many about what has happened with Pleasanton throughout the years. How the city has been ruined by selfish people with to much money/control. The water slides were a great place to go and have a great time without spending too much money. Is the Interpretive pavilion going to walk people over through the back lakes and over to where the bus load of kidnapped kids almost lost there lives? I wonder how many other people we can find? Do you really want to know? Its a bad idea what they are doing. Why not clean the lake so you don't get scabies and itch for hours when you go swimming int the gravel pond.


Winston
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Feb 24, 2018 at 9:03 pm
Winston, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Feb 24, 2018 at 9:03 pm

I commend the Harringtons for their community commitment. However, does EVERYTHING need to be planned out? We like the total informality and sense of escape. Its refreshing not to have more trail signs, and we bring our own field handbook. We appreciate the intent but Id suggest instead using the money to provide clean ups and other habitat maintenance.


Bill Brasky
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Feb 26, 2018 at 2:03 am
Bill Brasky, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Feb 26, 2018 at 2:03 am

IMO If they are going to further invest in that area for P-town citizens they should go: 9-hole disc golf and footgolf course, dog park, walking trail and official bmx race track...


Hansen Curious
Registered user
Del Prado
on Feb 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm
Hansen Curious, Del Prado
Registered user
on Feb 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm

@ Bill - I love your ideas. All your suggestions are easy and fairly low cost additions to the park that will draw many more users than the Interpretive Center.


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